Homestead Factory Research Paper

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There were many circumstances that motivated workers who went to strike at the Homestead Factory and Pullman Railcar Factory in the early 1890s. For instance, the workers had poor working conditions. Conditions in Carnegie’s factory were harsh. Men often worked seven days a week, twelve hours a day, which was more than double of today’s standard forty-hours of work in a week (Khan 10). A previous steelworker remembered that he lost forty pounds when he worked for the first three months of his job and described the work as a “dog’s life” (Khan 10). Another reason was because of wage cuts. Females were cut wages twice a week more than men. Whenever the men were cut in their wages the girls also received a cut (Curtis, 1894, pg. 555). There was …show more content…

(Curtis, 1894, pg. 555). Even though Pullman built company towns for the employees, they were not able to pay rent. Pullman lowered their wages, but did not reduce the price of rent. He wanted them to return six percent on the actual investment, in which he thought it was a reasonable return (Pullman, 1894, pg. 551). The last factor was because of the lack of union recognition. The workers at Pullman went on a strike in 1894 because they wanted to improve economic conditions and gain recognition for the union. Workers formed into unions, such as the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers (AAISW) and the American Railway Union (ARU), to secure higher wages, shorter hours, improve safety conditions and a fairer measure of control of the labor process (Hewitt and Lawson 550). Labor unions became a popular vehicle for labor discontent by collective bargaining. In other words, workers tried to talk to the leader of a union about working conditions. Workers wanted to increase their “strength in numbers” (class notes). Factory owners had majority control over them, so workers believed that if they formed organizations, they could increase their power to get what they wished

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