1894 Pullman Strike

The big Pullman Strike began on May 11, 1894.

The depression at the time caused George Pullman to reduce wages and hours by 25%. However, he did not reduce his employee's rents. With this action, 3,000 men walked out, and Pullman laid off many others.

Leaders of the city begged him to negotiate, but Pullman remained stubborn, refusing to even entertain the possibility. This led to a nationwide boycott of Pullman's Sleeping Cars. A mob in Chicago attacked the stockyards and railroad yards, with soldiers camped on the lakefront.

During the 83 day strike, there were 14,186 Federal and local armed officers in Chicago. The death toll during June and July was at least 30.

Pullman refused amnesty for his workers until he was forced to, and reopened his factory on August 2. He died three years later.1

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