Akar Pemogokan Kereta Api Hari Buruh

Akar Pemogokan Kereta Api Hari Buruh

Hari Buruh di Amerika Serikat sebenarnya dimulai melintasi perbatasan di Kanada, setelah perjuangan yang melibatkan pencetak surat kabar, undang-undang yang sudah ketinggalan zaman, dan persaingan politik.


10 Pemogokan Terbesar dalam Sejarah Amerika

Sekitar 45.000 pekerja Verizon (NYSE:VZ) telah keluar dari pekerjaan setelah kontrak mereka berakhir dan manajemen serta serikat pekerja gagal mencapai kesepakatan. Sementara 45.000 terdengar mengesankan, itu tidak mendekati beberapa pemogokan terbesar dalam sejarah Amerika.

Ketegangan antara buruh dan manajemen sering menyebabkan penghentian kerja yang dikenal sebagai pemogokan. Manajemen selalu menginginkan lebih banyak pekerjaan dengan bayaran sesedikit mungkin. Buruh selalu menginginkan apa yang dianggapnya sebagai kompensasi yang adil.

Pemogokan Verizon saat ini terjadi beberapa tahun setelah perusahaan mencapai puncaknya dalam hal penetrasi pasar dan ketika bisnis daratnya mulai melambat. Tetapi perselisihan tenaga kerja selalu menjadi yang terbesar saat industri mencapai puncaknya, menikmati kekuatan finansial yang besar dan mempekerjakan sejumlah besar pekerja.

Pemogokan besar paling awal, meskipun mungkin bukan yang terbesar, terjadi di perusahaan tekstil yang menangani penyelesaian akhir kapas dan barang mentah lainnya dari Selatan. Sebagian besar perusahaan ini berbasis di Timur Laut dan Midwest yang padat tenaga kerja.

Dari sana, gerakan buruh bermigrasi ke rel kereta api dan pertambangan dan perusahaan baja. Sampai Andrew Carnegie, baja belum menjadi industri besar. Penggunaan baja diperluas dengan kebutuhan dan pertumbuhan industri perkapalan, serta mobil dan barang-barang konsumen dan komersial manufaktur lainnya. Akhirnya, serangan baja menjadi beberapa yang lebih kejam.

Kebangkitan mobil menyebabkan perselisihan perburuhan besar berikutnya ketika para pekerja berjuang untuk kondisi yang lebih baik di pabrik-pabrik besar di Midwest. Ketika transportasi berpindah dari darat ke udara, maskapai penerbangan menjadi salah satu pemberi kerja terbesar di negara ini, dan biaya industri yang paling bervariasi. Sejarah pemogokan Amerika pada akhirnya membantu menciptakan kelas menengah yang hebat di negara-negara tersebut. Sepuluh pemogokan terbesar dalam sejarah Amerika (dalam urutan kronologis):

1) Pemogokan Kereta Api Barat Daya yang Hebat> Jumlah pemogok: 200.000 > Periode: Maret hingga September 1886 > Area yang terkena dampak: Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, dan Texas Pada akhir 1800-an, jalur kereta api Amerika berkembang pesat. Pada tahun 1886, Knights of Labor melakukan pemogokan di rel kereta api Union Pacific dan Missouri Pacific, yang dimiliki oleh baron perampok Jay Gould. Ratusan ribu pekerja di lima negara bagian menolak untuk bekerja, dengan alasan kondisi yang tidak aman dan jam kerja serta upah yang tidak adil. Pemogokan menderita karena kurangnya komitmen dari serikat pekerja kereta api lainnya, keberhasilan perekrutan pekerja non-serikat oleh Gould dan dari taktik kekerasan dan menakut-nakuti. Akhirnya, pemogokan gagal dan Knights of Labor dibubarkan segera setelah itu.

2) Serangan Pullman> Jumlah pemogok: 250.000 > Periode: 11 Mei hingga pertengahan Juli 1894 > Area yang terkena dampak: Chicago, Illinois Menghadapi hari kerja 12 jam dan pemotongan upah akibat ekonomi yang tertekan, pekerja pabrik di Pullman Palace Car Company keluar sebagai protes. Para pekerja segera bergabung dengan anggota American Railway Union (ARU), yang menolak untuk bekerja di atau menjalankan kereta api apa pun, termasuk mobil milik Pullman. Tak lama kemudian, 250.000 pekerja industri bergabung dalam pemogokan, secara efektif menutup lalu lintas kereta api ke barat Chicago. Pemogokan berakhir ketika Presiden Grover Cleveland mengirim pasukan federal ke Chicago pada tanggal 6 Juli 1894. Namun, simpati luas untuk para pekerja menyebabkan sentimen prounion dipromosikan di banyak wilayah negara.

3) Pemogokan Batubara Antrasit Hebat> Jumlah pemogok: 147.000 > Periode: Mei hingga Oktober 1902 > Area yang terkena dampak: Pennsylvania Timur Pada pergantian abad terakhir, Serikat Pekerja Tambang Amerika (UMWA) memulai pemogokan yang mengancam akan menciptakan krisis energi. Mencari upah dan kondisi yang lebih baik, serikat pekerja melakukan pemogokan di Pennsylvania timur, sebuah daerah yang memiliki sebagian besar pasokan batubara antrasit negara. Ketika musim dingin tahun 1903 mendekat, Presiden Theodore Roosevelt menjadi khawatir bahwa krisis pemanasan dapat berkembang dan upaya untuk campur tangan tidak berhasil. Industrialis dan pemodal J.P. Morgan percaya pemogokan dapat mengancam bisnisnya dan membuat kesepakatan dengan serikat pekerja. Tuntutan awal UMWA adalah kenaikan upah 20%. Mereka berakhir dengan kenaikan 10%.

4) Pemogokan Baja tahun 1919> Jumlah pemogok: 350.000 > Periode: September 1919 hingga Januari 1920 > Area yang terkena dampak: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Setelah Perang Dunia I, pekerja Perusahaan Baja Amerika Serikat yang diwakili oleh Federasi Buruh Amerika (AFL) mengorganisir pemogokan terhadap kondisi kerja yang buruk, jam kerja yang panjang, upah rendah dan pelecehan perusahaan terkait keterlibatan serikat pekerja. Jumlah pemogok dengan cepat tumbuh menjadi 350.000, menutup hampir setengah dari industri baja. Pemilik perusahaan, bagaimanapun, mengajukan keprihatinan publik atas komunisme dan imigrasi sebagai cara untuk mengubah sentimen publik terhadap serikat pekerja. Hal ini mengakibatkan kegagalan pemogokan dan memastikan tidak adanya organisasi serikat pekerja di industri baja selama 15 tahun ke depan.

5) Pemogokan Pekerja Toko Kereta Api tahun 1922> Jumlah pemogok: 400.000 > Periode: Juli hingga Oktober 1922 > Area yang terkena dampak: nasional Pada tahun 1922, dewan pekerja kereta api mengumumkan bahwa upah pekerja toko kereta api akan dipotong sebesar 7 sen dalam jumlah yang cukup besar pada saat itu. Pada awal Juli tahun itu, 400.000 buruh toko kereta api dari konglomerasi serikat pekerja melakukan pemogokan. Perkeretaapian besar Amerika menanggapi, segera mempekerjakan pekerja non-serikat untuk menggantikan tiga perempat dari posisi kosong. Setelah pemogokan berlangsung selama beberapa waktu, Jaksa Agung AS Harry Daugherty membujuk seorang hakim federal untuk melarang semua kegiatan yang terkait dengan pemogokan. Serikat pekerja tahu larangan itu mengakhiri upaya mereka dan memutuskan pada bulan Oktober untuk pemotongan gaji 5 sen dan kembali bekerja.

6) Pemogokan Buruh Tekstil tahun 1934> Jumlah pemogok: 400.000 > Periode: September 1934 > Area yang terkena dampak: seluruh pesisir Timur Pada Hari Buruh tahun 1934, setelah bertahun-tahun bekerja berjam-jam dan upah rendah, pekerja tekstil Amerika mulai mogok sebagai tanggapan atas perwakilan buruh tekstil yang lalai di Administrasi Pemulihan Nasional FDR. Serikat Pekerja Tekstil (UTW) mengorganisir 400.000 untuk keluar selama lebih dari 20 hari, tetapi kurangnya dukungan dari luar dan kelebihan bahan tekstil, terutama di negara bagian Selatan, memaksa pemogokan untuk berakhir tanpa ada tuntutan awal yang dipenuhi. . Semangat serikat pekerja mencapai titik terendah baru di tahun-tahun berikutnya dan akibatnya banyak pekerja masuk daftar hitam.

