Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Of 1911

2033 Words9 Pages

“When the fire began to rush on our floor we wanted to jump out of the window at first but somehow I kept my head while the others were fighting in the dark from the smoke. I kept saying to myself what all the greenhorns used to say, that in America they don't allow one to burn.” Rose Indursky was one of 275 women who worked in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory that went up in flames on March 25th, 1911. One hundred and forty-six people died. The majority of deaths were on the ninth floor. Two years previously, in 1909, factory workers left their jobs to fight for higher wages, less hours and more safety regulations. Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, the owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, led the companies against the workers to stand against …show more content…

They demanded less hours, higher wages, workplace safety and unions. In the summer of 1909 the majority of Triangle Shirtwaist Factory workers walked off of the job. Blanck and Harris hired private police forces and prostitutes to beat the strikers and had them arrested for fighting back. The public looked at them as disturbers of the peace, lazy immigrants who didn’t understand how lucky they were to have a job. Other workers in factories left their jobs as well, leading to Blanck and Harris organizing all of the other shirtwaist factories, leading them against the workers in what essentially became a long game of “chicken”. However, the tables turned against the organized factories when in November of 1909 the girls organized what would become the largest stoppage of work in the city’s history. It didn’t take long for the smaller factories to buckle, however the Triangle Shirtwaist factory did not budge. It only got worse for the factory owners when Anne Morgan, the daughter of J.P. Morgan, decided to stand with the girls in their strike. Media’s opinion changed and suddenly the strikers were brave and being admired. Due to this change in public opinion, Blanck and Harris had no choice but to begin negotiations. They said they would give higher wages and fewer hours but did not want a union. The strike leaders refused and lost the support of Anne Morgan, who while she agreed that they needed more rights, was entirely against the idea of unions. The strikers left the negotiations with nothing to show for it, and had lost a valuable ally. In February of 1910 the strike ended, some factories had given in to union only shops, but the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory was not one of

Open Document