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Strike, cessation of work by a group of employees to achieve certain goals. Reasons for a strike may include demands for higher wages, better working conditions, shorter work hours, and more benefits. Trade unions may play a role in strikes. Workers may strike to force the employer to recognize a certain union as their bargaining representative. Strikes are intended to create a financial loss for the company in goods produced or services rendered, thus prompting earnest negotiations. The first nationwide strike in the United States occurred in 1877, by railroad workers. As organized labor grew stronger in the late 19th century and strikes occurred more frequently, employers sometimes responded with harassment, engaging police or armed guards to disperse striking workers or to protect strike breakers. In Europe strikes involving all the workers of a nation or region are common.

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