THE PULLMAN STRIKE OF 1894 A Documentary Problem In 1880 George M. Pullman, manufacturer of the fabulously successful Pullman Palace Sleeping and Dining Cars, announced his intention to build a model industrial community on the shores of Lake Calumet just south of Chicago, Illinois. This was an era of increasingly bitter conflicts between owners and managers of business on the one hand, and working people, frequently organized in unions, on the other. Many Americans, especially those who owned property, often considered the union movement synonymous with various socialist and radical movements that developed along with industrial capitalism. These socialist groups, generally hostile to capitalism, advocated confiscation of private property by the state or by "the people" collectively. Some of these groups in the late 19th century maintained that the oppressed working class would inevitably rise up in a violent, bloody revolution against the capitalist class. For those comfortable Americans who associated the union movement with this variety of radicalism, violent confrontations between working people and capitalists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries seemed to be a terrifying prelude to a horrific class war. In an age anxiously concerned about the increasingly violent conflict between capital and labor and alarmed by the social ills and degraded conditions appearing in the slums of the expanding cities, Pullman's experiment initially seemed to indicate to many Americans that a solution to the problems of modern life had been identified. Visions of utopia - a pragmatic, efficient, productive, and harmonious community - dominated many popular perceptions of Pullman's model industrial town. By the early 1880s, George Pullman had made his mark in the business world through superb organizing skill, competitive business practices, and a clever capacity for identifying and satisfying the customer’s desires. He outdistanced his competitors by building luxurious, expensive railway cars that were particularly attractive to affluent customers willing to "pay a premium" for extraordinary luxury. Passengers rarely defaced or damaged his cars, Pullman argued, because the cars’ beauty and luxury inspired awe in travelers and consequently encouraged passengers to behave in an orderly manner. Pullman also prospered by employing ingenious measures to publicize his cars, thereby creating a strong "corporate image" that encouraged customer preference (today, it would be called “brand loyalty” – i.e. many people buy Crest toothpaste, not because it’s the best, or because it’s the cheapest, but because they’re most familiar with it). Because demand for his cars was so high, he was able to force railroads operating his cars to adopt uniform standards for employing his cars on their roads. For example, the service on Pullman cars themselves was widely noted for its conformance to absolute order and uniformity, qualities highly prized by affluent customers. In the late 19th century, Chicago was one of the most rapidly growing cities in the nation. It was second only to New York City as a leading commercial, industrial, and economic center of the country. It was also the undisputed railroad hub for the Midwestern United States, and numerous railroads lines converged on the city. During the first four months of 1880, the Pullman Palace Car Company quietly bought up over nearly four thousand acres of land south of Chicago near Lake Calumet and close to a number of major national railroad lines. Pullman selected the site for its strategic location close to (but not in) booming Chicago. There he planned to expand his operations by manufacturing freight-cars in addition to his highly successful dining and sleeping cars. He wanted a large, efficient plant near the growing metropolis of Chicago, but in an area where land was cheap and where his workers could be protected from what he regarded as the evil influences of city life. George M. Pullman, then, was not simply a businessman. He was also an amateur moral philosopher, and “order” was his philosophy. He hoped to attract a large number of skilled, reliable workers, of upright moral character to work in his factory. He also hoped to cultivate, maintain, and even improve their moral character by creating housing, businesses, and other community institutions immediately adjacent to the plant; a community that he believed would be conducive to self-respect, orderly living, and individual contentment. Such an orderly community, he hoped, would not encourage violent labor/capital strife that was increasingly common in late 19th century American life. Pullman hoped to inculcate what he labeled, “habits of respectability,” and he believed that housing workers in his town would initiate “a new era for labor,” free from strikes and unrest. Crucial to his sense of order, however, was an emphasis on hierarchy. He was the owner, and in his view, that made him the boss at the top of an economic pyramid, and his employees were his subordinates below him. Or, to put it another way, Pullman saw himself as a father figure, and his employees were his children. He would take care of their fundamental needs, and his employees would reciprocate with respectful deference and obedience to his authority. Industrial harmony in this “utopia” on the plains south of Chicago, then, depended on employees’ willingness to share George M. Pullman’s ideals and to subordinate themselves to Pullman’s paternal authority. For many Americans disturbed by the growing class divisions in the United States, the town of Pullman soon became a model of enlightened industrial and civic leadership. Visitors to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair often made a special trip to nearby Pullman to visit what had, in just a little over a decade, become a great American landmark indicating the possibility of harmonious labor-management relations away from the evil atmosphere of the festering cities - of which nearby Chicago offered a glaring example. 1893, however, brought not only the World's Fair and its temporary economic stimulus to the Chicago area; it also brought the most severe economic depression in American history up to that time - an economic crisis that soon had a calamitous impact in the Chicago area. This was an era before the social welfare state. Social Security, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, food stamps, welfare, and a host of other government programs did not yet exist. Prolonged unemployment could be life threatening, and in depressions in the 19th century, one could starve to death in the United States simply because one was poor. George Pullman's actions in meeting the crisis of the depression brought about a confrontation with his workers. Pullman drastically reduced wage rates in his factories, but he did not reduce the rents his workers paid to live in his company town. Pullman’s employees were enraged by what they regarded as extravagant greed on the part of the owner. This act, and other long-standing grievances about conditions in Pullman produced bitter, violent conflict between employees and ownership, just the thing George Pullman had hoped to avoid. Pullman’s employees never completely shared their owner’s values or objectives. They had always attempted to organize collectively to offset the owner’s immense economic power over their lives. They had affiliated with the American Railway Union (ARU), which represented thousands of railroad workers across the country. When workers in Pullman decided to strike on May 11, 1894, the ARU called on its members who worked on railroads across the country to boycott handling Pullman Cars. ARU members refused to attach Pullman Cars to trains or to serve on trains to which Pullman Cars were attached. Soon, class warfare engulfed first Pullman, then nearby Chicago, and finally spread across the United States. The General Managers Association, an organization representing ownership and management of the major railroads centering or terminating in Chicago, vigorously supported George Pullman in what they regarded as a climactic struggle to determine absolute dominance over the economy and the workplace. The General Managers Association retaliated against the ARU with all the instruments of corporate power at its disposal - on a national scale. All over the country they locked out workers, employed private guards (the hated Pinkerton Detectives, renowned for their brutality) and state militias to intimidate employees, and they prevailed on sympathetic (or corrupt) jurists to issue court injunctions against the American Railway Union. Mass violence erupted all across the country (including a major incident in Sacramento). In Chicago, private police, employed the General Managers Association, assaulted workers and provoked violent incidents. When embittered working people torched hundreds of railroad cars and destroyed the property of several railroads, private guards and city police opened fire, killing several persons. Soon thereafter, the President of the United States, Grover Cleveland, dispatched federal troops to numerous cities to crush the strike. By the time the violence had ended in late July, thirty-four people were dead. Eugene Debs, the president of the American Railway Union, was arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned for contempt of court and interference with the U.S. mails. The American Railway Union and the union movement had suffered a bloody defeat, and ownership and management had won. This "Great Strike" of 1894, a direct outgrowth and expansion of the Pullman strike, became one of the major labor/capital conflicts of the late 19th century, and it had far reaching consequences for the nation, including: middle class fears of a rising tide of labor radicalism; the radicalization of Eugene Debs and the American Railway Union (Debs emerged from prison as a Socialist and later ran five times for President of the United States - on the Socialist Party ticket); the eclipse of the image of George Pullman as an enlightened industrialist with pragmatic, effective solutions to the class conflicts produced by industrial society. The strike demonstrated how class divisions produced fundamental conflicts over moral values and worldviews. Perhaps above all, these events were part of a struggle to determine whose definitions of freedom and liberty would govern the country and whose definitions of those concepts would be treated as subordinate, or even heretical, and