Solidarity With the Railroad Workers!

“Revolt of the Railroad Workers”

Eugene V Debs was a rank & file railroad worker who first took a job on the railroad in the paint shop at the age of 14 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He soon became a locomotive fireman, and then the Secretary-Treasurer and Editor of the Firemen union’s new magazine. In 1893, he left his job with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen (BLF) and broke with the conservative and fractured craft union leadership to assist in forming a new kind of union – an industrial union – one that accepted workers from all crafts as members, one based upon universal solidarity and unity. the American Railway Union (ARU).In 1914, with the labor movement on the ascendancy – very similar to the state of affairs today in the United States – Eugene V Debs penned an essay entitled “The Revolt of the Railroad Workers.” The essay featured here outlines the railroad workers’ struggles of the various crafts at that time, and their discontent with the railway bosses together with the ineffective craft union system and the lack of solidarity, unity, and leadership. Today’s readers – over 100 years later – might be astounded at the similarities to today’s issues and struggles that confront railroad workers!
Read Debs’ Essay “Revolt of the Railroad Workers”

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