Using data from a sample of over 2,000 individual strikes in the United States from
1881 to 1894 this article examines geographic, industrial, and temporal variations in
the use of strikebreakers and the sources from which they were recruited. The use of
strikebreakers was not correlated with the business cycle and did not vary
appreciably by region or city size, but employers located outside the Northeast or in
smaller cities were more likely to use replacement workers recruited from other
places. The use of strikebreakers also varied considerably across industries, and was
affected by union authorization and strike size.
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