The Pullman Strike was a nationwide conflict in the summer of 1894 between the new American Railway Union (ARU) and railroads that occurred in the United States. It shut down much of the nation's freight and passenger traffic west of Detroit, Michigan. Th

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Image ID: G169JH
The Pullman Strike was a nationwide conflict in the summer of 1894 between the new American Railway Union (ARU) and railroads that occurred in the United States. It shut down much of the nation's freight and passenger traffic west of Detroit, Michigan. The conflict began in the town of Pullman, Illinois, on May 11 when nearly 4,000 employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company began a wildcat strike in response to recent reductions in wages. Most factory workers who built Pullman cars lived in the planned worker community of Pullman. When his company laid off workers and lowered wages, it did not reduce rents, and the workers called for a strike. Riots and sabotage caused $80 million in damages and 30 people were killed. The federal government secured a federal court injunction against the union, Debs, and the top leaders, ordering them to stop interfering with trains that carried mail cars. After the strikers refused, President Grover Cleveland ordered in the Army to stop the strikers from obstructing the trains. Violence broke out in many cities, and the strike collapsed. Defended by a team including Clarence Darrow, Debs was convicted of violating a court order and sentenced to prison; the ARU dissolved.