7) Pemogokan Batubara Bituminous 1946> Jumlah pemogok: 400.000 > Periode: April hingga Desember 1946 > Area yang terkena dampak: di 26 negara bagian Pada hari April Mop tahun 1946, Serikat Pekerja Tambang Amerika meminta 400.000 penambang batu bara bitumen untuk mogok demi kondisi yang lebih aman, manfaat kesehatan, dan membayar. Pemogokan terjadi pada saat ekonomi nasional pulih dari Perang Dunia kedua, dan presiden Truman melihat tindakan UMWA sebagai kontraproduktif untuk pemulihan industri nasional. Truman mendekati serikat pekerja dengan penyelesaian. Ketika para pekerja menolak proposal tersebut, mereka didenda $3,5 juta, memaksa mereka menyetujui dan mengakhiri pemogokan. Meski terpaksa, sebagian besar tuntutan UMWA dipenuhi dalam kompromi Trumans.

8) Pemogokan Baja tahun 1959> Jumlah pemogok: 500.000 > Periode: Juli hingga November 1959 > Area yang terkena dampak: nasional Selama tahun 1959, keuntungan industri baja meroket. Melihat hal ini, pekerja baja negara, yang diwakili oleh United Steelworkers of America, menuntut upah yang lebih tinggi. Pada saat yang sama, manajemen bekerja melawan serikat pekerja untuk kehilangan klausul kontrak yang melindungi pekerjaan dan jam kerja pekerja. Konflik ini mengakibatkan pemogokan 500.000 pekerja, yang dampaknya dirasakan di seluruh industri. Pada akhirnya, serikat menerima kenaikan upah dan mempertahankan klausul kontrak.

9) Pemogokan Pos AS 1970> Jumlah pemogok: 210.000 > Periode: Maret 1970 > Area yang terkena dampak: dimulai di New York City, menyebar ke seluruh negeri Selama pemerintahan Nixon, pekerja pos AS tidak diizinkan untuk terlibat dalam perundingan bersama. Meningkatnya ketidakpuasan terhadap upah, kondisi kerja, tunjangan, dan manajemen menyebabkan para pekerja pos di New York City melakukan pemogokan. Didorong oleh contoh New York, pekerja pos di seluruh negeri mengikutinya. Dengan terhentinya pengiriman surat dan parsel, Nixon memerintahkan Garda Nasional untuk mengganti para pekerja yang mogok, tindakan yang terbukti tidak efektif. Pemogokan itu begitu efektif sehingga dalam dua minggu negosiasi terjadi. Tuntutan serikat pekerja untuk upah yang lebih tinggi dan kondisi yang lebih baik sebagian besar dipenuhi, dan mereka diberikan hak untuk bernegosiasi.

10) Pemogokan pekerja UPS> Jumlah pemogok: 185.000 > Periode: Agustus 1997 > Area yang terkena dampak: nasional Pemogokan terbesar tahun 1990-an dipimpin oleh 185.000 UPS Teamsters. Mereka mencari penciptaan pekerjaan penuh waktu daripada paruh waktu, peningkatan upah dan retensi program pensiun multi-majikan mereka. Para pekerja ini mendapat dukungan besar dari masyarakat dan akhirnya semua tuntutan mereka dipenuhi. UPS, bagaimanapun, kehilangan lebih dari $600 juta dalam bisnis sebagai akibat dari cobaan itu.


Isi

Penegakan hukum dan milisi perusahaan, detektif bersenjata dan penjaga Sunting

  • 8 Mei 1910 – Yukon, PA: Saat 25 deputi sheriff dan polisi negara bagian menggeledah sebuah rumah kos dengan sia-sia, kerumunan penambang yang mogok berkumpul dan mengejek mereka. Para deputi kemudian menembaki kerumunan, menewaskan satu orang dan melukai 30 orang. [52][53]
  • Mei 1910 – Ekspor, PA: Para penambang yang sedang berjalan pulang melewati properti perusahaan batubara, di mana 20 deputi sheriff dan Polisi Negara menyerang dan memukuli mereka dengan kejam. Seorang penambang, yang berusaha melindungi seorang anak dalam pelukannya, terbunuh. [52]
  • Mei 1910 – Polisi negara bagian menghentikan empat penambang imigran yang tidak bisa berbahasa Inggris untuk menanyai mereka. Seorang penambang dwibahasa datang dan menyuruh keempatnya pergi, tetapi polisi mengejar, menembak, dan membunuh orang kelima, diduga dengan darah dingin. [52][53]
  • Juli 1910 - Greensburg Selatan: Penambang yang mogok telah memperoleh izin untuk berbaris, tetapi ketika mereka mulai, wakil sheriff yang menunggang kuda menghentikan mereka. Bertentangan dengan kepala polisi setempat, para deputi menyerang dengan kuda mereka, mengayunkan tongkat dan kemudian menembak ke arah kerumunan, membunuh seorang penambang.
  • Sebuah survei legislator menemukan bahwa kekerasan meningkat secara signifikan setelah kedatangan Polisi Negara, dan bahwa hampir semua tindakan kekerasan yang dilakukan oleh aparat negara tanpa provokasi: [52]
  • Mounted State Police secara rutin menyerbu ke trotoar atau ke kerumunan, melukai pria, wanita dan anak-anak. [53]
  • Pemukulan parah terhadap warga dan pemogokan penambang tanpa alasan adalah hal biasa, dengan polisi menolak upaya polisi setempat untuk menghentikan mereka dan membobol rumah tanpa surat perintah. [52][53]
  • Polisi Negara Bagian menembaki kota-kota dan menembak tanpa pandang bulu ke kerumunan dan kota-kota tenda (membunuh dan melukai wanita dan anak-anak yang sedang tidur). [51]

Eksekusi oleh negara Edit

Tanggal Lokasi Jenis perselisihan Buruh dieksekusi oleh Negara Catatan
21 Juni 1877 – 9 Oktober 1879 [139] Pennsylvania (Pottsville, Mauch Chunk, Bloomsburg, Sunbury) pemogokan penambangan batubara 20 Pemotongan gaji 20% pada bulan Desember, 1874, menyebabkan pemogokan panjang yang dimulai pada tanggal 1 Januari 1875, [140] hal. 51 dan dengan cepat berubah menjadi kekerasan. Beberapa bos perusahaan tewas. Mayat penambang militan terkadang ditemukan di lubang tambang yang sepi. [140] hal. 53 20 pekerja (diduga Molly Maguires) [141] hlm. 5,10 diadili karena pembunuhan dan sebagian besar dihukum karena kesaksian mata-mata Pinkerton. [141] hlm. 234–35 [142] Tiga terdakwa mengaku: Manus Cull, Francis McHugh, dan Patrick Butler, begitu pula anggota Molly Maguire "Powder Tong" Kerrigan. Pengakuan dan kesaksian mereka menguatkan bahwa agen Pinkerton McParlan. Sejarawan telah menulis bahwa tuduhan pembunuhan terhadap John Keyhoe, subjek dari persidangan selanjutnya, tetap meragukan. [143] Franklin B. Gowen, pemilik Philadelphia & Reading Railroad dan orang yang menyewa Pinkerton, telah menunjuk dirinya sendiri sebagai jaksa khusus. [140] hal. 54 [144] Ke-20 orang itu digantung oleh Negara Bagian Pennsylvania.

Pengadilan Molly Maguire adalah penyerahan kedaulatan negara. Sebuah perusahaan swasta memulai penyelidikan melalui agen detektif swasta. Sebuah kepolisian swasta menangkap para tersangka pembela, dan pengacara swasta untuk perusahaan batubara menuntut mereka. Negara hanya menyediakan ruang sidang dan tiang gantungan. . Setiap studi objektif tenor waktu dan seluruh catatan harus menyimpulkan bahwa (Mollies) . tidak memiliki juri yang adil dan tidak memihak. Oleh karena itu, mereka ditolak salah satu hak dasar yang dijamin William Penn untuk semua warga negara Pennsylvania. [145]

Setelah penyelidikan 100 tahun setelah kematiannya, John Kehoe secara anumerta diampuni oleh gubernur, yang menulis, "[Saya] tidak mungkin membayangkan nasib para penambang abad ke-19 di wilayah antrasit Pennsylvania. . orang-orang yang dikenal sebagai Molly Maguires", [142] yang dipujinya sebagai "para pekerja martir ini". [141] hal. 284


Akar Pemogokan Kereta Api Hari Buruh - SEJARAH

(Kisah berikut oleh Matthew Bieniek muncul di situs web Journal-News pada 4 September)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. Lebih dari 120 tahun yang lalu Martinsburg menemukan dirinya di pusat, memang, titik nyala, dari perjuangan buruh terbesar (sampai titik itu) dalam sejarah Amerika.

Tidak ada pemogokan kereta api besar tahun 1887 yang pernah terjadi sebelumnya, dan semuanya dimulai di sini. Organisasi serikat pekerja, terutama di industri besar, masih dalam masa pertumbuhan. Tidak ada perundingan bersama, tidak ada hak untuk mogok, tidak ada hak untuk berserikat.

