The activities planned for July 6 at the Pump House in Munhall will be far more family friendly than what occurred there on that date in 1892.
Thursday marks 131 years since the Battle of Homestead, the deadly conflict that erupted at the site when the Carnegie Steel Co. brought in private armed guards in an attempt to break a strike at the Homestead Steel Works.
The Battle of Homestead Foundation, an educational nonprofit organization, will commemorate the day with music and a series of speakers who will link the buildup and aftermath of the 1892 strike to modern labor issues.
“The 1892 steel strike was a defining event in America’s ongoing struggle to ensure workplace rights,” said John Haer, president of the foundation. “Observing the anniversary lets us reflect on the role of organized labor in fighting the extreme economic inequality endangering our nation in 2023.”
The free event, scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Pump House at 880 E. Waterfront Drive in Munhall, will feature speeches from historians with the Battle of Homestead Foundation as well as musical performances by the Pittsburgh Labor Choir, the Raging Grannies, the May Day Marching Band and Mike Stout, an activist, rock guitarist and former steelworker.
Members of the public are also invited to share their thoughts and experiences, said Lawrence McCullough, operations manager of the Battle of Homestead Foundation.
“Anyone can come and talk about our labor heritage and how it connects with our labor history today, such as strikes and actions,” McCullough said.
Although the Homestead strike ended well over a century ago, its lessons remain relevant to labor issues in health care, retail, agriculture, public service and other industries today, according to Battle of Homestead Foundation officials.
“Besides the dollars-and-cents economic issues that drove the conflict in 1892, the strikers fought to establish the fundamental principle that worker rights are human rights,” said Rosemary Trump, a foundation board member. “That principle is still being contested in our day, and what workers did 131 years ago in Homestead can show us important insights on how to move forward in our time.”