The River Ran Red Reaction Have you ever wanted to stand up to your boss? The relationship between the employee and employer has been around since man could work. The employer employs the employee but needs to keep the employee happy so satisfactory work will be done and the employee will continue to work for the employer. In the movie The River Ran Red, management went too far with the employees and caused an uprising. In the movie Carnegie owned a steel mill in Homestead, Pennsylvania. In the 1890’s Carnegie was one of the wealthiest men in America having a vertical monopoly n the steel industry.
Carnegie a social darwinist, did not support labor unions and planned on banning them in Homestead. Going away on vacation to Scotland, Frick, even more ruthless than Carnegie, was left in charge of the factory. Frick slashed wages and when workers protested locked out workers from the factory. Frick built a fence around the factory which the workers called “Fort Frick”. I found this shocking that Frick was willing to sacrifice making money in order to prove a point and abolish the union. i believe unions are Just and help unite the working force.
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Unions voices should be heard considering it is the major portion of the factory. The lockout did not keep the workers out and they stormed the factory taking down the walls. The deputy sheriffs that Frick had used to guard the factory had failed him so he sent in for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, a private army, to come to his aid. Coming in on a tugboat by nightfall, the army came greeted by hundreds of protesters. No one is sure who fired the first shot but a battle erupted and after fourteen hours of exchanged gunfire the Pinkerton Detective Agency surrendered.
I feel that management hiring an army against its own employees is outrageous and completely out of line. Although the employees of the factory were out of line storming the factory, they had some reason to because they depended on that Job. The workers needed to provide for their families and with wages already cut they could not afford to stop working. After the battle the Governor of Pennsylvania sent the state militia over arrested the strikers. The strike leaders were convicted with murders and the others with lesser crimes.
The leaders were blacklisted and the Homestead returned back to normal crushing the union. The government was right to get involved because of how out of hand the situation at homestead became. Without the government more fighting could have raged on between Pinkerton and the strikers, spilling more blood. Strikes are a way of the employees showing that they don’t believe they are being or get them fire if the strike is not effective. In the movie The River Ran Red, management went too far with the employees and caused an uprising.