Pada 16 Juli, pekerja untuk B&O Railroad telah mencapai batasnya – upah dipotong lagi karena industri kereta api berjuang dengan masa-masa sulit. Misalnya, upah seorang breakman adalah $70 per bulan pada tahun 1873. Pada tahun 1887, upah tersebut dipotong menjadi $30 per bulan, menurut “The Great Labour Uprising of 1877” oleh Philip Foner.

Pemogokan menyebar dengan cepat ke seluruh negeri. Beberapa sumber mengatakan aksi pemogokan pertama terjadi di Baltimore, tetapi Martinsburg dengan cepat menjadi titik fokus pemogokan. Pekerja membongkar kereta api dan memblokir rel, menghentikan 13 lokomotif dan 1.500 gerbong barang. Dukungan publik untuk pemogokan itu kuat, dan pasukan milisi negara bagian yang diperintahkan oleh Gubernur Henry M. Mathews sebagian besar bersimpati kepada para pemogok. Tidak heran, karena banyak dari milisi memiliki kerabat di antara para pemogok.

Berita tentang aksi radikal di Martinsburg menyebar ke seluruh pekerja di sepanjang rel, dan pemogokan besar terjadi ketika pekerja di tempat lain mengikuti jejak dan menghentikan kereta.

Terlepas dari simpati beberapa anggota milisi, konflik pecah, dan tembakan dilepaskan, dengan satu penyerang tewas. Itu adalah terakhir kalinya milisi menembaki para pekerja, dan sejak saat itu, sebagian besar anggota milisi bersekutu dengan para pemogok.

Saat pemogokan menyebar ke seluruh negeri, Presiden Rutherford B. Hayes memanggil pasukan federal. Pasukan bergerak ke kota-kota dan antara kota-kota besar, menekan pemogokan dan memaksa pekerja kembali ke pekerjaan mereka. Martinsburg adalah salah satu kota pertama yang merasakan beban pasukan federal, dan pemogokan di sini dengan cepat berakhir.

Di banyak kota besar dan kecil, banyak pekerja dan beberapa tentara terbunuh dan terluka. Pittsburgh, Philadelphia dan Chicago adalah beberapa tempat kekerasan terburuk.

Pemogokan nasional berakhir pada akhir Agustus, dan para pekerja hanya memiliki sedikit hal untuk ditunjukkan, kecuali konsep yang lebih kuat tentang kekuatan dan solidaritas mereka sendiri dengan pekerja kereta api lainnya di seluruh negeri.

Penting untuk mengingat perjuangan masa lalu. Tanpa mereka, banyak hal yang kita anggap remeh tidak akan keluar. Sebagian besar dari kita adalah anak atau cucu dari mereka yang bekerja di pabrik, pabrik baja, tambang batu bara, atau ladang lain yang diuntungkan oleh perjuangan serikat pekerja untuk mendapatkan upah yang layak. Pada Hari Buruh, kita harus mengingat leluhur kita, tidak peduli bagaimana kita memandang gerakan serikat hari ini, atau bagaimana kita memandang manajemen, dalam hal ini.

Konflik antara buruh dan manajemen tampaknya tidak ada habisnya, meskipun beberapa negara dengan tradisi budaya yang berbeda telah mencoba untuk meningkatkan kerjasama antara pekerja dan manajemen bahkan mengintegrasikan fungsi pengusaha dan karyawan. Beberapa perusahaan asing yang beroperasi di Amerika Serikat membawa beberapa praktik kerja sama ini ke pabrik-pabrik A.S.

Apakah upaya ini dapat berhasil atau tidak dan mengubah sifat hubungan kerja dan manajemen masih harus dilihat. Sangat menarik untuk dicatat, bagaimanapun, bahwa ledakan pertumbuhan Amerika Serikat menjadi kekuatan ekonomi dunia datang pada saat konflik sering intens antara tenaga kerja dan manajemen, yang secara bertahap menyebabkan upah yang lebih tinggi dan kondisi kerja yang lebih baik. Upah yang lebih tinggi dan pendapatan yang dapat dibelanjakan, diperoleh melalui perjuangan antara tenaga kerja dan manajemen di pasar bebas, membantu menumbuhkan perusahaan-perusahaan Amerika dan memberi pekerja Amerika standar hidup terbaik di dunia.

Sementara paragraf di atas mungkin sederhana, itu juga benar.

Dan salah satu contoh paling awal dari perjuangan dalam skala besar itu didorong oleh peristiwa-peristiwa yang dimulai di rel kereta api di ujung jalan.


Sisi pelabuhan

Dicetak ulang dengan izin dari Di Saat Ini. Seluruh hak cipta.

Banyak sejarawan memperkirakan pergolakan industri besar pertama buruh Amerika terjadi pada 16 Juli 1877, ketika para pekerja di Baltimore dan Ohio Railroad mulai menolak bekerja sebagai protes terhadap putaran pemotongan upah yang diperintahkan oleh manajer senior perusahaan. Dipukuli oleh depresi ekonomi selama bertahun-tahun, pengangguran yang tinggi dan kondisi kerja yang menyedihkan, para pekerja di Baltimore dan sekitarnya akhirnya didorong ke titik puncaknya.

Bahkan tanpa organisasi serikat berbasis luas, pemogokan B&O segera menyita imajinasi publik. Kerusuhan menyebar dengan cepat ke rel kereta api lain sebelum meluas hingga mencakup pekerja di tambang dan pabrik di lokasi yang tersebar luas di seluruh negeri. Pada puncaknya, "Pemogokan Kereta Api Hebat" selama enam minggu melibatkan sekitar 100.000 pekerja di lebih dari selusin negara bagian, dan berhasil melumpuhkan sebagian besar sistem transportasi negara.

Pemberontakan yang tiba-tiba itu menimbulkan ketakutan—dan lebih dari sekadar sedikit kepanikan—di antara para eksekutif perkeretaapian dan pejabat pemerintah. Hanya dalam beberapa hari, pemogokan nasional besar pertama dalam sejarah AS menjadi salah satu tragedi industri besar pertamanya, ketika unit-unit milisi negara bagian dan pasukan federal bergerak untuk menekan gerakan tersebut. Tentara menembaki pemogok dan pengunjuk rasa selama bentrokan epik di Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore dan di tempat lain. Lebih dari 100 orang tewas ribuan lainnya terluka. Pada akhirnya, pemogokan itu dihancurkan, menjadi preseden bagi penindasan kekerasan terhadap kerusuhan buruh yang akan menodai sejarah buruh Amerika untuk generasi yang akan datang.

Peristiwa-peristiwa dramatis ini memberikan dasar bagi sebuah buku baru yang tidak biasa yang meneliti dengan cermat peristiwa-peristiwa tahun 1877 di Baltimore, tempat pemogokan dimulai. Pemogokan Kereta Api tahun 1877 di Baltimore menawarkan pandangan simpatik dari para demonstran dari penulis Bill Barry, mantan penyelenggara serikat pekerja, instruktur perguruan tinggi dan aktivis politik yang membawa semangatnya untuk hak asasi manusia ke dalam volume cetak serikat pekerja. Barry dengan terampil menyatukan sejarah Baltimore lokal, latar belakang sosial para pekerja imigran Irlandia di kota itu, dan tema-tema yang lebih luas dari gerakan buruh nasional yang muncul dalam narasi yang menarik tentang konflik kelas dan pemberontakan perkotaan.

Dalam retrospeksi, tampaknya hampir tak terelakkan bahwa Baltimore akan menjadi titik nyala pemogokan nasional. Kota ini telah secara tidak resmi dijuluki Mobtown, berdasarkan kerusuhan anti-korupsi pada tahun 1835 dan protes anti-perang pada tahun 1861. Lebih penting lagi, Baltimore adalah markas besar B&O Railroad, dengan toko-toko dan rel yang mempekerjakan ribuan pekerja berpenghasilan rendah yang gelisah, banyak dari mereka adalah orang Irlandia generasi pertama atau kedua. Dan berkat depresi nasional yang disebabkan oleh Kepanikan Wall Street tahun 1873, B&O telah memberlakukan pemotongan upah secara menyeluruh bahkan sebelum musim panas tahun 1877 dimulai.

Dua peristiwa lain tidak diragukan lagi menambah kemarahan para pekerja, kata Barry, meskipun ia dan sejarawan lain telah menemukan sedikit bukti dokumenter yang menunjukkan hubungan langsung. Pertama, pemilihan presiden tahun 1876 baru-baru ini berakhir dengan tawar-menawar korup yang melihat Demokrat Samuel Tilden, yang telah memenangkan suara terbanyak, menyerahkan Gedung Putih kepada Rutherford B. Hayes dari Partai Republik. Baltimore adalah kota Demokrat, dan keadaan suram dari kemenangan Hayes pasti telah menciptakan perasaan yang sulit. Kedua, pemogokan dimulai kurang dari sebulan setelah “Day of the Rope” yang terkenal, eksekusi 10 penambang batubara Irlandia yang dituduh sebagai anggota terkemuka masyarakat rahasia Mollie Maguires dalam kampanye perlawanan bersenjata terhadap pemilik tambang di Pennsylvania timur di dekatnya. . Mollies terkait dengan pengorganisasian serikat pekerja awal di ladang batubara, sehingga hukuman gantung dilihat oleh beberapa pekerja kontemporer dan oleh sejarawan kemudian, termasuk Barry, sebagai penindasan terhadap serikat pekerja dan aspirasi orang Irlandia-Amerika.

