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Homestead Strike Essay Sample

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The Homestead Strike was an industrial strike and lockout, which began on June 30, 1892. It culminated in a war between the private security agents and the strikers on July 6, 1892. It was one of the serious battles in the U.S. labor history. The others are the Battle of Blair Mountain and the Ludlow Massacre. The site was the Homestead Steel Works, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The participants were the Carnegie Steel Company and the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers.

At the end of the Homestead Strike, the union suffered a defeat, and there was a setback in their efforts to unionize the workers. In the 1880s, the Carnegie Steel Company had made many technological innovations. In 1886, there was the installation of the open-hearth system. The making of steel for armor plate and structural beams was now possible. Also, the plant moved towards the continuous production.

Carnegie had installed improved systems of material-handling, for example, overhead cranes, charging machines, hoists, and buggies. They sped up the steel-making process and grew the labor force. However, they were less-skilled workers. Hence, the skilled union members reacted with the Homestead Strike (Krass, 2002).

One of the reasons for the Homestead Strike was to protect their historical positions. They organized it, and it had a purpose. It was a harbinger type of action, which marked the modern labor relations in the United States (Warren, 2000).

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