I remember learning about it vividly; it changed the way I approached my views towards workers around the world. It influenced my decision to focus on and monitor human rights issues.
100 years ago yesterday, this tragic event unfolded before the eyes of an unsuspecting public without much knowledge of what went on behind closed doors.
"In December 2010, a incident similar to the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire occurred when a fire broke out at the Hameem factory in Savar, Bangladesh, which was sewing garments for Gap. Twenty-nine workers died and over 100 were injured. The workers at the clothing factory told the institute that security guards locked the exits during the fire to prevent garments from being stolen."
Today, it seems history is, indeed, repeating itself.
"A hundred years ago, the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire struck a deep nerve in the American people, and they demanded reforms which would remake our industrial landscape and guarantee the rights of workers," Charles Kernaghan, Director of the the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights, said in a report titled Triangle Returns. "Now, 97 percent of all garments are made off shore, the vast majority under harsh sweatshop conditions. It is the same with auto parts, computers, cell phones and Barbie dolls. We are racing backward in the global economy, trapped in a Race to the Bottom, competing over who will accept the lowest wages and the most miserable living and working conditions."
The question is: will we continue to move forward the way people did after the disaster? Or will we shrug it off as an evil of the world and continue supporting sweatshops via our purchases?
To read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/03/23/young-women-continue-to-die-in-locked-sweatshops-labor-group-warns/