Homestead strike, in U.S. history, a bitterly fought labor dispute. On June 29, 1892, workers belonging to the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers struck the Carnegie Steel Company at Homestead, Pa. to protest a proposed wage cut. Henry C. Frick, the company's general manager, determined to break the union. He hired 300 Pinkerton detectives to protect the plant and strikebreakers. After an armed battle between the workers and the detectives on July 6, in which several men were killed or wounded, the governor called out the state militia. The plant opened, nonunion workers stayed on the job, and the strike, which was officially called off on Nov. 20, was broken. The Homestead strike led to a serious weakening of unionism in the steel industry until the 1930s.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.