Industrial Unionism

Eugene V. Debs

Eugene V. Debs was the president of the American Railroad Union. In 1894 Debs got himself involved with  the Pullman Strike. The Pullman Company has cut wages from their employees. Workers had no choice but to fight back. Debs claimed that going on a strike would be to much of a risk and waste of time. Workers who were apart of the ARU ignored Debs and went on strike against the Pullman Company. Debs than eventually joined the strike and it was than called “Debs Rebellion”. Strikers fought by establishing boycotts of Pullman train cars by President Cleveland sent the U.S. Army to enforce the workers to do their job.

Workers who were apart of the ARU worked for the Pullman company. Eugene was sentenced 6 Months imprisonment for contempt of court. Debs, who in the future lead the American Socialist Party, took part in promoting workers right to go on strike  in order to protect their rights and interests. In the end, “Debs’ Rebellion,” was defeated. Above all it showed the value of industrial unionism.

If I can ask Debs two questions

1. If you advised the workers who were apart of the ARU not to go on strike, why did you eventually end up joining them?

2. If you can go back in time how would you deal with it? Would you get involved or not? Why?

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