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Chapter I: March 25, 1911

It was near closing time on a Saturday at the Triangle Waist Company.  The factory had 600 workers, mostly young woman and girls, recent Italian and Jewish Immigrants who spoke little or no English.  These girls, Annies and Idas and Vincenzas and Esthers, might have been looking forward to the end of their long work week when the fire broke out.

The fire spread rapidly, igniting the scraps of fabric and other waste scattered around the workplace. Survivors reported that the flames leapt out from under the tables where they were sewing.  

Many of the workers discovered they had no way out.  The building's internal fire escape quickly filled with smoke.  The freight elevator broke, and many girls, in their fear and confusion, fell down the empty shaft.  

Workers on the ninth floor tried to open the door to the fire escape but could not do so.  Their employers admitted they often locked the doors to prevent pilferage.  

According to a New York Times article that appeared the next day:
The girls rushed to the windows and looked down at Greene Street, 100 feet below them. Then one poor, little creature jumped. There was a plate glass protection over part of the sidewalk, but she crashed through it, wrecking it and breaking her body into a thousand pieces.
Then they all began to drop. The crowd yelled "Don't jump!" but it was jump or be burned the proof of which is found in the fact that fifty burned bodies were taken from the ninth floor alone.

They jumped, the crashed through broken glass, they crushed themselves to death on the sidewalk. Of those who stayed behind it is better to say nothing . . . .


Within half an hour, 146 workers, 123 of them girls and young women, were dead.

Chapter II: Their Deaths Were Not In Vain

The devastating fire shocked the city and brought about what some researchers called
 "the golden age of factory reform."  Many diverse groups came together in the weeks and months after the tragedy to accept responsibility for the tragedy and call for change.  A committee was formed to improve safety in the workplace, which continued in operation for nine years.  Among the members was Frances Perkins, who became FDR's secretary of labor.  The Commission recommended and helped to enact laws requiring fire escapes and other safety measures, disposal of flammable materials in the workplace, enclosure of elevator shafts.  The Commission was responsible for laws limiting child labor, requiring reporting of workplace injuries and accidents, and mandating proper ventilation and sanitation in the workplace.  Laws mandating a system of workers compensation also grew out of the tragedy.  

Chapter III: We Do Not Live Happily Ever After

In the new millennium employers display the same shocking lack of concern for worker health and safety the Triangle bosses did.  

All is not well in the garment industry: People were horrified by press reports about the discovery at an apartment complex in El Monte, California, where

seventy-two Thai garment workers who had been held in slavery for up to seventeen years, sewing clothes for some of the nation's top manufacturers and retailers. The workers labored over eighteen hours a day in a compound enclosed by barbed wire. Armed guards imposed discipline. Crowded eight or ten into bedrooms built for two, rats crawled over them during their few precious hours of sleep.

According to the Justice Department, Mega-Corporation W.R. Grace denied vital information about workplace hazards and spread carcinogens throughout the town of Libby Montana.  

And, the ghosts of those young immigrant girls from the ninth floor must have cried over reports that WalMart locked late-shift workers inside their warehouses to avoid pilferage.  

While government stepped up after the triangle fire to make workers safe, Bush has decided that the government is no longer in the business of protecting workplace safety.  The Washington Post reported

In the past 3 1/2 years, OSHA, the branch of the Labor Department in charge of workers' well-being, has eliminated nearly five times as many pending standards as it has completed. It has not started any major new health or safety rules, setting Bush apart from the previous three presidents, including Ronald Reagan.

And how can we forget Senator Santorum's bold move to eliminate the 40-hour work week?  http://dailykos.com/story/2005/3/5/102933/7641

Chapter IV:  Remember the Triangle Fire

Bush and the republicans giving workers the shaft is not news to anyone on this site.  The question is: How to get the word out to workers before the next triangle fire?  I was thinking that March 25th would be a good day to remind people what can happen when you take workplace safety for granted.  

Rabbi Stephen Wise said several days after the tragedy that the lesson of the triangle fire "is that the life of the lowliest worker in the nation is sacred and inviolable."  The memories of those Annies and Idas and Vincenzas and Esthers demand that we never forget that.  

I welcome your ideas for keeping their memory alive.

Originally posted to sophiebrown on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 09:28 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Recommending (4.00)
    I've often said Bush wants to take us back to the future of the Gilded Age where Robber Barons could do whatever it took to make their millions, and workers be damned.
  •  Origin of Int'l Women's Day (4.00)
    Tuesday March 8, 2005 marks the international commemoration of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire known as International Women's Day.

    In America, the concept that working women would unite for their rights so scared the status quo that Mother's Day became a national tradition while Int'l Women's Day spanned most of the rest of the globe.

    This Tuesday, treat the women in your life and let them know that you respect them not for their biology, but for their contributions to your own existence and to that of society.

