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Reply #99


Response to Demeter (Original post)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 02:14 PM

99. This Day in Labor History: March 25, 1911


3/25/12 This Day in Labor History: March 25, 1911

On March 25, 1911, 146 workers at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City died when the building in which they worked caught on fire. One of the most important events in American labor history, the Triangle Fire brought attention to the terrible sweatshop conditions of American labor, helped spawn important labor reforms, and became a touchstone for justice advocates over the next century.

The Triangle Factory, located in the Asch Building at 23-29 Washington Place in New York (today on the campus of NYU), was owned by Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, Jewish immigrants who had made their fortune as “The Shirtwaist Kings.” The shirtwaist, a necessity of women’s clothing during the late Victorian Era, was immensely profitable, but by 1911, the fashion was becoming outdated as American women moved toward modern fashion. In order to maximize profits in a trade with low start-up costs, Blanck and Harris took advantage of the enormous immigrant masses entering New York in the early twentieth century. They set up a sweatshop on 3 floors of the building and hired workers, mostly women, for very low pay. They also hired children. One corner of the factory was known as the “Kindergarten,” where young girls sat for 12 hours days snipping threads. The average working day for all workers was 12-14 hours at least 6 days a week. That included Saturday, which was important because 60% of the workers were Jewish women, as were their employers. During the peak production season, which was eight months of the year, the women were required to work all 7 days. A sign above the elevator read, “If You Don’t Come In On Sunday, Don’t Come In On Monday.”

more...
http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2012/03/this-day-in-labor-history-march-25-1911


Per the above link
In 1912, the National Association of Manufacturers collaborated with the Thomas Edison Company to produce “The Crime of Carelessness.” This film tried to shift blame for Triangle away from the factory owners and toward worker carelessness. This was part of the NAM strategy to keep the factories union-free and a useful film for placing today’s anti-union madness in historical context. This is a truly disgusting film, though fascinating. Worth 14 minutes of your time.
&feature=player_embedded


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