Outcomes


Samuel Gompers believed the vigorous Pullman strike was successful in revealing the "hollow shams of Pullman's pharisaical paradise" and "his heartless autocratic treatment of his employees." On July 18 Pullman shops began to open their doors and militia slowly withdrew until August 7. Some strikers went back to work, but were required to give up their union cards and sign a pledge not to join any union while employed for Pullman. Theordore Rhodie, a former employee, stated his reason for not returning: "I do not like to walk up there and hand up my membership in the American Railway Union because when a man asks me to give up my principles, my rights an an American citizen, he might just as well ask for my life." Those workers not rehired were blacklisted by Pullman and found it almost impossible to find work elsewhere. "The challenged Master was harsh and unforgiving, determined to teach the errant workers a lesson they would not forget."

Indeed the workers did learn a lesson. Their wages and families were most hurt by the strike. The Pullman corporation also lost more fighting the strike than if it had just met the worker's demands. The American Railway Union was wrecked, but not before it had educated and inspired thousand of workers. George P. Lovejoy believed: "The strike we have just passed through will be a benefit to the laboring men of the country for years to come. It will demonstrate to the laboring men that they must get together, that no single organization can win."

One of the most important outcomes of the strike was that it "discredited the paternalistic company town idea and perhaps halted its spread." As Virgil Vogel wrote: "Pullman town was an example of industrial feudalism on a grand scale. It was a patriarchal institution straight from the Middle Ages." Rev. Carwardine viewed the town as "a hollow mockery, sham, an institution girdled with red tape, and as a solution of the labor problem a very unsatisfactory one." To him it was "utterly un-American" and a "civilized relic of European serfdom." The curtain to the real model town was lifted.


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