    And remember much needs to be done.

    Hal C.

    •  I did not know about this (4.00)
      I was reading about how the suffragists really did some soul searching after the fire -- about how they had not been paying attention to the needs of the least among them.  Kind of reminded me of the 1970s critique that the women's movement was mainly intended to improve the lot of upper class women....
    •  News to me, too, (4.00)
      although certainly not a surprise. After all, Labor Day was created to distract the workers from May Day, which was the international workers' holiday.

      And how significant that they made it Mother's Day (celebrating fecundity) rather than Women's Day, celebrating all the contributions of women to society. Since my mother and mother-in-law have both passed away, being childless myself, I simply ignore it. Now I don't have to feel bad about that, and I'm definitely going to inform the Lurking Husband about Tuesday!;^)

      BTW, for a very fine, in depth, fictional exploration of the Triangle Fire and the world in which it occurred, I recommend "Dreamland" by Kevin Baker.

      As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

      by sidnora on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 09:58:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  a recent book on the subject (none)

        David Von Drehle,  Triangle: The Fire That Changed America, published in 2003.
         
      •  not sure (none)
        i have read conflicting accounts of the "may day" conspiracy, and it seems that it was the labor unions themselves (with their complicated history) that deliberately chose to celebrate labor day instead of May Day, not the "powers that be".

        as for Mother's Day, the roots of it were very much anti-war, anti-commercialist and one of the women responsible, Anna Jarvis, would later bemoan what the day would come to mean...

        http://www.twilightbridge.com/hobbies/festivals/mother/history.htm

        http://www.yougotstyle.org/archives/000106.html

        So whether Wilson intended Mother's Day to be a distraction from Intl WOmens Day i don't think is very clear. And one wonders why Jarvis and the other women activists did not push for Intl Womens Day as the date instead of their own "mother's day."

        •  I admit I haven't (none)
          done serious reading on the Labor Day issue in many years, long enough to have forgotten some facts, but I thought that the unions accepted Labor Day in return for not being labeled communists so the government could justify destroying them.

          As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

          by sidnora on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 10:45:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Mother's Day a reaction to women's rights struggle (none)
          I think that you are confusing Julia Ward Howe with the founder of Mother's Day Anna Jarvis who came a generation later.

          The counterpostion between Int'l Women's Day and Mother's Day is implicit, but quite real.  One celebrates a woman's biological role in society and the other celebrates woman's work outside the home.  This was revolutionary at the time, and still is today.

          This is clear from the following snippet from supporters of Mother's Day.

          This rapid ascent of Mother's Day-in the churches and in the wider culture-was clearly attributable to more than the doings of one pious and dedicated woman...Mother's Day struck a resonant chord in the culture-with all those unnerved by women's suffrage and urban migration,

          In the 1910s and '20s (and often enough thereafter) Mother's Day served as a solace to those who feared that the "new womanhood" was threatening the very institutions of motherhood and the family. Mother's Day offered the assurance, as a writer in the Homiletic Review put it in 1917, that "women are still at their old tasks."


          http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=173

          Hal C.

        •  Labor day history lesson (none)
          Without ambiguity, Labor Day was an officially sanctioned sop to labor in lieu of May Day.  That one of the most brutal anti-worker presidents authorized it makes that pretty clear.

          On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland, long a foe of organized labor, but under voter pressure, signed a Labor Day holiday bill. Earlier that same year, President Cleveland's most famous labor conflict, the Pullman strike in Chicago, had forced the president to call up federal troops. Employees of the Pullman Co., which produced sleeping cars for passenger trains, protested wage cuts. Led by Eugene V. Debs, the American Railway Union (ARU) in sympathy refused to haul railroad cars made by the company. A general railway strike ensued, interfering with mail delivery. When the ARU refused a court order to return to work, Cleveland sent in federal troops. "If it takes the entire army and navy of the United States to deliver a postal card in Chicago, that card will be delivered," he said. Rioting broke out: strikers were killed and leaders jailed, but even as the strike was broken, the labor movement gained steam.
          http://info.detnews.com/history/story/index.cfm?id=150&category=business

          This is what happened thereafter with Debs appearing again.

          At the turn of the century, the difference between the two holidays was exaggerated; the press emphasized the large percentage of immigrants present in May Day celebrations, while Labor Day was "a demonstration of the honest American workingman." At a time when the foreign born were increasingly viewed with suspicion, this portrayal helped push more conservative labor groups in the US (such as the AFL) to abandon May Day in favor of Labor Day.

