In 1905, the United Brotherhood of Teamsters joined the United Garment Workers' union in Chicago in a sympathy strike. Other Chicago unions followed suit and the strike quickly became violent. Near-daily riots erupted from early April until July, when most unions voted to withdraw from the strike. By the time the strike ended, 21 people had been killed and over 400 people had been injured. The 1905 Teamsters’ strike highlighted inter-union solidarity, but it also severely damaged public support for unions, making it one of the most consequential strikes in the 20th century. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
|November 19, 1904||6000 members of the United Garment Workers’ Union go on strike.|
|April 6, 1905||Thousands of drivers in the United Brotherhood of Teamsters join the striking tailors in a sympathy strike.|
|April 29, 1905||Tensions among strikers, strikebreakers, and police escalate into bloody conflicts.|
|April 30, 1905||Hundreds of African American men are recruited from other cities as additional strikebreakers.|
|July 21, 1905||Two large sectors of the Teamsters’ Union vote to call off the strike.|