Strikes for Higher Pay--1887

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This is the year of 1887 and strikes are illegal, but all of you are on strike for higher pay. I do not quite understand why you would want to strike, considering that, you have payments to make, children to feed, and a family to take care of. You can continue to carry on this nonsense, but I rest you assured that nothing is going to change. What is the use in striking when you know that nothing is going to change, and you can barely live as it is? There is no sense in this foolishness. I ask you to stop striking and come back to work, before it is too late.

Strike. Strike as long as you must. I must assure you that the consequences may be devastating to all of you. I do not approve of your foolishness, and in no way will I tolerate these kinds of actions, aspired by all of you, as my employees.

Grow up and realize that no matter how long you strike, higher pay will never be an issue that I will consider. Please take a few minutes to remember what life was like for all of you, including myself, in the years of 1873-1877. The Wall Street crash triggered a major depression. Do you remember what those days were like; not too enjoyable were they? Over six thousand companies, including the Acme Industrial Widget Empire, closed within a year. The companies that did not close, cut the employees wages and laid many workers off in a desperate effort to survive. The strike turned deadly in 1877, with the railroad strikers. (p. 528) Just last year, on May Day 1886, 340,000 workers walked off their jobs in support of the campaign for an eight-hour workday. This strike, the Haymarket Riot, turned deadly. There was a bomb released, killing four police officers. After that point, many went to jail and some executed. Many were innocent, not even at the Haymarket Riot, but still they faced consequences of others. (pp. 528-529).

From employer to employees, take in consideration of those workers during that time, and yourself. There can be serious consequences for your actions. I could easily fire all of you and hire scabs. I could fire all of you, have you placed in jail, hire immigrants who are desperate for work. Strikes are illegal, and if this continues, I assure you that the consequences will be devastating to all of you and your families.

I am not going to concede to your demands. The economy cannot afford it. You may work long hours for little pay, but you also have been provided with housing, grocery stores, churches and schools. Must I give you more? I do not believe you need more. Housing and groceries you may have to pay for, but who does not have to pay for things such as that? Your children have a chance to get an education and attend church services. This was something they were unable to do before. I have given you too much as it is. I will not, under any circumstance concede to your demands for higher pay, at this moment.

Think about the trouble you are causing. Not only are you possibly going to lose you jobs, but also the possibility of your children having a bright future. In the future, I may review your pay, and see what we can do. You have two choices now that lay in your hands. You can stop this foolishness and come back to work, or you not only loose your jobs, you will go to jail. Think about the consequences closely before you make you decision. I assure you that I may consider the possibility of higher pay in the future.