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A Review of the Essay Rose Schneiderman and the Triangle Fire Reported by Leslie Regina Goodson The American History Illustrated published in July of 1981 featured an essay by Bonnie Mitelman The essay expounds on the tragedy of a horrific fire at the Triangle Waist Company on March 25 1911 and the impetus it had on a union activist Rose Schneiderman Ms Mitelman emphasizes the altering change such a tragedy can have on an individual a small community a society and nation The Triangle Waist Company was one of the largest shirtwaist manufacturers at the time of the fire Located in the top three floors of the ten-story Asch Building in Greenwich Village it usually employed 900 workers On the day of the fire only between 500 to 600 workers were there When the fire was out 146 were dead Each death was avoidable Minutes of a Womens Trade Union League meeting held a day after the Triangle Waist Company fire refers to the public indifference to the deplorable working conditions and the pleas for safety reform One irony of the fire was that a massive strike of garment workers had taken place during the winter of 1909-1910 The reason for the strike was grievous working conditions faced by garment workers The thousands of women and young girls striking were asking for safety and sanitary reforms in the industrys workplaces The result of the strike had been a shorter workweek equaling 52 hours minimal increases wages and some safety reforms However the instrument that would have given the workers the power to enforce the promised changes was denied them when the strike did not result in the recognition of their union Prior to the Triangle Waist Company fire the public refused to see a responsibility for the exploitation of immigrant labor and saw striking workers anarchists This began to change after the fire The 146 dead made the establishment begin to see striking
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