Weihe wanted to prevent further trouble at Homestead, so he pleaded with Frick to confer with representatives of the Amalgamated to return to Homestead and stop the armed conflict. Employees: no work means no pay. Strikers on the steam launch fired a few random shots at the barges, then withdrew—blowing the launch whistle to alert the plant. He began to lock the union workers out of the plant and on July 2nd, they were all fired. This company was also owned by Andrew Carnegie.
As the mills expanded, the labor force grew rapidly, especially with less skilled workers. The maximum person capacity inside the building is 150. When 300 Pinkerton Detectives came ashore at Andrew Carnegie's Homestead mill on July 6, 1892, they had no idea of the extreme violence with which the locked-out steelworkers would greet them. McCleary asked again for help at noon, and Pattison responded by asking how many deputies the sheriff had. The Battle for Homestead 1880 —1892: Politics, Culture, and Steel. The barges carried 300 Pinkerton guards who had been sent to protect the works during the Homestead Strike and Lockout.
But, on his annual lengthy vacation to a remote Scottish castle on Loch Rannock, he proved inaccessible to all -- including the press and to Homestead's workers -- except for Frick. The strike and lock out continued until November when unskilled laborers asked to be released from their strike pledge. The strikers then loaded a railroad flatcar with drums of oil and set it afire. These workers and their employers are locked into an intractable conflict. He may belong to as many unions or organizations as he chooses, but we think our employees at Homestead Steel Works would fare much better working under the system in vogue at Edgar Thomson and Duquesne. The Homestead Steel Works resumed production with strikebreaking laborers protected by soldiers. The Pinkertons all left town on the very next train.
Two days later, workers seized the mill and sealed off the town from strike-breakers. All parking is at your own risk. The flatcar hurtled down the rails toward the mill's wharf where the barges were docked. The mills facilities were lighted by electricity which allowed the mills to run day and night. A local hardware merchant donated his entire stock of ammunition, which workers carried to the mill in wheelbarrows. Homestead's management, with millionaire Andrew Carnegie as owner, was determined to lower its costs of production by breaking the union. Many of the Pinkerton agents refused to participate in the firefight any longer; the agents crowded onto the barge farthest from the shore.
The union contract contained 58 pages of footnotes defining work-rules at the plant and strictly limited management's ability to maximize output. Frick had sought several times to have the Pinkerton agents deputized. The steel was used to produce boiler and armor plates, beams and structural iron. But all was not well inside the plant. But Foner says that the strikers tore down the fence near the water's edge. In 1880 it had a population of about 600 people. It was organized by the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers Union and it was different that the major strikes that occurred before it.
At the end of the battle between the Pinkertons and nearly the entire town, seven workers and three Pinkertons were dead. Krause points out that much of the press' lurid reporting played heavily on misogynistic ideals of women as respectable and docile. More experienced agents were barely able to stop the new recruits from abandoning the ships and swimming away. It was in its own way an elitist, discriminatory organization that was not worthy of the Republic, Carnegie felt. Homestead laws vary widely among different states. The strikers blew the plant whistle at 2:30 a. In 1892, labor declared a general strike in New Orleans.
The Homestead Steel Mill Strike in 1892 was a strike at Carnegie Steel at the Homestead Steel Mill in Homestead Pennsylvania. The crowd responded in kind, killing two and wounding 12. Outgunned by the Pinkerton's Winchester rifles, Homestead's citizens scoured the town for weapons, pressing into service everything from ancient muzzle loaders to 20-pound cannon. Pattison refused to order the town taken by force, for fear a massacre would occur. Public sympathy for the union, eroded by the brutal treatment of the Pinkertons, declined further when anarchist Alexander Berkman, unconnected to the union, attempted to kill Frick. Pattison to attempt to persuade him that law and order had been restored in the town. A nationwide also was unsuccessful.
McCleary, sympathizing with the workers, refused Frick's demands. It had a purpose and a goal. They secured a steam-powered river launch and several rowboats to patrol the Monongahela River, which ran alongside the plant. Carnegie refused to share control of his company. The strikers then huddled behind the pig and scrap iron in the mill yard, while the Pinkertons cut holes in the side of the barges so they could fire on any who approached.