Homestead Strike 1892 – Worth it?

With the steel workers union at the Carnegie Steel Company in Homestead Pennsylvania demanding better working conditions and wages, violent and deadly battle broke out in June of 1892 known as the Homestead Strike.  The plant manager of Carnegie Steel was Henry Frick, who refused to accept any conditions or demands by the steel workers in the improvement of working conditions.  As a result of the lockout of the steel plant by the workers on July 6, 1892, battle between the hired mercenaries of the Pinkertons and the steel workers ensued and left 12 men dead by end of the strike.  What is really unfortunate about this deadly event, the workers ultimately ended their situation the same as before the strike.

Although both sides have equal blame for this tragic event, the steel workers could have avoided the deaths of 12 innocent men fighting for a cause of personal gain. The union workers wanted better working conditions and wages which is seemingly something every employee would cheer on, but isn’t a job is nothing short of being enslaved by one’s own choice?  So dying for a job seems meaningless in the sense of moral justice and equality to me and just not worth it.  I command the workers for their brave and noble stance in unifying together for a common cause, but I question the unions leadership in their willingness to resort to violence for their demands and jeopardize men’s lives for a job. Maybe my perspective is bit naive in undermining the importance of the workers job and their livelihood, but I would rather risk dying starving than risk death for another men’s gain.

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