1905: Montgomery Ward Chicago strike

The Teamsters in 1905 joined virtually every union in Chicago in striking against the unfair labor practices of the Montgomery Ward department store. The walkouts and strikes—called interchangeably the Teamsters' strike, the Montgomery Ward Strike, and the Chicago Teamsters' strike—soon involved thousands of workers and affected the entire city. The moment put the power of union solidarity on display and revealed the forces union workers were up against when challenging the established power structure.

The strikes were also a sign of more bloody battles to come. With the backing of powerful business interests, police engaged in a brutal and bloody campaign of violence against the workers, leaving 21 dead and hundreds injured when the strike was finally broken after more than 100 days.

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