The Legitimacy Of Government Intervention In The Triangle Factory Fire Case

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The 1911 Triangle Factory Fire case addressed the legitimacy of government intervention of sweatshop working conditions. The court ruling was that the two factory owners, Max Blanck and Issac Harris, were acquitted of the manslaughter charge at the first trial. (DOC 2 Reader, 72) I believe that the casualties were not only victims of the fire, but also victims of the bad influences of the progressive era. From my perspective, the outcome was an unjust judgment in the US history. Through the lens of intersectionality, we are allowed to see that sweatshop workers experienced double oppressions from structural racism and structural sexism that limited their choices of occupations and class inequality that exaggerated imbalanced power between laborers…show more content…
According to the PBS documentary, garment workers had complained about their working conditions before the fire happened. The general strike covered nearly all sweatshops in New York in order to gain more protection for garment workers. During the industrialized strike, Triangle Factory owners hired local muscle and prostitutes to beat their employees. And policemen only caught workers if they fought back. Then those workers would be fined and even be put in the jail. Since the police and city hall were against the general strike, labor union got little attention. (Wignot, Triangel Fire) In this case, Triangle Factory workers had very little power compared to their employers because they were lower-class working people and the bosses were upper-class and wealthy. They could never improve their working conditions as individuals because they would be fired if they complained about their jobs to the bosses. So the labor union was the best way to combine their resources and power together collectively to create benefit for all workers. Since it would be difficult to replace a large amount of workers, strike was an efficient way of getting attention. However, the factory owners could not allow those young girls to teach them how to run their business. “They are biting the hands that feed them,” said in the PBS documentary. (Wignot, Triangle Fire) Because of their wealth and social status, they had the money and power to bribe local policemen and judges while average working-class people did not had chance to know those people. If the factory girls had been upper-class people and worked for Triangle Factory, the owners would have not been dare to hire people to beat them or pay off policemen to arrest them. The girls would have had peaceful conversations with the bosses about the working conditions because they have had balanced
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