Today in labor history: Pullman strike leader murder sparks huge protest funeral

On this day in 1894, during the Pullman strike, Charles Leonard, a representative of Omaha Railway murdered Charles Luth, a railroad switchman and union activist. Luth was protesting the use of scab labor during the strike. A huge funeral ensured at St. Paul’s historic Rice Park. The strike was led by the American Railway Union (ARU) founded by socialist leader Eugene Debs.

When the company refused to recognize the union Debs led a massive boycott against all trains that carried Pullman cas. As a result most rail lines west of Detroit  were shutdown. At its peak the labor action involved some 250,000 workers in 27 states.

Photo: Wikipedia (CC)


Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.