Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Just a Touch Pissed-Off, I Suppose.

This coming Tuesday [March 25th] marks the 97th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City. In the worst loss of human life during a single incident [until 9/11, of course], 148 of the women who worked in the sweatshop were given the odious choice of either burning to death or jumping the nine floors to the ground.

The owners of the sweatshop [as I discovered in a highly educational book on litigation] escaped both the fire itself [by sneaking out before the fire got too bad] and justice [by paying the worker's families paltry sums of cash, political connections, and hiring the best trial lawyer that blood money could buy].

... and, 97 years later, exactly what have we learned?

When you ask people about organizing their workplace, they act as if the role of the manager is to protect them from the big, bad union.

Hell, most employers would probably harvest your organs for beer money if they could find a way to keep you working sans your viscera.

But now the stakes are greater and the world is a whole lot smaller and so the fight continues.

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