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Triangle Factory Fire - Essay Example

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It claimed the lives of 146 young women and men who worked for the Triangle Waist Company. The workers were mainly immigrants, predominately women, and in general working to support their families on the…
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Triangle Factory Fire
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Triangle Factory Fire

Download file to see previous pages... Immigrants desperately needed work and were at a disadvantage because they were “struggling with a new language and culture” (“Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire: 100 Years Later”). Because of this, the workers were willing to work in conditions that many would consider unacceptable and unbearable. Women as young as fourteen worked in factories to help support their families, and most did not have the protection of a labor union that acted on their behalf.
Though labor unions, such as the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union and the Womens’ Trade Union League, existed at the time, the Triangle Waist Company was a non-union shop (“Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire: 100 Years Later”). Managers locked workers in to the building once the work day started, required them to leave by a single exit at the end of their shifts, and subjected the workers to a search as they left the building. On the day of the fire, witnesses noted that the doors were locked, and only one of the two elevators available to transport workers from the upper levels of the building was in operation. Additionally, a worker who escaped the fire related that the water buckets intended for use in the event of a fire were empty (“Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire: 100 Years Later”). These are just a few of the factors that contributed to the magnitude of the disaster.
The New York (State) Factory Investigating Commission formed as a result of this tragedy, uncovered the extent of what it called a “neglect of the human factor” (“Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire: 100 Years Later”). The findings of the Commission indicated that attention to light and illumination, ventilation, cleanliness, and basic “indispensable comforts” would not only improve the workers’ condition, but would also benefit the companies by increasing efficiency and effectiveness. The Commission states that “the standardization of factory sanitation is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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