Pinkerton, founded as the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, is a private security guard and detective agency established in the United States by Allan Pinkerton in 1850 and currently a subsidiary of Securitas AB. Pinkerton became famous when he claimed to have avoided a plot to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln, who later hired Pinkerton agents for his personal security during the Civil War. Pinkerton's agents performed services ranging from security guarding to private military contracting work. Pinkerton was the largest private law enforcement organization in the world at the height of its power.
During the labor strikes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, businessmen hired the Pinkerton Agency to infiltrate unions, supply guards, keep strikers and suspected unionists out of factories, and recruit goon squads to intimidate workers. One such confrontation was the Homestead Strike of 1892, in which Pinkerton agents were called in to reinforce the strikebreaking measures of industrialist Henry Clay Frick, acting on behalf of Andrew Carnegie. The ensuing battle between Pinkerton agents and striking workers led to the deaths of seven Pinkerton agents and nine steelworkers. The Pinkertons were also used as guards in coal, iron, and lumber disputes in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia as well as the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 and the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921. The organization was pejoratively called the "Pinks" by its opponents.

Pinkerton agents were hired to track western outlaws Jesse James, the Reno Gang, and the Wild Bunch (including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid). On March 17, 1874, two Pinkerton Detectives and a deputy sheriff, Edwin P. Daniels, encountered the Younger brothers (associates of the James–Younger Gang); Daniels, John Younger, and one Pinkerton agent was killed. In Union, Missouri a bank was robbed by George Collins, aka Fred Lewis, and Bill Randolph; Pinkerton Detective Chas Schumacher trailed them and was killed. Collins was hanged on March 26, 1904 and Randolph was hanged on May 8, 1905 in Union. Pinkertons were also hired for transporting money and other high quality merchandise between cities and towns, which made them vulnerable to the outlaws. Pinkerton agents were usually well paid and well armed.
Pinkerton, 1862
G.H. Thiel, a former Pinkerton employee, established the Thiel Detective Service Company in St. Louis, Missouri, a competitor to the Pinkerton agency. The Thiel company operated in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Due to its conflicts with labor unions, the word Pinkerton continues to be associated by labor organizers and union members with strikebreaking. Pinkertons, however, moved away from labor spying following revelations publicized by the La Follette Committee hearings in 1937. Pinkerton's criminal detection work also suffered from the police modernization movement, which saw the rise of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the bolstering of detective branches and resources of the public police. Without the labor and criminal investigation work on which Pinkertons thrived for decades, the company became increasingly involved in protection services, and in the 1960s, even the word "Detective" disappeared from the agency's letterhead.


aka: also known as.
goon squad: en Estados Unidos un grupo de mercenaries asociados con los sindicatos, a su favor o en contra. En el caso de estar a favor los good squad se forman por los sindicatos para intimidar a trabajadores no afiliados.
Great Railroad Strike of 1877: fue una huelga que comenzó en  Martinsburg, West Virginia, y terminó 45 días después luego de que las milicias y tropas federales se pusieran en acción. Los sindicatos no intervinieron, estas fueron reacciones espontáneas en numerosas ciudades en contra del ferrocarril.
Comenzó como respuesta a la reducción de salarios por tercera vez en un año. Los trabajadores en huelga no permitieron a los trenes circular hasta que la decisión de recortar los salarios se revocara.
Battle of Blair Mountain: fue uno de los levantamientos más grandes de los trabajadores en toda la historia de Estados Unidos. Por cinco días, en 1921, algo más de 10.000 mineros armados se enfrentaron a 3.000 soldados, en un intento por sindicalizar a los mineros. El conflicto terminó después que se disparan un millón de tiros y el ejército de EEUU interviniera. 
La Follette Civil Liberties Committee: fue un comité que investigó los métodos usados por los empleadores en ciertas industrias, Entre 1936 y 1941 se publicaron reportes sobre el uso de espionaje, agencias privadas de detectives, servicios de rompe huelgas, municiones y asociaciones para romper las huelgas y las actividades sindicales legales por parte de los industrialistas.

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