Triangle shirtwaist factory fire was 100 years ago today, a fire where 147 women locked inside died and one that sparked the labor movement today. It launched and became a model for the nation and a labor movement (New Deal, Welfare State, Right To Organize to name a few) that is now being challenged and vilified today in places like Wisconsin.
Instead of throwing out labor rights, we need to remember, remember, remember why the American labor movement started in the first place. To keep workers safe, in healthy conditions, with realistic hours, and decent wages. Remember last December in Bangladesh a Garment factory fire killed workers who were striking to make 35 cents per hour, or around $43 per month, while producing clothing for Gap, and JC Penny should give us all pause.
Wikipedia The building is located at 245 Greene Street in lower Manhattan.
The lives of the women who perished should not be in vain.
Before the fire, the women who perished were fighting/striking for better working conditions, were victimized, lost their lives but set the stage for workers rights today. 100 years later it feels like we are actually repealing the 20th century. Their efforts should not be in vain.
Today's Democracy Now with Amy Goodman had a fantastic panel of speakers talking about the tragedy and the positive change that swept the country after the fire. Watch the clip here:
It's worth a listen here of their podcast.