One hundred years ago today, on March 25, 1911, 146 people—125 of them young women ages 13-23—died in the now-infamous fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in New York City. Sixty-two of them leapt to their deaths from the 8th, 9th and 10th floors of the factory. This all could have been easily avoided if factory managers hadn’t needlessly locked the fire exits to prevent workers from taking breaks. Triangle sparked worker outrage in America, resulting in the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act.
This video is about the Triangle Shirtwaist factory, and it actually made me cry. It took a couple of tries, but I made it through—and I’m so glad I did. Watch it here:
What happened after Triangle? A lot. The American middle-class was born. The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act was established. But, as the video unfortunately shows, the events that happened at Triangle aren’t as distant as we might think. In the global sweatshop economy, things are no different than they were at Triangle 100 years ago. In fact, they’re worse. So what can you do? Share this video with friends. Get angry. Then get into action.
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