thus liable to subordination or even total suppression. INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ASSIGNMENT -- PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION!!!!! Prepare for writing the paper by reading (and then rereading) the documents until you have a knowledgeable command of them. You should also consult the textbook for insight into the causes and consequences of the events at Pullman. In an essay of at least 3-4 typed pages, double spaced, 1" margins, write an interpretive account of the Pullman Strike of 1894 based on your analysis and interpretation of the documents in this collection. USE ONLY THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS AS SOURCES TO WRITE YOUR ACCOUNT (You may also use the introduction to this document collection, and the textbook - but no other sources are allowed). Since there are many more issues and facts in these documents than you can possibly include in a 3-4 page paper, do not attempt to discuss all of them. Concentrate on writing a coherent interpretation of the major events, supporting your conclusions with relevant facts and examples from the documents. Begin by reading through the documents several times. After you begin to get the feeling that you have a good general command of the documents, make an annotated timeline of the events. Then consider how to reconstruct the crucial sequence of events in a way that makes sense of the diversity of sources and in a way that makes chronological sense. Above all, your paper should demonstrate a clear understanding of the major sequence of events leading to and from the Pullman Strike. Consider the documents in this packet as kind of puzzle. In the broadest sense, your task in this paper assignment is to arrange the pieces of the puzzle so that they make sense - that is, so that they help you explain WHAT happened, WHY it happened, WHO were the important figures in this event, WHERE the events took places, and WHEN the most significant events occurred. Above all, be sure to make the SEQUENCE OF MAJOR EVENTS in this incident clear! Your essay should include numerous examples and evidence drawn directly from documents provided in this package. ESSAYS MUST CONTAIN EVIDENCE DRAWN FROM THE DOCUMENTS, THOUGHTFULLY COMPOSED AND ORGANIZED, IN ORDER TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE THIS ASSIGNMENT! In short, construct an account that makes the most sense to you based on the available evidence. Rules of Composition Each essay should also possess an introductory paragraph, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction should provide just that - an introduction to the topic you're going to examine. A good introduction provides a thesis statement (a sentence or sentences that decisively state an argument or position that you will develop and demonstrate in your essay) and a brief statement of the main points you intend to develop in your essay. The body should be composed of several paragraphs that support your thesis and main points of your essay. Above all, the body provides the EVIDENCE that proves your thesis. More than any other single criteria, your work will be judged on the quantity and quality of the evidence you provide and your analysis of it. So you should devote most of your time to assembling and intelligently examining evidence. Good essays will provide numerous pieces of evidence from the documents to support the argument. Poor essays will provide little or no evidence drawn from the documents. For the purposes of the essays you will be writing, the term "evidence" includes examples and major ideas drawn from the documents. Thus your essays should contain numerous quotations drawn specifically from the documents. The conclusion can be constructed in a variety of ways: it may be a brief summary of the main points of your essay; it may also be a restatement of your thesis; but the best conclusion is one that demonstrates the historical significance of the issue at hand and your analysis of it. Papers will be evaluated according to the following criteria: 1. Organization, logic, coherence (that is, introduction, thesis, body, conclusion, etc.). 2. Content (quantity and quality of evidence, level of analysis, level of command of subject matter). 3. Grammar, syntax, spelling. FINALLY, YOUR ACCOUNT SHOULD BE AS FLAWLESSLY AND GRACEFULLY WRITTEN AS YOU CAN MAKE IT! A Warning on Sources These documents should be the only source upon which you base your paper. Do not write a paper based on sources other than those that are provided for you here! There are numerous other accounts on Pullman available in the library and on the web. But they are based on other - or additional evidence, and they would be more likely to confuse you than to help you in working with this specific, limited set of documents. In any case, your grade on this assignment will depend on how well you analyze and interpret the documents in this collection! A Warning on Plagiarism What is plagiarism? Plagiarism is literary thievery. It is the use of somebody else’s material (as if it were your own) in a paper or an essay without giving credit to the author. The following are examples of the criteria that will be used in this class to identify plagiarism: Plagiarism is a serious offense (and I treat it seriously). It can lead to dismissal from the college and severe long-term consequences for completing a college or university education in the United States. Questions to Consider Before Writing: One method you might employ to understand the documents is to imagine that you are a reporter in 1892 writing for a newspaper, and you are assigned to write an article about the Pullman Strike. As you conduct research for the article, you come to have strong feelings about the ethical issues involved in the incident and the basic concepts of justice that it involves. Therefore, you want to explain Pullman as intelligently as possible to the newspaper's readers. But your boss, the editor, will only give you a small space in the newspaper to explain the incident (because he wants to save more space for advertising - which is how newspapers make money). You have lots of evidence before you, too much to include in the article you're going to write. So you have to decide which pieces of evidence are MOST IMPORTANT to explain what happened at Pullman. While preparing to write your essay, consider the following issues in order to help you organize your thoughts before writing your essay (you are not, however, required to answer each and every one of them in your essay): 1) In what ways was the town of Pullman a "success" or a "failure" even before the labor conflict of 1894? Was there unrest in the town because Pullman's original vision was not carried out - or because it was? 2) How would you assess the merits of Pullman's and Wickes' arguments for handling rents separate from manufacturing finances, for declining to lay off or reduce salaries of management personnel, or for refusing all forms of arbitration? Was Pullman's position internally consistent? 3) Is it possible to object to Pullman's basic statement of his position without denying fundamental rights of-property ownership? 4) What various interpretations are possible of Pullman's decision to bid for contracts at a loss? 5) What, do you surmise, did the Pullman Company find so obnoxious about the American Railway Union? 6) How were issues of piece-work rates, total working hours, the conduct of foremen, union recognition, and rents involved in the grievances of, and negotiations by, the workers? 7) Was there a "flaw" in the Pullman experiment? If so, was the flaw related to on-the-job practices and employer bungling, to the ingratitude of workers and their unwillingness to recognize good conditions, or to some other flaw in the basic conception or in the practical administration of the Pullman experiment? Do not attempt merely to answer some of the questions above, but write an integrated account that is systematically organized. Let your reader know what happened, as well as why it happened and what we should make of it. Assume that only the documents included here are available to you as a result of your research into materials surviving from the era of the strike. DOCUMENT #1 William H. Carwardine, pastor of the first M.E.Church, Pullman, Ill., The Pullman Strike, 1894. The Pullman strike is the greatest and most far-reaching of any strike on record in this country. It is the most unique strike ever known. When we take into account the intelligence of the employees, always the boast of the Pullman Company; the wide-spread advertisement of the town as a "model town.” It was established as a solution of the industrial problem upon the basis of "mutual recognition;" it is no wonder that the world was amazed, when, under such apparently favorable conditions, in the midst of a season of great financial depression, the employees laid down their tools, and, on the llth of May, walked out of the great shops to face an unequal and apparently hopeless conflict. (Editor’s note - William Carwardine was a Methodist minister and Pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Pullman for over two years. During the strike he was active in coordinating relief for the strikers and their families.' He published his book, The Pullman Strike in August 1894 in the hope of presenting to the public the strikers' side of the dispute.) DOCUMENT #2 Richard T. Ely, "Pullman - A Social Study," Harpers' New Monthly Magazine, February, 1885. The conviction has become general that the divine order never contemplated a social and economic world left to itself. Material is furnished out of which man must construct a social fabric according to his lights. This is what modern socialism means....This is what cooperation means... This is what is meant by the many attempts of "captains of industry" to step in between those they lead and the unrestrained action of existing economic forces. The variety of methods... is great. Insurance of one kind or another... amusements, reading rooms,... rewards for special merit.... Several employers have attempted more far- reaching establishments which would embrace the home life of laborers.... Interesting examples are the "Social Palace" of M. Godin at Guise, France and the town of Saltaire, founded by Sir Titus Salt.... But the most extensive experiment of this character is that now in progress at Pullman, Illinois...." DOCUMENT #3 George M. Pullman, founder and president of the Pullman Corporation, statement