Rose Schneiderman And The Triangle Fire


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Reported by Leslie Regina Goodson
The American History Illustrated, published in July of 1981, featured an essay by Bonnie Mitelman. The essay expounds on the tragedy of a horrific fire at the Triangle Waist Company on March 25, 1911 and the impetus it had on a union activist, Rose Schneiderman. Ms. Mitelman emphasizes the altering change such a tragedy can have on an individual, a small community, a society, and nation.
The Triangle Waist Company was one of the largest shirtwaist manufacturers at the time of the fire. Located in the top three floors of the ten-story Asch Building in Greenwich Village, it usually employed 900 workers. On the day of the fire, only between 500 ...

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thousands of women and young girls striking were asking for safety and sanitary reforms in the industry's workplaces. The result of the strike had been a shorter workweek equaling 52 hours, minimal increases wages, and some safety reforms. However, the instrument that would have given the workers the power to enforce the promised changes was denied them when the strike did not result in the recognition of their union. Prior to the Triangle Waist Company fire the public refused to see a responsibility for the exploitation of immigrant labor and saw striking workers anarchists. This began to change after the fire. The 146 dead made the establishment begin to see striking workers as human beings seeking their rights.

The Triangle Waist Company fire was not the first waistmaker's fire. Three months before the Triangle Waist Company fire, 25 working women were killed during a destructive fire in Newark, New Jersey. Garment worker reform activist, Theresa Serber Malkiel, went ...

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the Triangle Waist Company was not the only dangerous shirtwaist factory or even the most dangerous shirtwaist manufacturer workplace. Files kept by the Women's Trade Union League report complaints made by workers describing factories with "locked doors, no fire escapes, and barred windows." A report from the New York Times told of 14 factories without fire escapes. The article also reported that 99% of the factories investigated in New York had serious fire hazards.

The vast majority of the employees were young girls that were Eastern European Jewish immigrants. Many speaking limited English, only adding to their panic once the fire broke out. The effect of the ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 8/28/2004 07:24:02 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 3954
Pages: 15

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