The 1894 Pullman Strike for kids
The 1894 Pullman Strike
pitted the workers of the Pullman Palace Car Company owned by
'Robber Baron' George Mortimer Pullman. The strike erupted following
harsh measures by George Pullman to recoup his profits following the
economic depression caused by the
Panic of 1893.
The Pullman strike spread across the nation and was suppressed by
1894 Pullman Strike Significance
The Pullman Strike was highly significant:
● The President authorized
the use of federal troops to put down the strike
● Federal courts were used
to curtail union activity
● The American Railway Union
Pullman City, Chicago, Illinois
George Pullman built a model city to
house his workers and they were required to live there. The model
city centered around the factory and consisted of over 1000 homes
and public buildings included a bank, church, library,
theatre, post office and parks. But everything came at a cost.
Workers were even charged to use the library. Rent was taken out of
the wages. Investors in the city expected a 6% return on their
investment. And workers were expected to adhere to a code of
behavior. George Pullman wanted total control over his workforce.
Pullman Strike for kids
Interesting facts about the Pullman Strike are detailed below. The history of
Pullman Strike is told in a factual sequence consisting of
a series of short facts providing a simple method of relating the
history and events of the Pullman Strike.
Strike Fact Sheet:
Facts for kids
Railroad Strike Fact 1:
The labor force at the Pullman Palace
Car Company was reduced from 5,500 to 3,300
Railroad Strike Fact 2:
The Pullman pay cuts averaged 25% per
employee and wages were based on piece-work
Railroad Strike Fact 3:
As the dispute spread, over 100,000
employees working on 24 railroads centering at Chicago
were involved in the strike
Railroad Strike Fact 4:
Deaths: During the violent dispute, 12 people were shot
Railroad Strike Fact 5:
Number of Arrests: Over 500 strikers
were arrested and over 400 found guilty
Railroad Strike Fact 6:
Reasons for the arrests included
conspiracy to commit offenses and restrict trade,
murder, assault, arson, burglary, intimidation and
inciting to riot
Railroad Strike Fact 7:
The arrests included Officers of the
American Railway Union and Eugene V. Debs, George W.
Howard and Sylvester Keliher were found guilty of
Railroad Strike Fact 8:
Union leader Eugene V. Debs was
jailed for six months for contempt of court.
Railroad Strike Fact 9:
The loss in wages of the Pullman
strikers is estimated as at least $350,000
Railroad Strike Fact 10:
Workers representatives met with the
company owner George Pullman but he refused to restore
the wages or to reduce rents. The representatives were
later dismissed from the company.
Facts for kids
Pullman Strike for
The info about the Pullman Strike provides interesting facts and
important information about this important event that occured during the presidency of the 22nd and 24th President of the United States of America.
Causes of the Pullman Strike
The Pullman Strike spread nationwide and was viewed at the time as
insurrection and rebellion by the working classes The causes of the
Pullman Strike were based on money and greed. Ruthless companies headed by 'Robber Barons'
such as George Pullman were determined to hold on to their profits
during the economic
depression. Pullman dealt a severe blow to his workers by cutting
the workforce, cutting wages and increasing working hours.
Pullman Strike Facts for kids
Interesting history and the Pullman Strike Facts for kids are
Facts for kids
Railroad Strike Fact 11:
In the early Spring of 1894 the
company announced that the workers either accepted a
wage cut or the factory would have to shut.
Railroad Strike Fact 12:
By May the workers protested they
were unable to survive on the wages and asked the
company to restore the old rates of pay.
Railroad Strike Fact 13:
The Pullman company refused and on
May 11, 1894, the workers walked out in a 'wildcat'
strike forcing the factory to close
Railroad Strike Fact 14:
The American Railway Union, led by
Eugene V. Debs, stepped in. Eugene Debs ordered a
nationwide boycott of all Pullman cars that covered most
railroads in the country encouraging protests from the
porters, engineers, brakemen, and switchmen.
Railroad Strike Fact 15:
The protests, rallies and
demonstrations turned violent. There were riots,
property was destroyed trains were derailed. Any workers
attempting to work were threatened and intimidated.
Railroad Strike Fact 16:
Governor Altgeld sent local militia
to quell the riots - but many of the militia openly
sympathized with the strikers.
Railroad Strike Fact 17:
George Pullman and the
owners of the railroads applied pressure on President
Cleveland and his administration.
Railroad Strike Fact 18:
The strikers had resisted
deputy marshals and had hindered to US postal service
which gave the President a reason to send in Federal
Railroad Strike Fact 19:
On July 2, 1894 a Federal writ was
issued forbidding all interference with the US mail and
with interstate railroad commerce.
Railroad Strike Fact 20:
The Federal troops consisting of
infantry, cavalry and artillery were sent in to enforce
the writ and clashed violently with the strikers, there
were deaths and serious injuries
Railroad Strike Fact 21:
Violence and riots spread across the
country and the President threatened the strikers with
the full force of the US Army and Labor leaders and
strikers were arrested.
Railroad Strike Fact 22:
government argued that by striking, the railroad workers
were placing a restraint on trade and commerce,
resulting in a direct violation of the
Railroad Strike Fact 23:
The Pullman strikers were unable to
resist the might of the United States government and on
August 5, 1894 all labor action was stopped - the
Pullman Strike was over.
Railroad Strike Fact 24:
Four years later the
1898 Erdman Railway Labor Act
set up arbitration procedures to settle railway disputes
Facts for kids
Rise of Big Business and Corporations
For additional facts and info refer to the
Rise of Big Business and Corporations involving
the monopolies and trusts. Learn about the wealthy
industrialists referred to as the
Robber Barons and the
Captains of Industry
and discover the
Effects and Impact of Industrialization that
led to Riots, Strikes and Unions. For addition facts
refer to the article on the
Labor Unions History.
Pullman Strike for kids - President Grover Cleveland Video
The article on the Pullman Strike provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following
Grover Cleveland video will
give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 22nd and 24th President of the
United States whose presidencies spanned from March 4, 1885 to March 4, 1889
and from March 4, 1893 - March 4,1897.
Interesting Facts about Pullman Strike for kids and schools
Summary of the Pullman Strike in US history
The Pullman Strike, a major
event in US history
The Robber Baron and his city
Fast, facts on the Pullman Strike
Foreign & Domestic
policies of President Grover Cleveland
Grover Cleveland Presidency and
Pullman Strike for schools,
homework, kids and children