Sunday, October 28, 2012

1892 Homestead Strike

While watching the History Channel’s Men Who Built America, I became intrigued with the Homestead strike of 1892, where 10 men were killed, three of which were Pinkerton agents. History sometimes portrays this as some kind of atrocity. In a sense it was, but who was really at fault? We could blame Carnegie Steel’s, Frick, but that is too easy.

Working conditions were hard, but that was life in America in those days. Those people worked twelve hours a day in torturous heat. Those men were steel workers who were known for their toughness.

Enter the union, who told the men they needed more money, which was fair. The unions took things too far. They convinced those workers that the steel mill belonged to them. They were the ones who built it. Unions and the left are telling people the same things today. They tell people that those who built the industry couldn’t have done it without the worker, which is true, in some sense. It’s this kind of thinking that leads many of us to say that unions and the Democratic Party are communistic. They overlook the fact they were given much needed jobs in which to feed their families.

Carnegie Steel agreed to give workers a 30% raise, which is beyond fair, except the union wanted 60%. The strike began and the workers barricaded themselves inside the steel mill. Frick found people willing to work, mostly immigrants. Those immigrants were glad to work for the lower wages. We see the same thing happening today. There is a flood of immigrants crossing the southern border to take jobs at lower wages.

Frick hired the Pinkerton Detective Agency to tear down the barricade and remove striking workers so the steel mill could return to production. I must also note that across the country, building projects were in danger of stoppage due to a lack of steel. In the end, a lot of people could be harmed, other than those huddled behind those barricades.

Ten men died and many others were injured that day, all because greedy union bosses brainwashed those men into believing they owned something they didn’t. The steel mill was soon back into operation with replacement workers. In the end, those men died for nothing.

I also see this as a demonstration of union power even in those early years. A group of men took over a facility owned by an American citizen and police officials did nothing to recoup that property for the owners.

Too often we find the government and the media choosing sides. When they decide some entity is the bad guy, such as Wall Street and the banks, anything done against them is justified. The left demonizes banks while handing them billions of free money. Imagine if someone would give you a million dollars to use for a week. Imagines the thousands you could make off simple interest, alone.

The Occupy movement took parks hostage while screaming about the evil banks and Wall Street, all the while living off union funding. The unions filled the crowds with people that directed emotions in directions that worked best for the organization. They used the crowds to push the Democratic Party as the party of choice, while that was the party feeding money to the very people about which they protested.

The unions collect dues, sometimes forced by law, to send billions to the Democratic Party. In a sense, they own a political party that gives it more and more power. Yes, today, unions are a dying breed, but that’s only because their policies have forced industry after industry out of the country or into southern states where unions are rare.

The unions sent those men to die for their own greed. A 60% wage increase would have been a huge increase in union dues. The left shouts that people have a right to work while they care nothing about those who invest large amounts of time and money to build facilities in which these people can work. I should maintain the right to decide who does or doesn’t work for me. That right should remain with those who risk everything to provide the jobs.

I find it odd that the very people who preaches workers rights, also support illegal immigration. Those on the left should know that labor is a commodity and its worth is controlled by supply and demand. If there is a field where qualified workers are rare, wages soar. If it’s an area where workers are plentiful, then wages drop. Unions attempt to defy the market and this rarely ends well. That employer will eventually move to where there is a fair market.     

No comments:

Post a Comment