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Labor History Articles

Address to 1894 Convention of American Railway Union

Webtrax Admin

by Jennie Curtis, President of ARU Local 269, the "Girls" Local Union.

Mr. President and Brothers of the American Railway Union:

We struck at Mr. Pullman because we were without hope. We joined the American Railway Union because it gave us a glimmer of hope. Twenty-thousand souls, men, women, and little ones, have their eyes turned toward this convention today; straining eagerly through dark despondency for a glimmer of the heaven-sent message which you alone can give us on this earth.

Pullman, both the man and the town, is an ulcer on the body politic. He owns the houses, the schoolhouse, and the churches of God in the town he gave his once humble name.

And, thus, the merry war -- the dance of skeletons bathed in human tears -- goes on; and it will go on, brothers, forever unless you, the American Railway Union, stop it; end it; crush it out.

And so I say, come along with us, for decent conditions everywhere!