Archive for February 28th, 2011

Tomorrow is the first day of March.  It was in this month 100 years ago, that the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory caught fire, killing 146 garment workers, mostly women and children.  It was discovered that the factory owner had locked the exits to prevent workers from leaving early.  This was an event that brought to light the plight of workers and how they were often subjected to exploitation and dangerous work environments.  It led to the growing support of labor unions and a crusade for labor and safety reform.

Tonight, PBS is airing an episode of The American Experience that features all the grisly details of the Triangle Fire, highlighting the events and factors leading up to the fire along with its consequences.  It’s an interesting time to be showing this show with this national movement currently afoot to destroy labor unions and strip away many of the regulatory controls placed on businesses.  It’s an object lesson in what can happen in an unregulated environment and I recommend it for all those who feel that an unbridled free market will solve all our ills. 

This episode airs at 9 PM in most areas and will be available also on the PBS website within a week or so.

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