AD 1892- Homestead Strike

As Carnegie revolutionized the steel industry with more and more advanced technology, he required less and less skilled workers to operate his factories. As such, he was less willing to pay skilled ironworkers and brought in unskilled labor to man the machines. Unsurprisingly, the ironworkers union was furious at this treatment, and the workers at Carnegie’s Homestead steel plant organized a strike. The strike lasted from June 30 to July 6, 1892. On July 6th, a battle broke out between the union workers and a security force known as the Pinkertons (from the Pinkerton National Detective Agency). Over the course of the day, several gunfights broke out. The Pinkertons eventually surrendered, forcing Governor Pattison to bring in the state militia, which cause an end to the strike. A total of sixteen men were killed. The Homestead Strike and resulting battle led to a weakening of the steel union, which had a trickle-on effect with many other unions in America of weakening the position of workers who wished to bargain collectively for better treatment in their respective industries.