Phillips Packing Company was the economic powerhouse in Cambridge, Maryland, in June 1937, when around 2,000 employees went on strike. The workers, both black and white, demanded better pay, better hours, and the right to form a union.
The protest led to violent confrontations between the strikers and armed representatives of the company. Then the police got involved, and there were injuries, arrests, and one death.
The workers and their union backers rejected the company president’s offer of a meager pay increase, but Phillips’ cunning legal gambits finally wore the employees down. The merciless end of the strike brought no resolution to the economic and social inequalities in Cambridge, and the door was left open to civil unrest.
This video is approximately five minutes in length.