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Word Count: 379
The Great Strike of 1877 On July 16 1877 in Martinsburg West Virginia began the Great Strike of 1877 On this day railroad workers for the Baltimore Ohio Railroad were informed of a ten percent wage cut this was the second cut like this in eight months After one train crew abandoned their post other workers followed and the strike was under way Strikers forbade any trains through the town of Martinsburg Local authorities were sent out but were unsuccessful on getting the trains running again The number of strikers grew After sometime the strike encompassed more then simply railroad workers The strike involved workers from a variety of other occupations as well The strike spread and started occurring in other parts of the country and parts of Europe The strikers were given an image of beggars and not the image of a hard worker asking for a decent wage This misportrayed image was given to these strikers by newspapers that were being controlled by corporations The acts of strikers setting trains and roundhouses on fire were deeply etched in the communities head Perhaps it gets over looked or forgotten but it was in fact the acts of upset citizens opposed to the railroad rates that initiated most if not all fires Millions of workers which had immigrated from other countries in hopes of being better off than they were had their hopes and inspirations of success crushed The compression of these hopes was the work they acquired when they settled The companies rewarded stockholders but were holding out on the workers The companies paid a worker around a dollar a day The employers regarded that dollar a day as enough for living for the worker and the workers family The companies werent surprised by the strike for they set laws before the laws even existed For example railroad owners had a law passed making it illegal to go on strike with out
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