Semua ini bertindak sebagai pendahuluan, kemudian, hingga 16 Juli, hari pekerja B&O mogok sebagai protes terhadap pemotongan upah 10 persen. Itu adalah pemotongan upah kedua dalam setahun pada awalnya, para pekerja hanya meminta agar pengurangan baru dibatalkan. Protes dengan cepat tumbuh dalam skala, namun. Pada hari pertama, para pemogok berhasil menutup kompleks lokomotif di Martinsburg, Virginia Barat. Mereka segera menghentikan operasi kereta api di seluruh jaringan B&O lainnya.

Sejak awal, pemogokan itu luar biasa dalam dukungan rakyat yang kuat dari pekerja non-kereta api lainnya dan penduduk kota. Simpati untuk para pekerja bahkan terlihat di antara anggota milisi yang dipanggil untuk melindungi properti kereta api dari pengunjuk rasa yang marah. Gubernur Virginia Barat membuat panggilan awal untuk pasukan federal, misalnya, ketika menjadi jelas bahwa milisi negara bagiannya tidak akan menggunakan kekerasan terhadap para pendukung pemogokan di Martinsburg, banyak di antaranya termasuk sekutu lokal yang memblokir rel untuk mencegah koreng dari menjalankan kereta. .

Sementara itu, di dekat Cumberland, Maryland, Presiden B&O John Garrett menelepon pejabat terpilih. Prihatin untuk properti kereta api, ia mendesak gubernur negara bagian untuk mengirim unit milisi Maryland ke kota. Gubernur John Caroll cepat untuk mematuhi.

Pada malam tanggal 20 Juli, pasukan dari Resimen 5 dan 6 Maryland memulai pawai melintasi Baltimore dari gudang senjata Read Street ke Stasiun Camden B&O, di mana mereka bermaksud untuk naik kereta ke Cumberland. Keputusan itu tidak bijaksana, karena jalan-jalan di pusat kota penuh dengan pemogok yang marah, pendukung dan penonton yang bertekad untuk menghentikan perjalanan. Menurut laporan Barry, sekitar 2.000 orang berkumpul untuk memblokir pasukan, melebihi jumlah anggota milisi sekitar 10 banding 1 para pekerja menyerang dengan batu bata dan tembakan pistol sporadis. Bertekad untuk melaksanakan perintah mereka, para prajurit maju ke depan melawan kerumunan yang marah. Pertempuran jalanan menjadi begitu intens sehingga para milisi mulai menembakkan senapan mereka ke kerumunan, akhirnya memaksa mereka menuju Stasiun Camden. Barry menulis bahwa ketika jalanan dibersihkan, ada 10 orang tewas, termasuk seorang anak laki-laki berusia 14 tahun. Belakangan diketahui bahwa tidak ada korban yang merupakan pemogok B&O, Barry melaporkan bahwa mereka adalah pekerja lokal dari industri lain yang bergabung dalam protes dalam solidaritas dengan Pemogokan Besar.

Kematian memicu para pekerja di Baltimore dan di kota-kota lain. Kerumunan pekerja mengerumuni Camden Station—laporan surat kabar dari waktu yang diperkirakan mencapai 15.000 orang—untuk mencegah milisi bergerak. Gubernur Maryland mengimbau Presiden Hayes agar pasukan federal memulihkan ketertiban.

Episode serupa segera meletus di tempat lain: Di Chicago, 30 orang tewas dalam Pertempuran Viaduct di Pittsburgh, pekerja yang marah membakar kereta api dan gedung rel kereta api di St. Louis, pemogokan umum secara efektif menutup kota. Hayes mengirim pasukan federal ke lusinan kota di seluruh negeri untuk mengendalikan pemogokan. Pada akhirnya, intervensi federal ini berhasil: Pemogokan secara bertahap kehilangan momentum sebelum benar-benar tergagap.

Meskipun pemogokan itu sendiri mungkin gagal mencapai tujuan awal pemulihan upah karyawan B&O, hal itu tidak diragukan lagi merangsang pertumbuhan serikat pekerja, terutama di kalangan pekerja kereta api. Persaudaraan Insinyur Lokomotif telah didirikan pada tahun 1863 ketika belum memiliki kontrak dengan B&O pada tahun 1877, namun mulai mengakar di seluruh industri. Para pejabat tinggi serikat insinyur sebenarnya menentang pemogokan, tetapi banyak anggota individu tetap menolak untuk bekerja.

Sementara itu, salah satu pemimpin lokal yang baru muncul dari Trainmen's Union yang masih muda, Robert Ammon, sangat efektif dalam mengorganisir aksi pekerjaan di Pennsylvania Railroad selama Pemogokan Besar. Barry menulis bahwa dia kemudian akan bersaksi dalam penyelidikan negara tentang peristiwa-peristiwa bahwa beberapa pekerja bersatu dalam perkumpulan rahasia (tidak seperti Mollie Maguires), dan bahwa pemogokan kereta api jauh lebih terorganisir daripada yang muncul di permukaan.

Buku Barry penuh dengan detail warna-warni tambahan dari aksi pemogokan di Baltimore: Buku ini menawarkan kesenangan membaca yang sama besarnya dengan materi sejarah yang lebih serius. Ada sedikit dokumentasi sumber utama pemogokan di pihak pekerja, meskipun B&O dan perusahaan kereta api lainnya meninggalkan catatan sepihak yang luas tentang tindakan mereka sendiri, jadi Barry sangat bergantung pada akun surat kabar kontemporer. Namun, ini memiliki manfaat menyediakan materi yang hidup dari zaman ketika banyak publikasi bersaing dengan penuh semangat di pers populer. Buku ini juga diilustrasikan dengan gambar-gambar dari publikasi-publikasi tersebut dan foto-foto modern dari situs-situs penting, yang keduanya menambah lebih banyak rasa pada rebusan naratif yang kaya.

Selain itu, Barry membahas berbagai lokasi Baltimore yang dapat dikunjungi para pecinta sejarah saat ini, seperti Museum Pekerja Kereta Api Irlandia yang relatif baru atau Museum Kereta Api B&O yang lebih terkenal. Barry sendiri menambahkan ke daftar ini dengan lobinya baru-baru ini untuk menambahkan penanda sejarah Great Railroad Strike di Stasiun Camden, yang sekarang menjadi bagian dari kompleks stadion bisbol Camden Yards. Penanda itu sekarang dapat dilihat oleh sebagian besar penggemar bisbol yang mengunjungi Camden Yards, dan Barry berharap penanda itu—serta buku-buku seperti miliknya—akan menjadi cara lain untuk menjaga memori pemogokan tetap hidup.

Pemogokan Kereta Api tahun 1877 di Baltimore tersedia untuk dijual hubungi Bill Barry di [email protected]

Bruce Vail adalah penulis lepas yang berbasis di Baltimore dengan pengalaman puluhan tahun meliput kisah perburuhan dan bisnis untuk surat kabar, majalah, dan media baru. Dia adalah seorang reporter untuk Laporan Buruh Harian Bloomberg BNA, yang meliput masalah perundingan bersama di berbagai industri, dan seorang reporter dan editor industri maritim untuk Journal of Commerce, melayani baik di kantor pusat surat kabar New York City dan di Washington, DC biro.

Portside dengan bangga menampilkan konten dari Di Saat Ini, sebuah publikasi yang didedikasikan untuk meliput politik progresif, perburuhan dan aktivisme. Untuk mendapatkan lebih banyak berita dan analisis provokatif dari Di Saat Ini, daftar untuk mendapatkan buletin elektronik mingguan gratis atau berlangganan majalah dengan tarif rendah khusus.


Asal Berdarah Hari Buruh

WASHINGTON -- Kebanyakan orang mengenal Hari Buruh sebagai hari libur tambahan. Sedikit yang tahu bahwa liburan itu berasal dari masa ketika pemerintah memecat pekerja.

Semuanya dimulai dengan resesi buruk di awal 1890-an yang mengurangi permintaan mobil kereta api, mendorong raja kereta api Chicago George Pullman untuk memberhentikan pekerja dan mengurangi upah. Banyak pekerjanya mogok kerja. Serikat Kereta Api Amerika yang simpatik menolak menangani mobil Pullman, menghambat perdagangan di banyak bagian negara itu.

"Boikot itu menyadap keterasingan yang mendalam dan meresap dari tenaga kerja secara umum," tulis sejarawan David Ray Papke dalam bukunya tahun 1999 The Pullman Case: The Clash of Labor and Capital in Industrial America.

