Pinkerton Riots Essay

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“A Chaotic Mess” “Pinkerton Riot” is oil on canvas and is presented in an exceptional blurred style capturing the chaotic “crackdown on striking workers during the Homestead steel strike of 1892.” Local artist Raymond Simboli who was born in Pescina, Italy on December 26, 1894 and died April 22, 1964 painted “Pinkerton Riot” in 1942. So how did this riot begin? In 1889 an agreement between the steel mill workers and management had been attained. The workers went on strike and negotiated a three-year contract, which, by general consensus, met all the needs of the workers. On June 30, 1892, this contract expired. “Andrew Carnegie, who had often publicly communicated union sympathies, departed for Scotland, leaving the notorious Henry Clay Frick with managing authority.” The same man who later said, “You can tell Carnegie I’ll meet him. Tell him I’ll see him in Hell, where we both are going.” Frick was well known for his brutal tendencies and unsympathetic mentality towards the workers. He made huge adjustments to the working environment and installed solid fencing around the mill and barbed wire on top. The workers called the new mill "Fort Frick." Frick’s new ironfisted policies were the last straw for disgruntled workers. After many months of unhappiness with management, workers were in no disposition to deal with Frick. He decided to allocate pay cuts to the workers individually --“Individually” being the key term here, as the workers demanded to remain as a solid union and refused to negotiate wages individually with Frick. On June 28, 1892 Frick, in an attempt to break the union, forced a “Lock-out”. No employee of the steel mill was able to work. Although deputy sheriffs were sworn in to guard the property, the workers ordered them out of town. The workers felt they had no right to work. They began guarding the steel mill. Immediately after the workers
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