1) In accounts of those famous historical strikes, the company owners are usually portrayed as the aggressors, but that's nonsense. In every case I'm aware of, the company owners used violence only for the purpose of defending their property or non-union replacement workers from violence by the union. For example, in the homestead strike, Carnegie refused to negotiate with the union and attempted to bring in replacement workers. The union barricaded the factory to prevent replacement workers from entering. The union members were armed, with guns. Many "scabs" were attacked violently. Then Carnegie sent Pinkertons onto the property to remove the union workers. The workers opened fire on the Pinkertons and a battle ensued, where several died on both sides. Eventually the state militia came in to restore order. Another example: the Battle of Blair Mountain. It began with mine owners firing union workers and evicting them from company land - entirely within their rights. But the unions resisted violently, killing eviction agents. Eventually the union launched military style attacks on the mines with large groups of armed men, against which the mine owners tried to defend themselves and their property. Who's at fault here? Pretty obvious to me...
2) There's nothing wrong with workers getting together and agreeing not to work, but that's got nothing to do with unions. Unions don't organize workers to go home and not work, they organize workers to trespass, attack scabs, vandalize and (since the Wagner Act of 1935) bring the government in to force their demands on employers.
"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."
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