before the U.S. Strike Commission, August 1894. The object in building [the town of] Pullman was the establishment of a great manufacturing business on the most substantial basis possible, recognizing as we did, and do now, that the working people are the most important element which enters into the successful operation of any manufacturing enterprise. We decided to build, in close-proximity to the shops, homes for workingmen, of such character and surroundings as would prove, so attractive as to cause the best class of mechanics to seek that place for employment in preference to others. We also desired to establish the place on such a basis as would exclude all baneful influences believing that such a policy would result in the greatest measure of success, both from a commercial point of view, and also, what was equally important, or perhaps of greater importance, in a tendency toward continued elevation and improvement of the condition not only of the working people themselves, but of their children growing up about them. (Editor’s Note: On July 26, 1894, President Grover Cleveland appointed an investigative body titled, The United States Strike Commission, to inquire into the causes of the recently concluded Pullman strike and the subsequent strike of the American Railway Union. Its members were Carroll P. Wright, John D. Kernan, and Nicholas E. Worthington. Beginning on August 15, 1894, the commissioners began hearing testimony in the U.S. Post Office Building in Chicago, Illinois. The commissioners concluded their work and issued their report to the President on November 14, 1894.) DOCUMENT #4 Andrew Carnegie, Triumphant Democracy, 1886. I soon saw that we had a genius to deal with, and advised the old concern to capture Mr. Pullman. There was a capture, but it did not quite take that form. They found themselves swallowed by this ogre, and Pullman monopolized everything. It was well that it should be so. The man had arisen who could manage, and the tools belonged to him. To-day his company has a paid-up capital of about thirty millions of dollars, and its ramifications extend everywhere. Mr. Pullman is a remarkable man, for he not only manages this business, he has created it.... I prophesy that [he] ... will leave a monument for himself in his new industrial town of Pullman which will place his name with those of Salt of Saltaire and Godin of Guise. A short roll of honor this, which contains the list of those who, springing from honest poverty, have made fortunes through honest toil, and then - ah, here comes the secret of the shortness of the list - and then turning back to look upon the poor workers where they started, have thereafter devoted their fortune and abilities so to improve the industrial system as to give to that class a better chance in life than it was possible for themselves to obtain. DOCUMENT #5 Interview with George Pullman, The Chicago Tribune, August 16, 1881. "What amount of land is owned by the Pullman Association," asked the reporter. "Very nearly 4,000 acres." "Is any of it for sale?" "No sir, we will not sell an acre under any circumstances, and we will only lease to parties whom we are well satisfied will conform with our ideas in developing the place. We will not allow any saloons or drinking resorts in the town. We shall do all we can to cultivate the better natures of our workmen. .. My idea has always been that it was to the employers' interest to see that his men are clean, contented, sober, educated and happy. They make better workmen, and they develop the employers' industries more. I shall try to benefit humanity where it is in my power to do so. Here we shall have every attribute of a town exemplified, and I hope to be able to provide each and every attraction that can be desired - churches, schools, gymnasiums, reading rooms, etc." DOCUMENT #6 Correspondence, Charles E. Perkins, head of the Burlington RR, to an unnamed friend, May 10, 1886`. Pullman's experience turns out to be just what I have always prophesied. He thought he was doing a great deal for his employees and would never have strikes, but the fact is, the more you do for your men... the more they want. (Editor’s Note: Perkins wrote this letter after a brief strike at the Pullman works in Pullman, Illinois in 1886.) DOCUMENT #7 Anonymous (a correspondent of The Times), "A Visit to the States," The Times (London), October 21 & 24, 1887 reprinted in Bessie Pierce, As Others See Chicago. Riding down the line of the Illinois Central, over the flat land and among the succession of villages which have grown up between Chicago and Pullman, the visitor alights at one of the best station buildings seen on the line, and finds the new settlement is in front of him.... There is a fine hotel, which is a model of artistic design and worthy of the largest city; and across the park, with its ornamental grounds and lake, are seen the extensive shops, with their clock spire and huge water tower rising above. The Pullman town, like the Pullman coach, is a model of neatness and elegance.... No place in the United States has attracted more attention or been more closely watched than Pullman. Like the sleeping coach, the town is the development of an idea, worked out to harmonious and successful results by its inventor. It is the extension of the broadest philanthropy to the working man, based on the strictest business principles. There has been over l,500,000 pounds [about $3 million in 1894 dollars, or approximately $300 million in 2005 dollars] invested in carrying out this idea, and every penny is at the same time made to return an income.... Competent architects and landscape gardeners skillfully (sic) laid out the town and built the houses, so that it is a gem of artistic attractiveness, with lawns and shade trees upon its well-paved streets, all kept in the best order by the company.... Nothing is free, however, it being recognized as a lamentable fact that benefits got for nothing are not much prized. ...There is no compulsion exercised about anything, and the people may live in the town or elsewhere as they see fit, so that in practice the town contains about 3,500 operatives who work for the company and about 1,000 who labour for other industries in the town or elsewhere, while some 500 of the company's operatives live outside.... There are no saloons in the town, for no one is permitted to sell liquor, and as an additional protection sufficient land is controlled around the outskirts of the town to complete man who must have spirits or beer to go nearly a mile over the border to get it. This carefulness, combined with the excellent sanitary arrangements and the vigour of a working population largely composed of people in the prime of life, make the town an abnormally healthy place.... There is throughout Pullman an air of artistic harmony and neatness that is very attractive; while the operatives and their families appear in a far better condition, and look as if they were of an improved class compared with those usually seen in factory towns. ...If the content of the working men can be secured by good treatment and pleasant surroundings, then the inhabitants of this model town ought to be supremely happy." DOCUMENT #8 Richard Ely, "Pullman - A Social Study" Harpers' New Monthly Magazine, Feb. 1885. [Pullman] is one of the few men who have thought it a paying investment to expend millions for the purpose of surrounding laborers with objects of beauty and comfort.... It is maintained that Pullman is truly a philanthropic undertaking, although it is intended that it should be a profitable investment, and this is the argument used: If it can be shown that it does pay to provide beautiful homes for laborers, accompanied with all the conditions requisite for wholesome living both for the body and the mind, the example set by Mr. Pullman will find wide imitation.... certainly it is a great thing to have demonstrated the commercial value of beauty in a city of laborers. DOCUMENT #9 William Carwardine, The Pullman Strike, 1894. As seen from the railway by the passing tourist, it [Pullman] presents a beautiful picture. In fact it appears to be a veritable paradise. Beautiful trees and flowers, pretty fountains, glimpses here and there of artistic sweeps of landscape, gardens, rows of pretty little brick houses, church in the distance... all present a beautiful picture to the passing traveler. Mr. Pullman and his lieutenants love to s how this beautiful picture to the world. Pullman, the town, is Mr. Pullman's idol, and in many respects he may well be proud of it.... DOCUMENT #10 Jane Addams (Chicago Settlement House Leader), "A Modern Lear," 1894. The president of the Pullman Company doubtless began to build his town from an honest desire to give his employees the best surroundings. As it developed it became a source of pride and an exponent of power that he cared most for when it gave him a glow of benevolence. Gradually, what the outside world thought of it became of importance to him and he ceased to measure its usefulness by the standard of the men's needs. DOCUMENT #11 Report, New York Sun, December, 1883. A stranger arriving at Pullman puts tip at a hotel managed by one of Mr. Pullman's employees, visits a theater where all the attendants are in Mr. Pullman's service, drinks water and burns gas which Mr. Pullman's water and gas works supply, hires one of his [horse and carriages] from the manager of Mr. Pullman's livery stable, visits a school in which the children of Mr. Pullman's employees are taught by other employees, gets a bill charged at Mr. Pullman's bank, is unable to make a purchase of any kind save from some tenant of Mr. Pullman's, and at night is guarded by a fire department, every member of which from the chief down is in Mr. Pullman's service. DOCUMENT #12 Richard T. Ely, "Pullman A Social Study," Harpers' New Monthly Magazine, February, 1885. Rents are probably about three-fifths what they are in Chicago .... The wages paid at Pullman are equal to those paid for similar services elsewhere in the vicinity.... Unskilled laborers - and they are perhaps one-fourth of the population - receive only $1.30 a day: but there are other corporations about Chicago which pay no more, and Pullman claims to pay only ordinary wages. Many of the mechanics earn $2.50 or $2.75 a day, some $3 and $4.... Those who receive but $1.30 have a hard struggle to live, after the rent and water tax are paid. On this point there is unanimity of sentiment, and Pullman does comparatively little for them.... They