          But American radicals wouldn't give up. Eugene V. Debs, Socialist Party candidate for US President, stated in 1907: "This is the first and only International Labor Day. It belongs to the working class and is dedicated to the revolution."
          http://students.washington.edu/ruckus/vol-2/issue-6/mayday.html

          So that it is fair to say:

          This question is clarified by the fact that May first is observed unilaterally by workers (not by management), while the September holiday is enjoyed by all, perpetuating the myth that Labor and Management are both working together. The proclamation of Labor Day in September in the United States can only be interpreted as an effort to isolate the working American from his colleagues around the world, and obscure the history of what Management did to Labor in Chicago in 1886. Labor Day in the United States is better described as mocking than celebrating the working man in America.
          http://www.cs.uni.edu/~campbell/gened/labour.html

          By the same token International Women's Day is a working class holiday.  This is not a holiday for Condeleeza Rice.

          Hal C.

  •  We haven't learned (4.00)
    and our slowly slipping back to that time in our nation when workers had no rights to safety, rather, they died for the lack of such.

    What are we creating today?  A nation of people who don't care about anyone but themselves, who think that safety for workers is hindering the ability of corporations to make money which somehow makes their life better.

    Child labor laws?  I can hear it now:  Children have a RIGHT to work as MUCH as they want!......

    My heart is so sad these days, for all of us, especially for those who have blindly followed the evil that makes up this admnistration.

    "September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country." Judge Gerald Tjoflat

    by SanJoseLady on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 09:40:04 AM PST

    •  we are no match (4.00)
      for corporate disinformation. The corporate noise machine has been able to take workers' feelings of impotence and frustration and turn them against themselves.  
      •  Immigrant girls were no match either (4.00)
        ...but they made a profound difference.  It's not something we can do overnight, but by god, it's worth the time and effort.  We can push back.  We just have to keep working at it.  

        Hell, at least I don't live in a tenament with 11 kids, like my gramma did...at least I speak English, and can read, which she couldn't.  Those girls had no reason whatsoever to hope, but they kept working at it anyway.  When I get discouraged (which is often) I just have to remember them.

        Seriously, the best thing we can do is to keep teaching it.  Get a teenager or person in their 20s and show them "Iron Jawed Angels".  Historically correct, it ain't, but it sure is inspiring.  

        Extra credit if you can get a kid raised on right-wing teachings to watch it.  

        •   "best thing we can do (none)
          is to keep teaching it."

          Yes, and I wonder why in all my years of school (college graduate '68) I never heard a word about the Triangle fire until I read of it in the early '70s when I was trying to educate myself about the women's movement. Was I a bad student who missed this bit of information, or was it never taught?

          For it is your business when the wall next door catches fire. --Horace

          by marylrgn on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 11:20:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It would be interesting to check (none)
            the Library of Congress holdings and see what, if anything, was published on the fire and its consequences from the 1950s through the end of the 1960s.  This is the kind of story that gets told when it is politically consistent with prevailing beliefs, I think.  And women's rights were not terribly popular with the establishment during that period, were they?

            The 1970s (which is when I learned it) was a good time for learning about social movements in general, probably.  In 1977 I remember learning about this fire as a 7th grade term paper, probably selected in conjunction with a TV movie that came out about it.  (Tovah Feldshuh, I think, was in it?)  In that same class, we had an in-depth unit on slavery--and wasn't that when "Roots" first came on TV?  

            "Schoolhouse Rock" even got in on the action with "Suffering until Suffrage", so women's history was at least slightly present in the general 7th-grader consciousness of the time.  But now, can you imagine something like that being shown on Saturday morning?  (Some of my college students still don't know that women only got the vote in 1920.)

            It's not just the news media that influence the development of political consciousness.  The Afterschool Special can make a big difference too.

            note: try as I might, I cannot figure out a good way to connect the Linda Purl-Desi Arnaz, Jr. classic TV movie "Black Market Baby" with anything educational or political. But oh, I wish I could.

            •  "Roots" (none)
              was first shown in January 1977 (during the "Blizzard of 77" here in the Buffalo, NY area, when we were shut in for more than a week while snow drifted high enough to completely cover cars and some houses). Three years earlier, as I recall, "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" aired.  The 70s saw the debuts of "All in the Family" and "Saturday Night Live."

              Now we get "Fear Factor" and "The Apprentice." Sigh.

              For it is your business when the wall next door catches fire. --Horace

              by marylrgn on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 01:18:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Where has the spirit of unionism gone (4.00)
        My grandparents worked in those factories and I remember taking the course in labor history many many moons ago.  Those people were brave, organized and informed.  What is with our  workers today?  Its convenient to blame the media but its hard for me to imagine that the media in the early part of the 20th century was any more amenable to the rights of workers than the media of today.  

        My goodness. My grandfather came here without a formal education let alone the ability to even speak English.  Yet he was informed and understood the need to get involved in the labor movement.  One significant difference I see between now and then is that back then people were living closer to the edge and they felt they had a very real stake in the outcome of the political conflicts of the day.  Today, there is a vast group of people who act as if they are removed from the consequences of their political choices.  