"Para pekerja marah dengan situasi mereka," tulis Papke. "Mereka marah karena kesempatan mereka yang terbatas dan tentang apa yang mereka anggap sebagai perlakuan kejam dan sewenang-wenang yang mereka terima dari pemilik jauh industri tempat mereka bekerja."

Pekerja Pullman memulai pemogokan mereka pada Mei 1894. Bulan berikutnya, Kongres mengesahkan undang-undang yang menjadikan Senin pertama bulan September sebagai hari untuk mengakui pekerja. (Hari libur seperti itu sudah menjadi tuntutan gerakan buruh, meskipun para komentator menggambarkan undang-undang Hari Buruh sebagai upaya untuk "menenangkan" para pekerja yang marah.) Pada bulan Juli, Presiden Grover Cleveland mengirim pasukan federal ke Chicago untuk menghancurkan pemogokan.

Gubernur Illinois John Altgeld (D) membenci keputusan presiden, karena belum ada kerusuhan skala besar. "Saya memprotes refleksi yang tidak beralasan ini terhadap rakyat kami, dan sekali lagi meminta penarikan segera pasukan ini," tulis Altgeld kepada presiden.

Dalam sehari setelah kedatangan pasukan, massa mulai menjatuhkan gerbong kereta api dan membakarnya. Pasukan menindak dengan bayonet dan peluru, kerusuhan dan perusakan properti memburuk. Puluhan orang akhirnya meninggal di Chicago dan di tempat lain. Pemerintah memulihkan ketertiban pada musim gugur, dan pemimpin American Railway Union Eugene Debs akhirnya dihukum karena menentang perintah pengadilan dan dikirim ke penjara.

Halaman Departemen Tenaga Kerja AS tentang sejarah Hari Buruh mencatat hari libur "adalah ciptaan gerakan buruh dan didedikasikan untuk pencapaian sosial dan ekonomi pekerja Amerika." Itu tidak menyebutkan pemogokan Pullman atau perselisihan buruh secara umum. Sepanjang sejarah Amerika, pekerja harus berjuang untuk mendapatkan gaji yang lebih baik dan jam kerja yang lebih pendek -- malam hari dan akhir pekan tidak hanya diserahkan oleh anggota parlemen dan manajer yang baik hati.

"Saya pikir kebanyakan orang menganggap Hari Buruh sebagai akhir pekan tiga hari di akhir musim panas," Papke, seorang profesor hukum di Universitas Marquette, mengatakan dalam sebuah wawancara. "Sangat sedikit orang Amerika yang berhenti untuk merenungkan pekerja, buruh, gerakan serikat pekerja atau hal-hal itu."


Buruh dalam Sejarah: Mobtown dan Kehebohan Serikat Pekerja Amerika

Banyak sejarawan memperkirakan pergolakan industri besar pertama buruh Amerika terjadi pada 16 Juli 1877, ketika para pekerja di Baltimore dan Ohio Railroad mulai menolak bekerja sebagai protes terhadap putaran pemotongan upah yang diperintahkan oleh manajer senior perusahaan. Dipukuli oleh depresi ekonomi selama bertahun-tahun, pengangguran yang tinggi dan kondisi kerja yang menyedihkan, para pekerja di Baltimore dan sekitarnya akhirnya didorong ke titik puncaknya.

Bahkan tanpa organisasi serikat berbasis luas, pemogokan B&O segera menyita imajinasi publik. Kerusuhan menyebar dengan cepat ke rel kereta api lain sebelum meluas hingga mencakup pekerja di tambang dan pabrik di lokasi yang tersebar luas di seluruh negeri. At its height, the six-week-long “Great Railroad Strike” involved an estimated 100,000 workers in more than a dozen states, and succeeded in paralyzing much of the nation’s transportation system.

The sudden uprising engendered fear—and more than a little panic—among railroad executives and government officials. Within just a few days, the first great national strike in U.S. history became one of its first great industrial tragedies, as state militia units and federal troops moved to suppress the movement. Soldiers fired on strikers and protesters during epic clashes in Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and elsewhere. More than 100 people were killed thousands more were injured. In the end, the strike was crushed, setting a precedent for the violent suppression of labor unrest that would stain American labor history for generations to come.

These dramatic events provide the foundation for an unusual new book that closely examines the 1877 events in Baltimore, where the strike began. The 1877 Railroad Strike in Baltimore offers a sympathetic view of the demonstrators from author Bill Barry, a former union organizer, college instructor and political activist who brings his passion for human rights to the union-printed volume. Barry skillfully weaves together local Baltimore history, the social background of the city’s immigrant Irish workers and the broader themes of an emerging national labor movement in a fascinating narrative of class conflict and urban revolt.

In retrospect, it seems almost inevitable that Baltimore would be the flashpoint for the national strike. The city had already been unofficially dubbed Mobtown, based on anti-corruption riots in 1835 and anti-war protests in 1861. More importantly, Baltimore was the headquarters of the B&O Railroad, with shops and railyards employing thousands of restless low-income workers, many of them first- or second-generation Irish. And thanks to the national depression brought on by the Wall Street Panic of 1873, B&O had already enforced across-the-board wage cuts even before the summer of 1877 began.

Two other events undoubtedly added to the anger of the workers, Barry argues, although he and other historians have found little documentary evidence to suggest a direct link. First, the presidential election of 1876 had recently concluded in a corrupt bargain that saw Democrat Samuel Tilden, who had won the most votes, concede the White House to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. Baltimore was a Democratic town, and the murky circumstances of Hayes’ victory must have created hard feelings. Second, the strike began less than a month after the infamous “Day of the Rope,” the execution of 10 Irish coal miners accused of leading members of the Mollie Maguires secret society in a campaign of armed resistance to the mine owners of nearby eastern Pennsylvania. The Mollies were linked to early union organizing in the coalfields, so the hangings were seen by some contemporary workers and by later historians, including Barry, as suppression of both unions and the aspirations of the Irish-Americans.

All of this acted as a prelude, then, to July 16, the day B&O workers struck in protest against a 10 percent wage cut. It was the second wage cut within a year at first, the workers only asked that the new reduction be rescinded. The protests rapidly grew in scale, however. On the very first day, strikers successfully shut down the roundhouse complex at Martinsburg, West Virginia they soon stalled rail operations all along the rest of the B&O network.

From the beginning, the strike was remarkable in its strong popular support from other non-rail workers and city residents. Sympathy for the workers was even evident among the militia members called out to protect rail property from angry protesters. The governor of West Virginia made an early call for federal troops, for example, when it became clear his state militia would not use force against the strike supporters at Martinsburg, many of whom included local allies who blocked the tracks to prevent scabs from running trains.

Meanwhile, in nearby Cumberland, Maryland, B&O President John Garrett made a call of his own to elected officials. Concerned for railroad property, he urged the state’s governor to send Maryland militia units to the town Gov. John Caroll was quick to comply.

On the evening of July 20, troops from the Maryland 5th and 6th Regiments began a march across Baltimore from its Read Street armory to B&O’s Camden Station, where they intended to board trains to Cumberland. The decision was unwise, as the downtown streets were full of angry strikers, supporters and bystanders determined to stop the trip. According to Barry’s account, an estimated 2,000 men massed to block the troops, outnumbering the militiamen by about 10 to 1 the workers attacked with paving bricks and sporadic pistol fire. Determined to carry out their orders, the soldiers pressed forward against the enraged crowd. The street battle became so intense that the militiamen began firing their rifles into the crowd, ultimately forcing their way to Camden Station. Barry writes that when the streets cleared, there were 10 dead, including a 14-year-old boy. It later emerged that none of the casualties were B&O strikers rather, Barry reports that they were local workers from other industries joining the protests in solidarity with the Great Strike.

The deaths ignited the workers in Baltimore and in other cities. Crowds of workers swarmed Camden Station—newspaper accounts from the time estimate the throngs as large as 15,000—to prevent the militia from moving. The governor of Maryland appealed to President Hayes for federal troops to restore order.

Similar episodes soon erupted elsewhere: In Chicago, 30 men were killed in the Battle of the Viaduct in Pittsburgh, enraged workers torched trains and railroad buildings in St. Louis, a general strike effectively shut down the city. Hayes dispatched federal troops to dozens of cities around the country to bring the strike under control. Ultimately, this federal intervention was successful: The strike gradually lost momentum before sputtering out completely.

Though the strike itself may have failed to achieve the B&O employees’ original goal of wage restoration, it undoubtedly stimulated the growth of unions, particularly among rail workers. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers had been founded in 1863 while it did not yet have a contract with B&O in 1877, it had nonetheless begun to take root throughout the industry. The top officials of the engineers’ union actually opposed the strike, but many individual members nevertheless refused to work.

Meanwhile, one emerging local leader of the fledgling Trainmen’s Union, Robert Ammon, was especially effective in organizing job actions at the Pennsylvania Railroad during the Great Strike. Barry writes that he would later testify in a state inquiry into the events that some workers were united in secret societies (not unlike the Mollie Maguires), and that the rail strikes were far better organized than appeared on the surface.