are crowded together in the cheap flats, which are put as much out of sight as possible, and present a rather dreary appearance, although vastly better than the poorer class of New York tenements. The great majority at Pullman are skilled artisans and nearly all with whom the writer conversed expressed themselves as fairly well satisfied with their earnings.... DOCUMENT #13 Report, New York Sun, October 11, 1885. The people of Pullman are not happy and grumble at their situation even more than the inhabitants of towns not model are accustomed to do. They say that all this perfection of order costs them too much money and imposes upon them an intolerable constraint...They want to run the municipal government themselves, according to the ordinary American fashion. They secretly rebel because the Pullman Company continues its watch and authority over them after working hours. They declare they are bound hand and foot by a philanthropic monopoly. DOCUMENT #14 Richard T, Ely, "Pullman A Social Study," Harpers' New Monthly Magazine, February 1885. Change is constant in men and officers and each new superior appears to have his own friends, whom he appoints to desirable positions.... The resulting evil is very naturally dissatisfaction, a painful prevalence of petty jealousies,... frequent change in residents, and an all-pervading feeling of insecurity. Nobody regards Pullman as a real home, and, in fact, it can scarcely be said that there are more than temporary residents at Pullman. The nature of the leases aggravates this evil.... all the property in Pullman is owned by the Pullman Association, and every tenant holds his house on a lease that can be terminated on ten days notice.... It is not necessary that any reason be assigned for the notice.... DOCUMENT #15 William Carwardine, The Pullman Strike, 1894. Note for a few moments the library. It is a gem. It is one of the most complete of its kind in the United States. it is small and cozy, but very convenient for those who have the privilege of using it. It was the gift of Mr. Pullman to his town.... Still it is not producing the practical results demanded of such an institution. The complaint of employees is that they are expected to pay 25 cents a month or three dollars a year for the use of books, and one dollar per year for every child. This is all right, but with the immense wealth of the Pullman Company they feel that they ought to have an absolutely free library and reading room. The reading room is an adjunct of the library, is very small, and very few of the men... use it. It is too luxurious for the average working man.... DOCUMENT #16 Stanley Buder, Pullman, 1967. The Florence Hotel .... was a two-story red brick building skirted by a broad white veranda and with a roof elaborately laced with gables and dormers. It had the appearance of a "large gingerbread country villa." The ground floor consisted of a lobby, public parlor, restaurant and bar. Above were seventy rooms renting for three to four dollars a day, twice the daily pay of an unskilled worker; The building cost $100,000, and furniture totaled another $30,000. During its first year, there were 8,875 transient guests who, with the small number of permanent residents, turned a profit for the hotel. A professional manager was hired to maintain service at a high level. However, as the town lost its novelty, the number of visitors declined and the hotel began operating at a loss. This was patiently borne by the company, which insisted on maintaining top quality and high prices. The hotel had simply been built on too large and elegant a scale for the town's needs. By deliberate design the hotel's bar was the single place in town where liquor could be purchased. ...A working man wrote in 1893 that he frequently walked by and "looked at but dared not enter Pullman's hotel with its private bar." As far as can be determined, the hotel was open to all. Yet, men lived in the town who could count their visits to the Florence on a single hand.... It's public facilities were apparently used primarily by the town's shopkeepers and professionals and the company's officers and clerks." DOCUMENT #17 William H. Cawardine, The Pullman Strike, 1894. When Mr. Pullman built the church, it was his idea that there should be one church in the town and that all should worship there, but that was impossible. The Roman Catholics received the right by a lease of ninety-nine years to build a church across the tracks on a large open prairie, the property of the Pullman Company. The Swedish Lutherans were permitted to do the same. The Green Store Church [which in the early history of the town had stood idle because of the enormous ($300 a month) rent] was finally rented to the Presbyterians for $100.00 per month... Next to the church and a part of it is a handsome parsonage, but no minister has ever been able to live in it, on account of the high rent of $65 per month.... It was in this church that the Doctor Oggel, then supplying the church, delivered a sermon eulogistic of Mr. Pullman's great service to his age, his country and his town, from the text: "Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor;" concluding with a quotation from a St. Louis paper that Mr. Pullman is worthy of the nomination to the Presidency of the United States. Dr. Oggel delivered his last sermon on the Sunday after the strike, in which, he declared to the men that "a half loaf was better than no loaf," and that in his judgment they were receiving "two- thirds of a loaf." DOCUMENT #18 Excerpt from “Rules Governing Pullman Tenants,” Chicago Herald, February 7, 1886. Tenants should always enter or leave the building quietly; always avoid entering the halls with muddy feet; never permit hammering, pounding or splitting of wood upon the floors or in the cellars, or anything which disturbs and annoys those occupying neighboring rooms; avoid the use of musical instruments after bed time; avoid all loud noises or boisterous conduct that might annoy others or disturb the sick and weary.... DOCUMENT #19 Nick Salvatore, Eugene Debs, 1982 [Pullman] provided modern housing for his work force, churches for them to attend, water for them to drink, and cemeteries for their dead. In turn, Pullman deducted from their weekly wages rent and water charges, library fees, and grocery bills – the cost of these basic necessities unilaterally established by the corporation. During periods of economic prosperity . . . high wages provided workers with an improved standard of living. Even during these times, however, many Pullman workers resented their employer’s autocratic control. DOCUMENT #20 Anonymous employee, Pullman Company, quoted in Richard O. Boyer, Labor’s Untold Story, 1955. We are born in a Pullman house, fed from the Pullman shop, taught in the Pullman school, catechized in the Pullman church, and when we die we shall be buried in the Pullman cemetery and go to the Pullman hell. DOCUMENT #21 William S. Cawardine, The Pullman Strike, 1894. During the winter of 1892/1893 the magnificent train of Pullman cars exhibited at the World's Fair was built, work was abundant, wages fair, and the force of employees increased to between five and six thousand. Then came the reaction and depression of trade. The force was gradually reduced until late in the summer not over 900 men were employed. About November of 1893, Mr. Pullman began to secure contracts for new work, and the cars, which had been out on the road in the World's Fair traffic were rapidly brought into the shops for repairs. The force was enlarged until, during the winter, from three to four thousand employees were on the pay roll. Then commenced the cutting of wages, and consequent abuse on the part of the local administration complained of so bitterly by the men.... Want and suffering was no uncommon picture.... Repeated cutting of the wages with no corresponding reduction of rent exasperated the employees. It was aware that the men were being organized into local unions. Hearing of the success of the American Railway Union, and casting about for some one to champion their cause, these unions appealed to Messrs. Debs and Howard of the American Railway Union. Meetings were held at Kensington. Messrs. Debs and Howard repeatedly counseled the men not to strike, but to wait until the American Railway Union had acquired strength, and agreed in due season to assist the men in their effort to obtain redress from their wrongs. At this juncture a committee waited on Manager Middleton [an executive of the Pullman Company]. Meeting with no favorable response they appointed a committee and waited on Vice-President Wickes [an executive of the Pullman Company, superior to Middleton].... Mr. Wickes received the committee very kindly, listened to their grievances and promised that Mr. Pullman would give them a final answer the following week. On the day appointed, the committee again appeared at the city office, where Mr. Pullman.... refused to, accede to the demand of the employees for a restoration of the scale of wages for 1893 on the grounds that he had taken contracts for new work at a loss. As proof thereof he agreed to permit an inspection of his books. He stated further that he could not reduce the rents of his houses. He agreed that none of the committee waiting on him should be discharged, and also stated that their grievances should be investigated. So far, so good. But the employees were disappointed and chagrined .... What caused the disappointment and chagrin.... ? It was this. Mr. Pullman had given out that he had taken contracts for new work at a loss, because out of love for his employees he desired to keep the shops open. Unfortunately, the men had never seen any evidences of paternal love on the part of Mr. Pullman in his previous dealings with them, and they could not disabuse their minds of the thought that perhaps he was keeping the shops open, and taking work at a loss in order to get his returns in rent.... I am sure Mr. Pullman had no idea of.... how unjustly his employees had been dealt with, and the magnitude of the petty annoyances to which they had been subjected. On the morrow, three men who were members of the committee were "laid off." While it was no uncommon thing in the shops for men to be "laid off," still it had come to be looked upon as amounting in many cases to a virtual discharge. ...What made the matter worse in this case was that the men laid off discovered that it was the direct action of the acting superintendent's retaliations upon them for