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Triangle Shirtwaste Fire

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syndicalist
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Joined: 15-04-06
Nov 24 2007 14:38
Triangle Shirtwaste Fire

While not anarchist in nature, those interested in the Triangle Shirtwaste Fire would be interested in this site: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/trianglefire/ This site has quite a few photos. The slave like conditions will remind some of you of the tragic El Monte case of recent years.

The Triangle Shirtwaste fire was a garment sweatshop in NYC where workers were either burnt to death or jump to their death because the workshop doors were locked. My late father told me that my grandfather worked not far from where the fire took place and saw the aftermath of this industrial carnage.

Of further interest is also this site on the "Uprising of 20,000" of 1909 http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA04/kane/strikers/moving.htm (http://www.ashp.cuny.edu/heaven/fuprising.html, http://www.laborarts.org/collections/item_large.cfm?itemid=335 ) This was a strike of 20,000 NYC women garment workers who struck to end sweatshop conditions and for a union. Out of this came a settlement known as the "Protocols of Peace". While wrestling certain gains from the bosses called for arbitration of disputes, rather than industrial conflict. To a certain extent, this agreement was a harbinger of industrial realtions to come.

I've been trying to find some digital reprints of anarchist and IWW criticisms of the Protocols, but have been unable to do so at this time. Needless to say, there must've been sufficent criticism of the Protocols which striped the workers of strike action. Within a decade, the Protocols were meaningless and class warfare continued in the NYC needle trades.