Friday, March 25, 2011

Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

The (T)'s want to take us back to the late 1800 and early 1900's, where the norm was 12hr days seven days a week with very little safety for workers and not much else, that which we built from that time and these tragedies!!

1911 ~ 100Years Later ~ 2011


a fire broke out at the Triangle Waist Factory. Within 18 minutes, 146 people were dead as a result of the fire.

The ILR School Kheel Center is honoring the 100 year anniversary of the fire with a redesign of this well-known resource, including many new and updated materials.

The rest can be found here: Cornell University ~ ILR School ~ Kheel Center

100 Years After the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Garment workers around 1900. (Credit: Kheel Center, Cornell University, photographer unknown)

23 March 2011 - Turn back the clock on New York City’s garment district to around the year 1900.

“The average work week was 84 hours, 12 hours every day of the week,” said Ellen Rothman with the Jewish Women’s Archive in Brookline, Mass. “During the busy season, the grinding hum of sewing machines never entirely ceased day or night.”

Listen to the Report

Conditions had begun to improve by 1911, but just slightly. On March 25th of that year, fire erupted at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in lower Manhattan. It was one of the worst workplace disasters in American history: 146 people died, mostly teenage girls and women, immigrant Jews from Eastern Europe and Italians.

Workers had few rights at the time. Garment factories were crowed, noisy and hot. Bathroom breaks were monitored. Workers had their bags inspected when they left for the day. When fire broke out at the Triangle Factory, the exits were locked to prevent theft.

“In trying to escape, there was no choice: be burned alive, or jump. And most of them jumped. And everyone who jumped died,” said Rothman. {continued}

March 24, 2011 - Answers About the Nation’s Labor Laws and Unions, Part 1

100 Years After Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, Workers Face Dangers Born of Greed

In "Triangle's Echoes: The Unfinished Struggle for Worker Protection, Safety and Health," filmmaker Harry Hanbury shows the fight for workers' rights is far from over.

March 24, 2011 - As fire engulfed the factory floor, the seamstresses and workers of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in Manhattan threw themselves out of the 9th-floor windows, diving to their deaths. The stairwell doors had been locked by the factory boss, who said he feared the workers would steal from the company.

Of the 146 female workers who perished in the fire 100 years ago were a number who helped lead the first successful strike of women workers the year before, when the International Ladies Garment Workers Union was in its infancy. Although the ILGWU succeeded in gaining an improvement in working conditions and wages from most of the companies targeted by the strike, the bosses of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company refused to sign the agreement. {continued}

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