complaints uttered by them against him the day previous at the city meeting. The discharge of these men was resented by the whole committee as a violation of Mr. Pullman's agreement with them. Furthermore, the grievances were investigated during the day, but were investigated on an ex parte basis[meaning, the investigation was performed by those alleged to have given cause for the grievance in the first place]. The committee of investigation was composed, among others, of Vice-President, Wickes, General Manager Brown, Manager Middleton, Chief Accountant Wilde, Mr. Campbell of the Repair department, and Mr. Runnells, leading counsel for the company. No one appeared as a committee of defense of the men, to see that their side was duly represented. DOCUMENT #22 Thomas Wickes, second-vice president, Pullman Company, statement before the U.S., Strike Commission, August 1894. Testimony has been given before the commission that the immediate cause of the strike was the discharge of three employees contrary to the assurance I had given to the committee of workmen that none of them should be affected by their serving on the committee. I gave such an assurance upon request, and with entire willingness, and it was not violated, and no such complaint was ever made, I think, to any official of the company. There were forty-three members of the committee at the conference on May 9, and on May 10 it happened that in temporarily "laying off" men for whom there was no immediate work, three men were included who were said to have been on the committee, as to each of whom the subordinate of officials concerned deny that they at the time knew he was on the committee and say that the laying off was caused by nothing but the ordinary course of business. DOCUMENT #23 U. S. Strike Commission Report, November 14, 1894. EARNINGS OF CERTAIN EMPLOYEES AT PULLMAN, 1893-94. T.W. Heathcoate, inside finisher R.W. Coombs, car builder Jennie Curtis, seamstress Hours-Amount Paid Hours-Amount Paid Hours-Amount Paid 1893 May 252 ¾ - $78.00 196 ½ - $47.42 235 ½ - $39.85 June 280 ½ - $96.85 92 - $21.00 212 ¼ - $31.24 July 233 ¼ - $69.12 170 - $38.75 181 - $27.72 August 244 ½ - $62.75 173 - $36.91 197 ¾ - $30.18 September 167 ¼ - $44.77 94 - $21.50 147 ¾ - $23.90 October 114 - $26.92 42 ¼ - $7.39 230 ¼ - $34.62 November 119 - $29.05 91 - $20.54 151 - $24.39 December 229 ¾ - $43.85 140 ¼ - $18.37 180 ¼ - $28.18 1894 January 261 - $49.30 192 ¾ - $34.00 216 - $34.21 February 238 ½ - $44.95 240 - $60.00 184 - $25.47 March 262 ½ - $51.53 125 - $30.80 212 - $24.92 April 185 ¼ - $37.77 60 - $9.00 197 ½ - $22.14 Total 2,588 ¼ - $634.86 1,616 ¾ - $345.68 2,345 ¼ - $346.82 DOCUMENT #24 Thomas W. Heathcoate, inside finisher, Pullman Car Works, testimony before U. S. Strike Commission, August 1894. ....a man has to do about four times as much work at piecework as he has to do at day work, because the pieces are cut down so low it is almost impossible for a man, unless he is an expert , to make $1.90 a day at the work. For instance, take the desk behind which you sit. I take the making of that desk today for $20; I go to work on it, and, being an expert, make $4 a day at it; then the foreman says to me "the next time I will not give you but $18 for making it. " Well, I take another desk at that and by hard work still make $4 per day at it. The next time he cuts the price down to $16. I still by using more effort, working hard, make $4 per day at it. He then cuts the price down to $12 and I can only make $3 per day at it. ...He then gives the desk to some other man who is not as expert in doing the work, and that man cannot make $1.25 per day at it. DOCUMENT #25 Thomas Wickes, second vice-president, Pullman Company, testimony before the U.S. Strike Commission, 1894. In establishing the rate of wages for piece work over so large a force of workmen, the principle adopted is that the day's wage is to be a reasonable wage for 10 hours at that particular work for a competent workman, not an expert; and by experience it is ascertained what a faithful, competent workman can do on a given kind of work, as to quantity in a given time; the piece price is thereupon based on that performance. The competent, faithful workman will earn the reasonable day's wage at it; the less competent, or less industrious workman will necessarily make less than a reasonable day's wage.... If by experience in operation, it is discovered that at the piece price fixed, the known less competent and less industrious workmen are regularly making an unreasonable day's wage, it becomes apparent that the piece price allotted is too large. DOCUMENT #26 Nell Irvin Painter, Standing at Armageddon, 1987. At the outset of the Panic of 1893 the Pullman Company cut wages an average of 28 percent, without cutting rents in Pullman village [by the spring of 1894, the Pullman Company reduced wages by an average of 33 to 50 percent]. As rents were ordinarily deducted from pay, workers sometimes received pay envelopes containing $1 or $2 for two weeks’ work, even less than $1 on occasion. DOCUMENT #27 Thomas H. Wickes, second vice-president, Pullman Company, responses to questions posed by the commissioners of the U.S. Strike Commission, August 1894. Commissioner Kernan: after having taken a contract at an estimated basis of wages, [was] a cut made in the wages during the construction of such cars. Answer: I know of no such instance. The only cut that was made that I know anything about was last November the day scale was agreed upon at that time. I know of no cut since that. There might have been an adjustment of piecework prices since that Commissioner Kernan: It has been claimed here that you not only cut the wages in the way you have suggested, but that subsequently during the course of construction of cars, by a readjustment of the prices paid for piecework, a further substantial reduction was made in the cost. Answer: I know of no such instance, but there are always two parties to a contract in piecework; one party is the workmen themselves, and the other is the foreman, or whoever is in charge. It is a contract made between our company and the workmen. Commissioner Kernan: Do you mean that the foreman was in a position where he might have himself, by a readjustment of piece prices, reduced the cost of these cars?' Answer: Possibly. Commissioner Kernan: Well, is his action in that respect taken of his own motion and without consultation directly with the officers? Answer: The foreman of a shop is supposed to be competent to fix the piecework prices; to make all piecework prices. Commissioner Kernan: Well, now, is it not possible under a system permitting him to do that, that his arbitrary action might result in some injustices being done? Answer: There is a possibility of that; yes sir; that is one of the matters that would have been investigated. Commissioner Kernan: That was one of the matters complained of, was it not? Answer: Yes sir. Commissioner Kernan: You did not carry your investigation to the point of ascertaining what proof there was in that because the strike came? Answer: We were not allowed to.... There was no work going on at all in our shops since this strike. We have been very busily engaged in other matters. These men went out on the llth of May and severed their connection with the company; therefore there was no further investigation as far as they were concerned.... DOCUMENT #28 Statement by the Pullman strikers to the convention of the American Railway Union. in Chicago, June 15, 1894. We struck at Pullman because we were without hope. We joined the American Railway Union because it gave us a glimmer of hope.... You all must know that, the proximate cause of our strike was the discharge of two members of our grievance committee the day after George M. Pullman, himself, and Thomas H. Wickes, his second vice-president, had guaranteed them absolute immunity. The more remote causes are still imminent. Five reductions in wages, in work, and in conditions of employment swept through the shops at Pullman between May and December, 1893. The last was the most severe, amounting to nearly 30 per cent, and our rents had not fallen. We owed Pullman $70,000 when we struck May 11. We owe him twice that much today. He does not evict us for two reasons: One, the force of popular sentiment and public opinion; the other because he hopes to starve us out, to break ... the back of the American Railway Union, and to deduct from our miserable wages when we are forced to return to him the last dollar we owe him for the occupancy of his houses. Rents all over the city [of Chicago] in every quarter of its vast extent have fallen, in some cases to one- half. Residences, I compared with which ours are hovels, can be had a few miles away at the prices we have been contributing to make a millionaire a billionaire.... What we pay $15 for in Pullman is leased for $8 in [neighboring] Roseland.... Water which Pullman buys from the city at 8 cents a thousand gallons, he retails to us at 500 per cent advance and he claims he is losing $400 a month on it. Gas which sells at 75 cents per thousand feet in Hyde Park, just north of us, sells - for $2.25 [in Pullman]. When we went to tell him our grievances, he said we were all his "children." ...the wages he pays out with one hand -- The Pullman Palace Car Company, he takes back with the other --The Pullman Land Association. He is able by this to bid under any contract car shop in this country. His competitors in business, to meet this, must reduce the wages of their men. This gives him the excuse to reduce ours to conform to the market. His business rivals must in turn scale down; so must he. And thus the merry war... goes on, and it will go on, brothers, forever, unless you, The American Railway Union, stop it.... George M. Pullman, you know, has cut our wages from 30 to 70 per cent. George M. Pullman has caused to be paid in the last year, the regular quarterly dividend of 2 per cent on his stock and an-extra slice of 1 1/2 per cent, making 9 1/2 per cent on $30,000,000 of capital. George M. Pullman took three contracts on which he lost less than $5,000. Because he loved us? No. Because it was cheaper to lose a little money in his freight-car and his coach shops than to let his workingmen go; but that petty loss, more than made up by us from the money needed to clothe our wives and little ones, was his excuse for effecting a gigantic reduction of wages in every department of his great works, of cutting men and boys and girls with equal zeal, including