The strike has become a national issue. Since June, American Railroad Union workers across America, led by Eugene Debs, have refused to handle any train with a Pullman car attached.
The railroad companies retaliated by firing the switchmen, and now rail workers everywhere are striking. Rail yards are paralyzed. Mail service is delayed.
The union said it would let mail through, just not Pullman cars. But railroad executives aren’t budging. They won’t separate mail and Pullman cars. Instead, they’re calling for strong federal action because the U.S. mail and interstate commerce are being held up.
Last week, a federal court agreed, and issued a sweeping injunction ordering workers to let trains and strikebreakers through.
Today, over Governor Altgeld's objections, President Cleveland sent in federal troops to enforce the order.