Barry’s book is full of additional colorful details of the strike action in Baltimore: It offers as much for the sheer joy of reading as it does for the more serious historical material. There exists little primary-source documentation of the strike on the workers’ side, though B&O and other rail companies left extensive one-sided records of their own actions, so Barry relies heavily on contemporary newspaper accounts. However, this has the benefit of providing lively material from an age when multiple publications competed vigorously in the popular press. The book is also illustrated with images from those publications and modern photos of important sites, both of which add more flavor to the rich narrative stew.

In addition, Barry discusses various Baltimore locations that history enthusiasts can visit today, such as the relatively new Irish Railroad Workers Museum or the better-known B&O Railroad Museum. Barry himself added to this list with his recent lobbying to add a Great Railroad Strike historical marker at Camden Station, now part of the Camden Yards baseball stadium complex. The marker is now visible to most baseball fans visiting Camden Yards, and it’s Barry’s hope the marker—as well as books like his own—will be another way to keep the memory of the strike alive.

The 1877 Railroad Strike in Baltimore is available for sale contact Bill Barry at [email protected] .


Isi

The Long Depression, beginning in the United States with the financial Panic of 1873 and lasting 65 months, became the longest economic contraction in American history, including the later more famous, 45-month-long Great Depression of the 1930s. [1] [2] The failure of the Jay Cooke bank in New York, was followed quickly by that of Henry Clews, and set off a chain reaction of bank failures, temporarily closing the New York stock market. [3] : 65

Unemployment rose dramatically, reaching 14 percent by 1876, many more were severely underemployed, and wages overall dropped to 45% of their previous level. [4] Thousands of American businesses failed, defaulting on more than a billion dollars of debt. [5] One in four laborers in New York were out of work in the winter of 1873-1874. [5] : 167 National construction of new rail lines dropped from 7,500 miles of track in 1872 to just 1,600 miles in 1875, [6] and production in iron and steel alone dropped as much as 45%. [7] [5] : 167

When the Civil War ended, a boom in railroad construction ensued, with roughly 35,000 miles (55,000 kilometers) of new track being laid from coast to coast between 1866 and 1873. The railroads, then the second-largest employer outside of agriculture, required large amounts of capital investment, and thus entailed massive financial risk. Speculators fed large amounts of money into the industry, causing abnormal growth and over-expansion. Jay Cooke's firm, like many other banking firms, invested a disproportionate share of depositors' funds in the railroads, thus laying the track for the ensuing collapse. [ kutipan diperlukan ]

In addition to Cooke's direct infusion of capital in the railroads, the firm had become a federal agent for the government in the government's direct financing of railroad construction. As building new track in areas where land had not yet been cleared or settled required land grants and loans that only the government could provide, the use of Jay Cooke's firm as a conduit for federal funding worsened the effects that Cooke's bankruptcy had on the nation's economy. [ kutipan diperlukan ]

In the wake of the Panic of 1873, a bitter antagonism between workers and the leaders of industry developed. Immigration from Europe was underway, as was migration of rural workers into the cities, increasing competition for jobs and enabling companies to drive down wages and easily lay off workers. By 1877, 10 percent wage cuts, distrust of capitalists and poor working conditions led to workers conducting numerous railroad strikes that prevented the trains from moving, with spiraling effects in other parts of the economy. Suppressed by violence, workers continued to organize to try to improve their conditions. Management worked to break up such movements, and mainstream society feared labor organizing as signs of revolutionary socialism. Tensions lingered well after the depression ended in 1878–79. [ kutipan diperlukan ]

Many of the new immigrant workers were Catholics, and their church had forbidden participation in secret societies since 1743, partially as a reaction against the anti-Catholicism of Freemasonry. But by the late 19th century, the Knights of Labor, a national and predominately Catholic organization, had 700,000 members seeking to represent all workers. In 1888 Archbishop James Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore sympathized with the workers and collaborated with other bishops to lift the prohibition against workers joining the KOL. Other workers also took actions, and unrest marked the following decades. In 1886 Samuel Gompers founded the American Federation of Labor for the skilled craft trades, attracting skilled workers from other groups. Other labor organizing followed. [8]

The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 started on July 14 in Martinsburg, West Virginia, in response to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) cutting wages of workers for the third time in a year. Striking workers would not allow any of the trains, mainly freight trains, to roll until this third wage cut was revoked. West Virginia Governor Henry M. Mathews sent in National Guard units to restore train service but the soldiers refused to fire on the strikers. The governor in Charleston, West Virginia then appealed for federal troops.

Maryland Edit

Meanwhile, the Strike also spread into western Maryland to the major railroad hub of Cumberland, county seat of Allegany County where railway workers stopped freight and passenger traffic.

In Baltimore with the famous Fifth ("Dandy Fifth") and Sixth Regiments of the former state militia, reorganized since the war as the Maryland National Guard were also called up by 37th Maryland Governor John Lee Carroll, (1830-1911), in Annapolis at the request of powerful B. & O. President John Work Garrett, (1820-1884). The Fifth marched down North Howard Street from their armory above the old Richmond Market (at present North Howard and West Read Streets) in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood and were generally unopposed heading south for the B. & O.'s general headquarters and main depot at the Camden Street Station to board the waiting westward trains to Hagerstown and Cumberland. But the unfortunate Sixth assembled at their armory at East Fayette and North Front Streets (by the old Phoenix Shot Tower) in the Old Town /Jonestown area and had to fight their way west through regular sympathetic Baltimore citizens, rioters and striking workers which erupted into bloodshed along main downtown commercial thoroughfare of Baltimore Street to get to Camden. It was a horrible scene reminiscent of the worst of the bloody "Pratt Street Riots" of the Civil War era disturbances of April 1861, over 15 years earlier of the "first bloodshed" of the war. When the outnumbered troops of the 6th Regiment finally fired volleys on an attacking crowd on Baltimore Street, they killed 10 civilians and wounded 25. [9] The rioters injured several members of the National Guard, damaged B. & O. engines and train cars, and burned portions of the train station at South Howard and West Camden Streets. [9] The National Guard remained trapped in the surrounding Camden Yards, besieged by armed rioters until July 21–22, when the 19th President Rutherford B. Hayes sent federal troops and the U.S. Marines to Baltimore to restore order.

New York Edit

There were strike actions also further north in Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo, New York on other railroad lines. On July 25, 1877, workers gathered on Van Woert Street Rail Crossing in Albany New York. The workers waited for a train arrival then proceeded to barrage the train with projectiles. The arrival of Militiaman caused the crowd to rouse and throw their projectiles at the militia. A second night proceeded of attacks on the rail line. After the second night the mayor rescinded the militia and ordered local police to protect the rail. [10] Workers in the cities in industries other than railroads still attacked them because of how they cut through the cities and dominated city life. Their resentment of the railroads' economic power was expressed in physical attacks against them at a time when many workers' wages were lowered. Protestors "included cross-class elements from other work sites, small businesses, and commercial establishments. Some protestors acted out of solidarity with the strikers, but many more vented militant displeasure against dangerous railroad traffic that crisscrossed urban centers in that area." [11]

Pennsylvania Edit

Pittsburgh Edit

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania became the site of the worst violence of related strikes. Thomas Alexander Scott of the Pennsylvania Railroad, described as one of the first robber barons, suggested that the strikers should be given "a rifle diet for a few days and see how they like that kind of bread." [12] As in some other cities and towns, local law enforcement officers such as sheriffs, deputies and police refused to fire on the strikers. Several Pennsylvania National Guard units were ordered into service by Governor John Hartranft, including the 3rd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment under the command of Colonel George R. Snowden. [13]

On July 21, National Guard members bayoneted and fired on rock-throwing strikers, killing 20 people and wounding 29. [14] Rather than quell the uprising, these actions infuriated the strikers, who retaliated and forced the National Guard to take refuge in a railroad roundhouse. Strikers set fires that razed 39 buildings and destroyed rolling stock: 104 locomotives and 1,245 freight and passenger cars. On July 22, the National Guard mounted an assault on the strikers, shooting their way out of the roundhouse and killing 20 more people on their way out of the city. After more than a month of rioting and bloodshed in Pittsburgh, President Rutherford B. Hayes sent in federal troops as in West Virginia and Maryland to end the strikes and strife.

Philadelphia Edit

Three hundred miles to the east, Philadelphia strikers battled local National Guard units and set fire to much of Center City before Pennsylvania Governor John Hartranft gained assistance and federal troops from President Hayes to put down the uprising.