everyone on the repair shops of the Pullman Palace cars on which such preposterous profits have been made.... (Editor’s Note: The American Railway Union – ARU - was founded in 1893 as a broad "industrial" union in contrast to the previous pattern of union organizations among railroad workers on narrow craft lines. Its president, Eugene V. Debs, had been active in the trade union movement for several years. He had founded the Brotherhood of Railroad Brakemen, had been grand secretary of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Fireman and had helped push the Switchmen's Mutual Aid Association toward national scope. But he had become disgusted with the degree of destructive inter-union rivalry among the railroad Brotherhoods and had formed the ARU as an organization that would include common laborers as well as skilled workers, although it excluded non-whites from membership. After a year of organizing in the Midwest, its membership had reached 150,000 by 1894 and it had won a successful protest against an attempt to reduce wages on the Great Northern Railroad. Between March 1894 and the beginning of the Pullman strike in May 1894, the American Railway Union had enrolled approximately 4,000 Pullman employees. In June, at the first national convention of the ARU in Chicago, the Pullman members came before the ARU to present the appeal above.) DOCUMENT #29 From a statement of the Pullman Company published in the Chicago Herald, June 26, 1894, in response to the strikers' charges. In the first week of May last there were employed in the car manufacturing department at Pullman, Illinois, about 3,000 persons. On May 7, a committee of the workmen had an interview by arrangement with Mr. Wickes, vice-president, at which the principal subject of discussion related to wages, but minor grievances as to shop administration were also presented, and it was agreed that another meeting should be held on the 9th of May, at which all grievances should be presented in writing. The second meeting was held. As to the complaints on all matters except wages it was arranged that a formal and thorough investigation should be made by Mr. Wickes, to be begun the next day, and full redress was assured to the committee as to all complaints that proved to be well founded. The absolute necessity of the last reduction in wages, under the existing condition of the business of [railroad] car manufacturing, had been explained to the committee, and they were insisting upon a restoration of the wage scale of the first half of 1893, [then] Mr. Pullman entered the room and addressed the committee, speaking in substance as follows: "At the commencement of the very serious depression last year, we were employing at Pullman 5,816 men.... Negotiations with intending purchasers of railway equipment that were pending for new work were stopped by them, orders already given by others were cancelled, and we were obliged to lay off, as you are aware, a large number of men in every department, so that by November 1, 1893, there were only about 2,000 men in all departments, or about one-third of the normal number. I realized the necessity for the most strenuous exertions to procure work immediately.... I canvassed the matter thoroughly with the manager of the works and instructed him to cause the men to be assured that the company would do everything in its power to meet the competition.... I knew that if there was any work to be let, bids for it would be made upon a much lower basis than ever before.... By making lower bids than other manufacturers, I secured enough work to gradually increase our force....to 4,200.... This result has not been accomplished merely by reduction in wages, but the company has borne its full share by eliminating from its estimates the use of capital and machinery, and in many cases going even below that and taking work at considerable loss.... I can only assure you that if this company now restores the wages of the first half of 1893, as you have asked, it would be a most unfortunate thing for the men, because there is less than sixty days of contract work in sight in the shops under all orders and there is absolutely no-possibility, in the present condition of affairs throughout the country, of getting any more orders for work at prices measured by the wages of May 1893. Under-such a scale the works would necessarily close down and the great majority of the employees be put in idleness, a contingency I am using my best efforts to avoid. There has been some complaint made about rents.... they make a manifestly inadequate return upon the investment, so that it is clear they are not, in fact, at an arbitrary high figure; it may be added that it would not be possible in a business sense so to deal with them. DOCUMENT #30 George M. Pullman, statement to U.S. Strike Commission, August 27, 1894. The relations of those employed in the shops are, as to the shops, the relations of employees to employer, and as to those of them and others living in the homes, the relations are simply and only the relation of tenant to landlord. The company has not now and never has had any interest whatever in the business of any of the stores and shops in the town; they are rented to and managed by outside parties, free of any control by the company. ...The basis on which rents were fixed was to make a return of 6 per cent on the actual investment, which at the time (1881) [of the founding of the town] was a reasonable return to be expected.... The actual operations have never shown a net return of 6 per cent.... The investment for several years returned a net revenue of about 4 1/2 per cent, but during the last two years additional taxes and heavier repairs have brought the net revenue down to 3.82 per cent. DOCUMENT #31 Thomas Wickes, second vice-president, Pullman Company, statement before the U.S. Strike Commission, August 1894. ...In the matter of rents, comparisons have been made before the commission between the rent of houses in Pullman and the rent of houses in the adjacent towns of Kensington and Roseland, it being made to appear that the rents at Pullman are slightly higher than they are in those adjacent towns. As to this it is to be said that the Pullman houses are built of brick with a thorough system of drainage, with modern improvements such as gas, water closets, faucets and sinks in every house; and that these houses are situated on broad, paved and shaded streets, with sidewalks, parks and lawns, all of which are cared for by the company, the whole town being kept in thorough cleanliness.... I may call the attention of the commission to the fact that at the time of the strike less than one-third of the shop employees were tenants of the company. There were 3,284 shop employees on April 30, 1894, and of these 563 owned their own houses and 560 others lived outside of the town of Pullman; 1,026 were tenants in the town and 1,135 were lodgers in the town. These facts serve ... to make sufficient answer to the statement ...that living in the town of Pullman has now or at any time been made a condition of getting employment.... DOCUMENT #32 Excerpt, U.S. Strike Commission Report, November 14, 1894. If we exclude the aesthetic and sanitary features at Pullman, the rents there are from 20 to 25 per cent higher than rents in Chicago or surrounding towns for similar accommodations. . The aesthetic features are admired by visitors, but have little money value to employees, especially when they lack bread.... The company's claim that the workmen need not hire its tenements and can live elsewhere if they choose is not entirely tenable. The fear of losing work keeps them in Pullman as long as there are tenements unoccupied, because the company is supposed, as a matter of business, to give a preference to its tenants when work is slack. The employees, believing that a tenant at Pullman has this advantage, naturally feel some compulsion to rent at Pullman, and thus to stand well with the management. Exceptional and necessary expert workmen do not share this feeling to the same extent and are more free to hire or own homes elsewhere. While reducing wages the company made no reduction in rents. Its position is that the two matters are distinct.... DOCUMENT #33 Thomas H. Wickes, second vice-president, Pullman Company, questioning before the Strike Commission, August 1894. Question: Has the company had any policy with reference to labor unions among its help? Wickes: No, we never objected to unions except in one instance. I presume that there are quite a number of unions in our shops now. Question: What are they? Wickes: I couldn't tell you, but I have heard of some of them. I suppose the cabinetmakers have a union, and I suppose the car builders have a union.... Question: The only objection you ever made was to the American Railway Union, wasn't it? Wickes: Yes, sir. Question: What was the basis of your objection to that union? Wickes: Our objection to that was that we would not treat with our men as members of 'the American Railway Union, and we would not treat with them as members of any union. We treat with them as individuals and as men.... Question: Don't you think, Mr. Wickes, that would give the corporation a very great advantage over those men if it could take them up one at a time and discuss the question with them. With the ability that you have got, for instance, where do you think the man would stand in each discussion? Wickes: The man has got probably more ability than I have. Question: You think that it would be fair to your men for each one of them to come before you and take up the question of his grievances and attempt to maintain his end of the discussion, do you? Wickes: I think so, yes. If he is not able to do that, that is his misfortune. Question: Don't you think that the fact that you represent a vast concentration of capital, and are selected for that because of your ability to represent it, entitles him if he pleases to unite with all of the men of his craft and select the ablest one they have got to represent the cause? Wickes: As a union? Question: As a union. Wickes: They have the right, yes sir. We have the right to say whether we will receive them or not. Question: Do you think you have any right to refuse to recognize that right in treating with the men? Wickes: Yes, sir; if we choose to. Question: Then you think you have the right to refuse to recognize a union of men designed for the purpose of presenting... to your company the grievances which all complain of or which any complain