Wednesday, April 13, 2011

100 Years After Triangle Fire, Clock Turning Back on Workers' Rights

100 years after the deadly Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in New York City that killed 146 mainly young Jewish and Italian immigrant women workers, a garment factory fire in Bangladesh killed 26 young female workers and injured almost 100. In both cases the exit doors were locked and many of the young women jumped to their deaths to avoid being burned to death.

Just two years ago MATC hosted  a National Labor Committee tour where three young female workers from Bangladesh discussed their 9 cent an hour pay making clothing for WalMart with a standing room only audience of MATC students.

U.S. corporations have moved production abroad to countries like Bangladesh to escape unions and the labor and workplace regulations that brought democracy to the American workplace.

The corporate dominated global economy is taking us back to the 19th Century when workers had no rights and protections. The rights people like the Triangle workers died for in the U.S. are being destroyed by moving production to global sweatshops in developing nations

As we remember the Triangle fire victims on the 100th anniversary of that terrible and avoidable fire, we must never forget that the inhumane conditions that caused their deaths continue to exist in garment factories in the developing world.

The fight for workers' rights continues.

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