Reading Edit

Workers in Reading, Pennsylvania's third-largest industrial city at the time, also broke out into a strike. This city was home of the engine works and shops of the Philadelphia and Reading Railway, against which engineers had struck since April 1877. The National Guard shot 16 citizens. Preludes to the massacre included: fresh work stoppage by all classes of the railroad's local workforce mass marches blocking of rail traffic and trainyard arson. Workers burned down the only railroad bridge offering connections to the west, in order to prevent local National Guard companies from being mustered to actions in the state capital of Harrisburg or Pittsburgh. Authorities used the National Guard, local police and Pinkerton detectives in an attempt to break the strike. [15]

Philadelphia and Reading Railway management mobilized a private militia, the members of which committed the shootings in the city. [16]

Shamokin Edit

On July 25, 1,000 men and boys, many of them coal miners, marched to the Reading Railroad Depot in Shamokin, east of Sunbury along the Susquehanna River valley. They looted the depot when the town announced it would pay them only $1/day for emergency public employment. The mayor, who owned coal mines, organized an unofficial militia. It committed 14 civilian shooting casualties, resulting in the deaths of two persons. [ kutipan diperlukan ]

Scranton Edit

On August 1, 1877, in Scranton in northeast Pennsylvania, one day after railroad workers commenced a strike, a city posse of 51 men armed with new rifles and under the command of William Walker Scranton, general manager of the Lackawanna Iron & Coal Company, [17] returned fire on a group of rioters, strikers, and, most likely, bystanders. The posse immediately killed or fatally wounded four and wounded an undetermined number of others, estimated at 20 to 50, according to different sources. [18] [19]

Pennsylvania Governor Hartranft declared Scranton to be under martial law it was occupied by state and federal troops armed with Gatling guns. Later the posse leader and about 20 of his men were charged with assault and murder. They were all acquitted. Under military occupation, and suffering the effects of protracted violence against them, the miners ended their strike without achieving any of their demands. [18] [20]

Illinois Sunting

On July 24, rail traffic in Chicago was paralyzed when angry mobs of unemployed citizens wreaked havoc in the rail yards, shutting down both the Baltimore and Ohio and the Illinois Central railroads. Soon, other railroads throughout the state were brought to a standstill, with demonstrators shutting down railroad traffic in Bloomington, Aurora, Peoria, Decatur, Urbana and other rail centers throughout Illinois. In sympathy, coal miners in the pits at Braidwood, LaSalle, Springfield, and Carbondale went on strike as well. In Chicago, the Workingmen's Party organized demonstrations that drew crowds of 20,000 people.

Judge Thomas Drummond of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, who was overseeing numerous railroads that had declared bankruptcy in the wake of the earlier financial Panic of 1873, ruled that "A strike or other unlawful interference with the trains will be a violation of the United States law, and the court will be bound to take notice of it and enforce the penalty." [21] Drummond told the U.S. Marshals to protect the railroads, and asked for federal troops to enforce his decision: he subsequently had strikers arrested and tried them for contempt of court. [21]

The Mayor of Chicago, Monroe Heath, recruited 5,000 men as an unofficial militia, asking for help in restoring order. They were partially successful, and shortly thereafter were reinforced by the arrival of the Illinois National Guard and U.S. Army troops, mobilized by the governor. On July 25, violence between police and the mob erupted, with events reaching a peak the following day. These blood-soaked confrontations between police and enraged mobs are known as the Battle of the Viaduct as they took place near the Halsted Street viaduct, although confrontations also took place at nearby 16th Street, on 12th, and on Canal Street. The headline of the Chicago Times screamed, "Terrors Reign, The Streets of Chicago Given Over to Howling Mobs of Thieves and Cutthroats." [14] Order was finally restored. An estimated 20 men and boys died, none of whom were law enforcement or troops scores more were wounded, and the loss of property was valued in the millions of dollars.

Missouri Edit

On July 21, workers in the industrial rail hub of East St. Louis, Illinois, halted all freight traffic, with the city remaining in the control of the strikers for almost a week. The St. Louis Workingman's Party led a group of approximately 500 men across the Missouri River in an act of solidarity with the nearly 1,000 workers on strike. It was a catalyst for labor unrest spreading, with thousands of workers in several industries striking for the eight-hour day and a ban on child labor. This was the first such general strike in the United States. [22]

The strike on both sides of the river was ended after the governor appealed for help and gained the intervention of some 3,000 federal troops and 5,000 deputized special police. These armed forces killed at least eighteen people in skirmishes around the city. On July 28, 1877, they took control of the Relay Depot, the command center for the uprising, and arrested some seventy strikers.

The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 began to lose momentum when President Hayes sent federal troops from city to city. These troops suppressed strike after strike, until at last, approximately 45 days after it had started, the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 was over. [ kutipan diperlukan ]

Economic effects Edit

Strikers in Pittsburgh burned in total 39 buildings, 104 engines, 46–66 passenger cars, and 1,200–1,383 freight cars. [23] [24] Damage estimates ranged from five to 10 million dollars. [25] [26] : 118

Hubungan perburuhan Sunting

After the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, union organizers planned for their next battles while politicians and business leaders took steps to prevent a repetition of this chaos. Many states enacted conspiracy statutes. States formed new National Guard units and constructed armories in numerous industrial cities. For workers and employers alike, the strikes had shown the power of workers in combination to challenge the status quo. A National Guard member in Pittsburgh, ordered to break the 1877 strike, pointed out that the workers were driven by "one spirit and one purpose among them – that they were justified in resorting to any means to break down the power of the corporations." [27]

Unions became better organized as well as more competent, and the number of strikes increased. The Knights of Labor grew to be a national organization of predominately Catholic workers, numbering 700,000 by the early 1880s. In the 1880s nearly 10,000 strike actions and lockouts took place. In 1886 nearly 700,000 workers went on strike. Business leaders strengthened their opposition to the unions, often firing men who tried to organize or join them. Nonetheless, the labor movement continued to grow.

One result of the strike was increased public awareness of the grievances of railroad workers. On May 1, 1880, the B&O Railroad, which had the lowest wage rate of any major railroad, established the Baltimore and Ohio Employees' Relief Association, which provided coverage for sickness, injury from accidents, and a death benefit. [28] [29] In 1884, the B&O became the first major employer to offer a pension plan. [28]

National Guard Edit

Militias had almost completely disappeared after the Civil War in the Midwest, leaving cities defenseless to civil unrest. This led the federal government to fund a new National Guard, almost all employed from the middle class. [ klarifikasi diperlukan ] In the years to come the Guard would quell strikers and double their forces in the years 1886-1895, the Guard put down 328 civil disorders, mostly in the industrial states of Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York workers came to see the guardsmen as tools of their employers. [30] Attempts to utilize the National Guard to quell violent outbreaks in 1877 highlighted its ineffectiveness, and in some cases its propensity to side with strikers and rioters. In response, as earlier riots in the mid-1800s had prompted the modernization of police forces, the violence of 1877 provided the impetus for modernizing the National Guard, "to aid the civil officers, to suppress or prevent riot or insurrections." [31] : 118 [32] : 30

Peringatan Edit

In 2013 a historical marker commemorating the event was placed in Baltimore, MD, by the Maryland Historical Trust and Maryland State Highway Administration. Its inscription reads:

The first national strike began July 16, 1877, with Baltimore and Ohio Railroad workers in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and Baltimore, Maryland. It spread across the nation halting rail traffic and closing factories in reaction to widespread worker discontent over wage cuts and conditions during a national depression. Broken by Federal troops in early August, the strike energized the labor movement and was precursor to labor unrest in the 1880s and 1890s. [35]

Another was placed in 1978 in Martinsburg, WV by the West Virginia Department of Culture and History. [36]

Posse Comitatus Act Edit

The use of federal troops prompted bipartisan support for the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, limiting the power of the president to use federal troops for domestic law enforcement.


The making of Labor Day

Editor's Note: To commemorate Labor Day, the Perusahaan Amerika exhibition team will be highlighting some of the museum’s rich collections in labor history over the next two weeks. Today’s post includes a brief history of the holiday by historian Paul Buhle.

Labor Day, in its origins a 19th century celebration of the dignity of work, swiftly evolved into today’s pleasant pause at the end of summer before the coming of new, chillier seasons and life indoors. Arguably a response (in the United States, Canada, and an assortment of other countries) to the widespread socialistic celebration of Mayday, which coincides with the age-old rituals of spring, Labor Day sets off the New World, or at least North America, from the traditions of the Old.

Conflicting accounts trace the first American Labor Day to the inspiration of a local New Haven, Connecticut machinist, Matthew Maguire, or to that of the influential leader of the Carpenters’ union, Peter McGuire. In both accounts, 1882 became the key moment when the American Federation of Labor (AFL), a movement of craft unions and local central labor federations, solidified their young and fragile institutions. Largely German and Irish in most places, these unions and federations had traditions of summer holidays, and the institutional support to make the day’s events successful combinations of speech-making, beer drinking, and family fun.

In the era of bitter and often violent conflict between labor and capital, Republican and Democratic parties competed, especially at the local level, for workingmen’s votes. These votes had been especially crucial for Democrats, who claimed the loyalty of the lower classes since at least the presidency of Andrew Jackson. This loyalty was later reaffirmed by the connections of craft unions with local political decisions on urban construction projects of all kinds. However, waves of strikes from the early 1880s to the middle 1890s found Democratic officials, at the behest of manufacturers and merchants, calling out the police against strikers, thus threatening political loyalties. The Pullman Strike of 1894, where the army was used for the first time against striking workers (including the highly organized railroad engineers), seemed to push the problem to the breaking point.