of? Wickes: That is the policy of the company; yes, sir. If we were to receive these men as representatives of the unions they could probably force us to pay any wage which they saw fit, and get the Pullman Company in the same shape that some of the railroads are by making concessions which ought not to be made. Question: Don't you think that the opposite policy, to wit, that all your dealings with the men, as individuals, in case you sought to abuse your power, might enable you to pay to the men ... just what you saw fit? Wickes: Well, of course a man in an official position, if he is arbitrary and unfair, could work a great deal of injustice to the men; no doubt about that. But then it is a man's privilege to go to work somewhere else. Question: Don't you recognize as to many men, after they had become settled in a place at work of that kind, that really that privilege does not amount to much? Wickes: We find that the best men usually come to the front; the best of our men don't give us any trouble with unions or anything else. It is only the inferior men -- that is, the least competent -- that give us the trouble.... DOCUMENT #34 Nick Salvatore, Eugene V. Debs, 1982 Many workers complained that . . . the increasingly harsh treatment meted out by foremen and managers undermined their basic self-dignity. To work for Pullman, one employee suggested, was to be treated “worse than the slaves” had been treated in the South. . . . Under pressure themselves from management, shop floor supervisors pushed workers unmercifully. The wage cuts, although cruel, might have been bearable, one woman worker argued, but for “the tyrannical and abusive treatment we received from our forewoman.” A former worker herself, this supervisor “seemed to delight in showing her power in hurting the girls in every possible way” and would regularly “make you do a piece of work for twenty- five cents less than the regular price.” DOCUMENT #35 George M. Pullman, responses to questions posed by the commissioners of the U.S. Strike Commission, August 27, 1894. Question: I understood you to say that in considering the question of wages you would not have any right to take the stockholders' money to give to the men in increasing wages when you could obtain their labor for less or when it would be at a loss to the company to do so? Pullman: I would have no right to take the stockholders' money to give one set of mechanics a higher rate than the market price. ...We can only divide profits in a corporation to its stockholders. Question: Let me ask you, then, what right you had to take these contracts at a loss of $400 on a car in order to keep the men at work, if that does not involve exactly the same principle? Pullman: No, because there is a business element in that.... there would be damage resulting to the property of the Pullman Company as well as to the men and as to everybody living in that vicinity. If I could by a contribution of money in that way secure the disbursement of $500,000 or $1,000,000, my excuse for it to my stockholders would be that it would save that amount that would otherwise be lost indirectly. Question: A disbursement to whom do you mean? Pullman:...to the wage earners, the supply dealers, and to all the people.... Question: Well, the stockholders would not be interested in the disbursement of money to the wage earners? Pullman: The stockholders of the Pullman company would be interested in anything that affected directly or indirectly the value of its property at Pullman. Question: Now, acting upon that principle, would it not have been a good business investment to have paid those men a little more wages and had the works continue, although for the time being the company might have been losing money - exactly upon the same principle upon which you took those contracts? Pullman: No, the wages had bean fixed, and when I talked with the men - Question: Who had fixed them? Pullman: The wages had been fixed between the managers at the shops and the men. They were to work, at an agreed scale. Question: Had the men agreed to work at those reduced prices? Pullman: They were working at them, yes sir. Question: Well, were they forced to? Pullman: No, they were not forced. Question: They had to take that or quit? Pullman: Exactly. Question: The stopping of such large works as yours involves a very great loss to stockholders, does it not? Pullman: As a matter of course, this strike has been -- Question: No, I mean the shutting down and the stopping of the works is an injury to the stockholders? Pullman: Well, of course it means that when the works are shut down they are not earning interest on their cost, and it means the cost of watchmen -- Question: I mean, it is an injury in this, that the plant itself deteriorates? Pullman: No, sir, not especially. Question: That the cost of keeping up the machinery in repair and taking care of it is a dead loss during the time that it is idle? Pullman: Yes; but it does not cost us much to keep the machinery in repair. Question: Yes, but it is a loss for which there is no return? Pullman: Yes, sir. Question: And the scattering of the force of help involves a loss in getting them to work again systematically, and so, that work is not done economically and well; is not that true? Pullman: Yes sir, that is true. Question: Now, then, when you offered to make a reduction on those contracts, as you have stated, did you not have in view the saving of that loss to the stockholders as one of the motives that influenced you? Pullman: Yes, sir, I had in view - Question: And you also had in view the natural desire to keep the help at work. Pullman: Yes sir, that appealed to me very strongly.... Question: Now, both of the motives that I have stated appealed to you in deciding to take some contracts at less than cost? Pullman: Yes, sir. Question: When this reduction of wages was made, was your salary reduced and that of the other officers? Pullman: No, sir. Question: Were the salaries of the superintendents and foremen reduced? Pullman: No, sir. Question: Now, let me ask you why, in this general reduction, that was not done? Pullman: Because it is not easy for the manager of a corporation to find men to fill the positions. Men that have been with a corporation for twenty-five years, it doesn't lie with me to go to him (sic) and say to him, "I am going to reduce your salary $1,000," because he will say, "Very well; you will find somebody else to take my place." And there are very few officers of a corporation, comparatively, to the number of employees, and they are able to command their salaries.... Question: In other words, a corporation could not afford to make a reduction of their salaries? Pullman: It would be impossible for me, as the president of a corporation, to reduce the salaries of my officers arbitrarily, because I would find myself possibly without them. Question: You might reduce your own, perhaps, but not theirs. Pullman: I might, if I chose but the difference that it would make on the cost of a car would be so infinitesimal and fractional that it would not be worth considering. Question: And yet those salaries enter into the cost of cars? Pullman: The salaries of the people directly connected with the works? Question: The superintendents and foremen - Pullman: Yes, sir; the salaries of some of the officers that are connected, with the manufacturing department would, of course, affect that. Question: Under the circumstances, don't you think that you ought to have, fairly and in justice to the other classes, attempted to reduce those salaries? Pullman: That might come, we can not do everything at once, and we can not tell how long this depression is going to last. DOCUMENT #36 Thomas H. Wickes, second vice-president, Pullman Company, statement to the U. S. Strike Commission, August 1894. On June 1 , two members of the Civic Federation called upon me to consider some methods of conciliation and arbitration. I explained the situation to them and informed them that we did not consider there was any proper subject for arbitration. On the next day two other members of the Civic Federation called and we had a similar discussion. On the 15th of June, 12 persons, calling themselves a committee from the American Railway Union, called upon me to request that there should be an arbitration. I informed them, in reply, that the company declined to consider any communication from the American Railway Union as representing the former employees of the company. On the next day a committee of six of our former employees called upon me and requested that there should be an arbitration. I informed them that we did not consider that there was any proper subject for arbitration. On the 22nd of June Messrs. F. E. Pollans, B. W. Lovejoy, and C. A. Timlin, claiming to be a committee of three of the American Railway Union, called upon me and stated that they were instructed to notify the Pullman Company that, unless it agreed to arbitration, a boycott would be declared to stop the running of Pullman cars, taking effect at 12 o'clock noon, Tuesday, the 26th day of June. I replied to this statement that the company declined to consider any communication from the American Railway Union on the subject. ... DOCUMENT #37 Declaration of the American Railway Union Convention, Chicago, Illinois, June 15, 1894. "... unless the Pullman Palace Car Company does adjust the grievances before 12 o'clock Tuesday, June 26, 1894, the members of the American Railway Union shall refuse to handle Pullman cars and equipment on or after the date." DOCUMENT #38 General Managers' Association, public statement from emergency meeting, Chicago, Illinois, June 25th, 1894. Thomas H. Wickes, second vice-president, Pullman Company, attended as an "interested listener." At a fully represented meeting of the General Managers' Association, held yesterday afternoon, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted: "Whereas we learn through the public press that the American Railway Union will declare a boycott on all Pullman Palace cars; and Whereas said boycott is in relation to matters over which we have no control and in which we have no interest whatever; and Whereas it is stated that the object and intent of the said boycott it to discommode the traveling public and embarrass the railroads, in the belief that the public and railroads affected will influence the settlement of the question as the American Railway Union desires; and Whereas it is necessary that these companies determine for themselves what cars they shall or shall not handle.... Resolved, 1. That it is the sense of this meeting that the said proposed boycott, being confessedly not in the interest of any employees of said railroad companies or on account of any grievance between said railroad companies and said employees, is unjustifiable and unwarranted. 