During the late 1800s many workers began going without pay causing several violent strikes to start. Railroads workers in Baltimore and Ohio went on the Great Strike of 1877 to protest their second wage cut in two months. Another major strike was the Haymarket affair on May 4th, 1886 which was a protest against police cruelty. A bomb was thrown and 7 police officers were killed while many workers were injured. The Homestead Strike included steel workers on June 29th, 1892 which caused the national guard to step in. Many women were not allowed in labor unions, but they supported much of the work of unions. Women such as Mary Harris Jones, or Mother Jones, demanded for better working conditions, end to child labor and equal pay for equal work. Mary Harris Jones spoke on child labor,
“The employment of children is doing more to fill prisons, insane asylums, almshouses, reformatories, slums, and gin shops than all the efforts of reformers are doing to improve society.”
In 1903 she led 80 million children to Theodore Roosevelt’s home to expose the injuries and horrors of child labor this would later lead to the passing of child labor laws.
Mary Harris Jones in the Children’s Crusade