“This order of things cannot always endure.”
August 23, 2018 9:19 AM Subscribe
“Pullman was designed to keep workers content enough to avoid unrest. The buildings were magnificent, everything was inordinately clean, homes had personal yard space in addition to expansive public parks, with maintenance and sanitation covered by the company. By building an appealing environment that seemed to focus on the health and contentment of its inhabitants, Pullman hoped to entice a skilled workforce to join him—and to avoid strikes. Though workers had access to libraries, churches, parks, shopping, and a man-made lake, there were also strongly enforced prohibitions against newspapers, town meetings led by workers, public speeches, and even taverns. Residents had to adhere to cleanliness standards, which largely existed only to give inspectors an excuse to invade their homes. A Pullman pastor explained: “It is a civilized relic of European serfdom.” It was a company town controlled by a paranoid baron who felt insecure about his power and did all he could to keep his employees placated enough to stay quiet—and it worked, until it didn’t.” How (or How Not) To Build A Labor Movement.
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