Sunday, March 25, 2012

101 years ago today

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York and resulted in the fourth highest loss of life from an industrial accident in U.S. history. It was also the second deadliest disaster in New York City – after the burning of the General Slocum on June 15, 1904 – until the destruction of the World Trade Center 90 years later. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or falling to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women aged sixteen to twenty-three; the oldest victim was 48, the youngest were two fourteen-year-old girls.

Because the managers had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits – a common practice at the time to prevent pilferage and unauthorized breaks – many of the workers who could not escape the burning building jumped from the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors to the streets below. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, which fought for better working conditions for sweatshop workers.
This is what pure, unbridled, unregulated, predatory Capitalism looks like!

... and, oh yeah: that bit about "The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards"? - THAT'S what the GOP calls "Socialism"! - restrictive legislation, REQUIRING pure, unbridled, predatory CAPITALISTS to adhere to standards that protect their workers!... clearly inhibiting profit and "innovation".
Me? If "Socialism" means the gov't protecting me from pure, unbridled, predatory Captialists, I'm all for it!

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