Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Essay

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The formation of stronger labor unions was a direct result of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Following the major strike, the 1909 Uprising of Twenty Thousand, the Triangle Factory was able to avoid joining the ILGWU, or the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union (Greenwald, 2002). They were one of very few who did not join the ILGWE at the time because they were so successful, strikes did not matter to them from a business perspective. This meant that even if the employees joined the union, it was fruitless if the business did not recognize or join as well. The workers then had to come back to work without anything changed. After the fire, the unions, the workers, and social reformers all had different ideas on what the …show more content…

Since the labor unions were becoming stronger, working conditions were improved. In the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, employers treated their employees horribly. First, management would keep watch over the workers during the entire shirt to make sure they were all working hard (Greenwald, 2002). Second, the factory was cramped and filled with supplies and workers leading to overcrowding. This created lack of air flow, lack of cleanliness, and lack of respect for adequate room to perform their jobs (Greenwald, 2002). Third, the workers were locked inside the work room during the work day. This practice led to many deaths in the fire. While these all occurred in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, they were not unique to it. Other factories and job sites also included these inane practices. The formation of labor unions led to better working conditions by creating laws and regulations that protected the workers (Greenwald, 2002). The fire, as tragic as it was, served as a catalyst for more radical change for the working class. Further, “In the most dramatic way possible, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Factory Fire brought to the attention of New York’s middle classes the horrible working conditions of factory labor. Reformers Responded with efforts to enforce codes and broaden laws” (Greenwald, 2002, p 90). Sadly, it took a disaster to create actual change that really improved the life of the

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