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The Beef Strikes were a series of historical strikes that occurred in the first decade of the twentieth century. On July 12, 1904, almost 30,000 packing plant workers left their jobs to strike for better wages and conditions. The packers had not willingness to concede to these demands, and so they instituted a program of bringing poor labor, many of them poverty stricken African Americans from the US South, to the plants. They had higher wages than normal workers did, even though they were unskilled. These tactics proved successful and packing plant workers such as Jurgis returned to their jobs without gaining concessions from the packers.