The Pullman Strike, led by future Socialist presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs, was crushed, and Debs himself imprisoned. Within days of the strike’s end, Democratic President Grover Cleveland rushed a bill recognizing Labor Day through Congress. Not a single elected official in Congress voted against this measure—a fitting symbol for the claim, accurate or not, that American society was unique for its social compact between rich, poor, and middle classes.

President Cleveland himself chose the September date in order to set the American holiday off from European Mayday. An AFL resolution of 1909 declared the first Sunday to be the proper Labor Day, perhaps because Sunday holidays had long been popular for workers enjoying beer in picnic areas outside cities where Sunday sales were banned. Eventually, all states and the District of Columbia affirmed the holiday status for their residents. Although Labor Day was originally celebrated on Sunday, in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The act moved several federal holidays, including Labor Day, to Mondays.

Paul Buhle is a retired Senior Lecturer at Brown University and a longtime labor historian. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and edits non-fiction, historical comic art books.


Wages and Working Conditions: The Railroad Strike of 1946

With the end of the wartime no-strike pledge, workers across America expressed their frustration with wages and working conditions through a series of strikes that involved over 5 million people from the end of 1945 and into 1946.

Top Image: Engineer H. L. Gentry receiving the strike order on May 24, 1946, from fireman James Genisio in Southern Pacific's Cornfield Yard. Herald Examiner Collection/Los Angeles Public Library.

"Truman—I never forget the night—he come on [the] radio and said, “I appeal to each and every railroad worker in this country to return to work immediately. You’re striking against your government. A government still at war.” - Ralph Waldo Strickland, Brakeman at Seaboard Air Line Railway

Alabama native Ralph W. Strickland grew up on a farm but spent most of his life working for the railroad. In 1927, after a short stint in the Navy, Ralph joined his brother, Paul, in North Carolina, working for the Seaboard Air Line Railway. During the 1946 railroad strike, he was a brakeman with a wife and family to support. Strickland supported better pay and improved working conditions—but he worried about the safety of the nation with the railroads at a standstill.

With the end of the wartime no-strike pledge, workers across America—like Ralph Strickland—expressed their frustration with wages and working conditions through a series of strikes that involved over 5 million people from the end of 1945 and into 1946. On January 19, 1946, at more than 1,000 mills across the country, 800,000 steel workers walked off the job. There was a telephone strike, a meat packers strike, and a strike at General Electric. On April 1, 1946, John L. Lewis of the United Mine Workers called a nationwide coal strike. At the same time, a railroad strike was looming. Negotiations had been dragging on between railway management and 20 different unions, with Labor Secretary Lewis Schwellenbach acting as President Harry Truman’s mediator. The president invoked the Railway Labor Act, providing for a 60-day mediation period.

The Southern Pacific's crew caller Nancy Whitney pulls names off Los Angeles area jobs due to the rail strike on May 24, 1946. Herald Examiner Collection/Los Angeles Public Library.

After negotiations fell apart in April, a railroad strike was set for May 18. John R. Steelman, an economics professor and labor specialist working in the White House, made some progress with the unions. Only two holdouts remained. The two largest unions were headed by longtime Truman allies. Alexander F. Whitney was president of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, and Alvanley Johnston was president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. The pair had provided financial backing for Truman’s 1940 Senate race and supported him in 1944 as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s running mate.

On May 17, 1946—the day before the scheduled railroad walkout—President Truman signed Executive Order 9727 for the government to seize and operate the railroads. The next day, the labor leaders agreed to postpone the strike for another five days. On Wednesday, May 22, Truman proposed an 18.5 cent raise for rail workers, but this failed to sway the union leaders. The following day, negotiations with labor leaders in the White House stalled. At 4:00 in the afternoon, the president welcomed convalescent veterans from Walter Reed and other military hospitals to a reception on the South Lawn. The Marine Corps band played, ice cream was served, and Truman shook hands with 865 visitors. Meanwhile, the railroad strike began.

Without the railroads, America was brought to a standstill. Freight trains stood idle in yards, baggage filled stations, and passengers were stranded.

Stranded at Los Angeles Union Station on May 26, 1946, by the rail strike, these sailors enjoy a card game while a buddy sleeps. Left to right, William Green, Roy Domenguey, Nadel Guspard, and Eugene Johman. Herald Examiner Collection/Los Angeles Public Library.

By Saturday, the front page of the Los Angeles Times reported “a complete transit tie-up” and the heaviest automobile traffic in the city’s history. The newspaper published a curtailed edition with fewer pages and no advertisements—its paper shipment was held up as a result of the strike. Shipments of butter were cut off from the Midwest to the Pacific Coast, so shoppers had to rely on a wartime staple, margarine. The Southern Pacific alone estimated that 17,890 loaded freight cars—3,000 carrying perishables—were tied up on its strikebound lines. The potato harvest in Bakersfield ground to halt without railroad cars to carry the crop, leaving 8,000 workers without jobs. Four thousand citrus workers in Orange County were also out of work. C. B. Moore, managing director of the Western Growers Association, predicted there would be “a superabundance of fresh fruit in the Los Angeles markets because growers won’t be able to ship to distant points.” Moore estimated the strike cost California and Arizona $450,000 a day. “We’ll probably have to plow under a lot of lettuce, potatoes, and onions.”

Across the country, other shortages quickly became apparent. Newspapers cut the size of their editions and removed advertising. The Atlanta Constitution kept only funeral and lodge notices and promised readers that it would not miss an issue “if it was humanly possible to avoid it,” given the shortage of paper and newsprint resulting from the strike. The Philadelphia Inquirer published as usual, but because of a truckers’ strike, copies were not delivered to homes or newsstands the paper could be only purchased at the Inquirer building 24 hours a day, for three cents a copy.

Of 175,000 passenger trains normally in operation, only 100 ran. Fewer than 300 of 24,000 freight trains delivered their commodities to customers. On March 24, at 10:00 pm, President Truman took to the airwaves and addressed the nation from the White House on the railroad strike emergency. He called on the striking railroad workers to return to their jobs as a duty to their country.

In 1946, the Pennsylvania Railroad published an advertisement celebrating its employees and their role in transportation and national defense/Norfolk Southern Corporation.

“If sufficient workers to operate the trains have not returned by 4 p.m. tomorrow,” Truman warned in his radio address, he would call on the Army to operate the trains—he would get the country running again and break the strike. Newspapers published the text of the president’s speech the next day and reported that General Dwight D. Eisenhower—then Army Chief of Staff—had been recalled from his Georgia vacation to meet with Secretary of War Robert Patterson.

Truman requested that Congress be in session the next day—Saturday, March 25—and planned to address the body at 4:00 pm. John Steelman was still conducting negotiations with labor leaders Whitney and Johnston at the Statler Hotel, just north of the White House. In the House chamber, Truman called for temporary emergency legislation to authorize the president to draft the striking workers into the Armed Forces. At that point in his remarks, Les Biffle, Secretary of the Senate, handed the president a message. Truman continued: “Word has just been received that the railroad strike has been settled, on terms proposed by the President”—a compromise offer of a 16 cents per hour wage increase retroactive to January 1, 1946, and an additional 2.5 cents per hour beginning May 22, in consideration of withdrawal of all rule change demands for one year. Even though the strike was over, the House of Representatives passed the bill to draft the striking workers. It was defeated in the Senate.

With that compromise, the railroad strike was over, the workers were back, and the trains were running. Labor leaders denounced Truman as a strikebreaker. Alexander F. Whitney, president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Trainmen, told reporters: “We lost our cause.” In San Francisco, P. O. Peterson, general chairman of the engineers on the Southern Pacific Railroad, told a newspaperman: “Our position still is that the President has just betrayed American labor—and the American public, as well.”

“I was the servant of 150 million people,” Truman later reflected. “I had to do the job even if I lost my political career.”

Railroads summed up the strike in their annual reports for the year. Faced with a workers’ strike and a coal strike, the Norfolk and Western Railway saw a decline in revenue across the board. The wage changes resulting from the strike amounted to $10,332,000 per year for the railroad based on 1946 employment. The Southern Railway reported that its revenue declined and that the new wage increases would cost the company $19,398,243, along with an additional $1,200,751 in payroll taxes. Despite the logistical and financial difficulties of 1946, the Southern promoted a sunny outlook in for 1947: “There is a bright side for the future, for, growing out of the settlement of the labor difficulties of the year, there will perhaps be a period of relative calm and, it is hoped, of greater industrial production than has been witnessed in peace time in the Country’s history.”

Ralph W. Strickland stayed with the Seaboard Air Line, retiring as a conductor after 44 years of service. He remained a loyal union member, paying $3 a month in dues for years and keeping his receipts in a cigar box.


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