2. That the employees of said railroad companies can not... with propriety, embarrass said companies or discommode the traveling public because of their sympathy with the supposed wrongs of employees engaged in a wholly different class of labor. 3. That we hereby declare it to be the lawful right and duty of the said railway companies to protest against said boycott; to resist the same in the interest of their existing contracts and for the benefit of the traveling public, and that we will act unitedly to that end." (Editor's Note: The General Managers' Association was a voluntary, unincorporated combination of the owners of the twenty-four railroads centering or terminating in Chicago. It was formed in 1886 to consider mutual "problems of management." Until 1894 it had dealt mainly with such technical matters as switching, car loading, weights of livestock, etc. Occasionally it had dealt with labor problems, fixing a "scale" for switchmen covering all lines at Chicago and distributing to members the schedules of all wages on the twenty-four lines. That is, it also acted as an instrument for employers to mutually agree on the price of labor so as to reduce competition between employers for labor.) DOCUMENT #39 Excerpt, U.S. Strike Commission Report, November 14, 1894. From June 22 until the practical end of the strike, the General Managers' Association directed and controlled the contest on the part of the railroads, using the combined resources of all the roads to support the contentions and insure the protection of each. On June 26 we find in the proceedings of the association the following statement: "A general discussion of the situation followed. It was suggested that some common plan of action ought to be adopted in case employees refused to do switching of passenger trains with Pullman cars, but were willing to continue all of their other work, and it was the general expression that in case any man refused to do his duty, he would be discharged." Headquarters were established; agencies for hiring men opened; as the men arrived they were cared for and assigned to duty upon-the different lines; a bureau was started to furnish information to the press; ... the general managers met daily to hear reports and to direct proceedings; constant communication was kept up with the civil and military authorities as to the movements and assignments of police, marshals, and troops. DOCUMENT #40 Jane Addams, Social Worker and Head of Hull-House, a Chicago Settlement House, responses to questions posed by commissioners before the U.S. Strike Commission, August 1894. Addams: The proposition I made was the suggestion of Mr. Lyman Gage.... president of the First National Bank of Chicago.... His proposition was only as to the settlement of rents. The suggestion was that three men be appointed by the real-estate board, who knew more or less about suburban rents; that they make an estimate of the Pullman rents as to whether or not they were exorbitant; that the estimate be submitted to the company and to the men, and a readjustment be made on that basis. That was the proposition I made to the general strike committee at Pullman. They were anxious to have that done, but they did not wish it to appear that the rent was the only grievance, so they made their resolution general - that they were ready to arbitrate any and all points. I then came back to the city, feeling that we had made a beginning toward conciliation, and other members of the committee went to see Mr. Pullman, I believe. Commissioner Wright; Who were they? Addams: The members of the committee were Mr. Bartlett, Mr. Butler, Professor Henderson, Mr. Carroll, and Mr. Ryerson, I think. Commissioner Wright: What was the business of the men on this committee? Addams: Mr. Ryerson is a capitalist. I don't know that he himself went to Mr. Pullman. Commissioner Wright: Were the other men businessmen in Chicago? Addams: Yes, sir. Mr. Butler is an extensive dealer in general store supplies. Professor Henderson is connected with the university. Mr. Bartlett is in the wholesale hardware business. Mr. Carroll is editor of a labor paper and a very fair-minded man. It was impossible to come to any understanding with the Pullman Company on that proposition, and it was dropped. We considered the effort a failure. Commissioner Worthington: You say it was impossible to come to an understanding. Do you mean it was impossible to secure any arbitration or conference with them? Addams: It was always possible to see them. They were always very courteous to me, but they insisted there was nothing to arbitrate. DOCUMENT #41 George M. Pullman, quoted in the New York Tribune, July 14, 1894. What is the demand concealed under the innocently sounding word arbitration? It must be clear to every business man, and to every thinking workman, that no prudent employer could submit to arbitration . . . . How could I, as president of the Pullman company, consent to agree that if any body of men not concerned with the interest of the company's shareholders should, as arbitrators ... so decree, I would open the shops, employ workmen at wages greater than their work could be sold for, and continue this ruinous policy indefinitely; or be accused of a breach of faith? Who will deny that such a question is plainly not a subject of arbitration? Is it not then unreasonable that the company should be asked to arbitrate whether or not it should submit such a question to arbitration? Removing the original and fundamental question one stage does not help the matter; the question would still remain: Can I, as a business man, knowing the truth of the facts which I have stated, bind myself that I will, in any contingency, open and operate the Pullman car shops at whatever loss, if it should happen to be the opinion of some third party that I should do so? The answer seems to be plain. DOCUMENT #42 Report, New York World, July 14, 1894. On Monday, a committee of Mr. Pullman's working men, accompanied by members of the city council, and with the approval of Mayor Hopkins, waited upon his [Pullman's] representative and offered to submit the question of whether or not there was anything to arbitrate to a committee composed of two members chosen by himself (Mr. Pullman), two selected by the circuit judges of Cook County, and one to be chosen by these four. Laboring men were to have no representative on the committee, yet they pledged themselves to abide by its decision. This offer, which was practically a surrender by the men, was peremptorily rejected by Mr. Pullman's telegraphic order on the ground that "he will not permit outsiders to run his business." DOCUMENT #43 George M. Pullman, responses to questions posed by the commissioners of the U.S. Strike Commission, August 27, 1894. Question: What are those matters that are proper subjects for arbitration? Pullman: A matter of opinion would be a proper subject for arbitration, as, for instance, a question of title, or a disagreement on a matter of opinion but as to whether a fact that I know to be true is true or not, I could not agree to submit to arbitration. Take the case in hand, the question as to whether the shops at Pullman shall be continuously operated at a loss or not, is one which it was impossible for the company, as a matter of principle, to submit to the opinion of any third party.... Question: You use the expression, "impossible to be submitted." Why is it impossible? Pullman: Because it would violate a principle. Question: What principle? Pullman: The principle that a man should have the right to manage his own property.... DOCUMENT #44 George M. Pullman, responses to questions posed by commissioners of the U.S. Strike Commission, August 27, 1894. Commissioner Worthington: Now, let me ask you, does the company now make it a condition, in taking back any of those who were on the strike, that they shall surrender their card of membership in the American Railway Union? Pullman: We do. That is the only union, however. We have never discriminated against any labor union whatever, except the American Railway Union. Commissioner Worthington: Have you had any other labor organization in Pullman? Pullman: I do not know as to that. We have never made any question whatever on that in the hiring of the men. Commissioner Worthington: Has there ever been one that you know of? Pullman: I presume they have, although I am not able to say definitely about it. Commissioner Worthington: Is not this American Railway Union the first labor organization that your employees as employees have belonged to that has come to your knowledge? Pullman: I have no recollection of any contact with a labor organization other than the railway union. Commissioner Worthington: And the policy now, as I understand it, of the Pullman Palace Car Company is that it will retain no one in its employ that belongs to this branch of organized labor? Pullman: The policy is that it will retain no one that belongs to the American Railway Union. It has not discriminated against any other labor organizations. Commissioner Worthington: And you do not know that there is any other one out there to discriminate against? Answer: I don't know as a fact, but I presume there is. Commissioner Worthington: But if there was one, you would not have discriminated against it? Pullman: I say we have never discriminated against other labor organizations. If I should desire to make any further statement hereafter, I may make it, I suppose. DOCUMENT #45 Jane Addams, Social Worker and Head of Hull-House, a Chicago Settlement House, "A Modern Lear," 1894. Those of us who lived in Chicago during the summer of 1894 were confronted with a drama which epitomized and, at the same time, challenged the code of social ethics under which we live, for a quick series of unusual events had dispelled the good nature which in happier times envelops the ugliness of the industrial situation. It sometimes seems as if the shocking experiences of that summer, the barbaric instinct to kill, roused on both sides, the sharp division into class lines, with the resultant distrust and bitterness, can only be endured if we learn from it all a great ethical lesson.
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