        Reason may not explain everything but it explains a whole lot.

        by 1world1life on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 10:26:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  can you be for the worker (none)
          and against the union?  I don't think so.  Actually, it was listening to andy stern on Air America that got me thinking about this.  we need friggin unions, dammit.
          •  Unions Served To Check Unbridled Corporate Power (none)
            Years ago people started to complain about union power and its alleged costs to society. Now we're seeing what happens when there is no force to counter corporate power.

            Reason may not explain everything but it explains a whole lot.

            by 1world1life on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 02:06:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  No man is an island, entire to himself (none)
      My heart is so sad these days, for all of us
      I can't sleep these days and my neck is stiff. None of this affects me directly, but obviously, I'm affected.

      I can't believe this is the America I grew up in, the America I was taught to believe in and love. My love, my understanding, my compassion is losing out these days for I am so angry, so full of rage.

      I'm finding I don't want to talk to those who fell for this crap, who allowed these thieves to take over the government, starting with my best friend from high school and my brother. They call, they write, and I can't bring myself to answer because none of us would be happy with what I have to say. Because the first thing I would say is, The civil war starts here!

      It goes without saying that they are both on the far right, both religiously and politically.

      Of course, I can't see how they can justify with their Christian consciences what is going on - with the Social Security, the Bankruptcy Bill, and now this Santorum rewrite of Labor reforms. I'm sure they're oh so willing to believe the propaganda they're being fed so willingly by Fox news - which of course is the favorite.

      Where is their precious Dr Dobson and Rev Falwell now? Why aren't they protesting against these travesties against the poor, the helpless, the trod-upon? These men of the cloth who have the ear of the press - why don't they speak out, why aren't they protesting on these issues that would be closest to Jesus' heart? Why do they save their bullying for gay- and liberal-bashing?

      Of course, we here know the answer. It's even more sick-making. And my friend and my brother wouldn't even care to hear the question.

      In the meantime, I try to do what I can to fight the Republican scourge and attain some serentity in the process. Hopefully, I won't start any fireworks in my personal arena. There is enough conflict going on in the world.  

      •  you know, I am feeling kind of hopeful (none)
        I don't rule out the possibility that this is simply a bit of self-deception I am visiting upon myself to make life more bearable, but there are some things I can point to as concrete evidence that these dark days may be coming to an end, like the existence and inlfuence of kos and other sites, the spread of air america, the spine of harry reid, the mouth on the governor of montana....

        I think there may be a day soon when you can find a way to engage with your friend and your brother, not to hit them over the head with the fact that THEIR ENTIRE WORLD VIEW IS BANKRUPT (that's a bit hard to take) but to offer them some little tasty morsel of good sense to chew on.  I wish you peace and good luck.

        •  Thank you for your kind words (none)
          I too have glimmers of hope. There is a lot of pain on these pages, both in what we see going on and in our reactions to it all. It helps for compassionate folks like you to remind us about hope.

          I did a search in my database just now to see if I had a quote about 'hope.' Here's what I came up with:

          "I don't wear my own faith on my sleeve. But faith has given me values and hope to live by, from Vietnam to this day, from Sunday to Sunday. I don't want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side. And whatever our faith, one belief should bind us all: The measure of our character is our willingness to give of ourselves for others and for our country."

          John Kerry, 29 July 2004, Boston, Massachusetts

          He may not be President, but he certainly did give speeches with words to live by. And it reminds that when I'm down, the answer is to go out and help others. And in this case, to keep plugging away to raise awareness off what's really going on - both with the Democratic leadership and with the American public.

  •  This is so important (4.00)
    I'm concerned that students aren't even learning about this event and its importance in American history any more.  

    Lots of adults don't even know that this happened.  How about letters to the editor, announcements on the local radio, a reading at a local library or coffeehouse or bookstore, etc.?  Even something as small as a video-watching party could be useful, because I know, for instance, that I have friends who aren't aware of this.  (If I hadn't done a 7th grade research paper on it I probably wouldn't be aware of it myself.)  There are some video dramatizations about the Triangle Fire, and even "Iron Jawed Angels" mentions it.  

    With other causes, there are t-shirts, pins, symbols that can be worn and that provoke conversation.  (My "National Feral Cat Day" t-shirt gets a lot of questions, as does the little blue scrap of burqa the Feminist Majority sells as a pin.  The Alice Paul center sells reproductions of little jail bar pins to commemorate suffragists, and let's not even talk about the ribbons.)  Are there any for this pivotal event?  I can't find any.

    Since March is also Women's History month, there might be other events that one could tie this to.
    Could we get a House resolution recognizing the anniversary?  It could provide fodder for letters to the editor & other publicity.

    Here are some other resources:

    One can take see the building.  (Perhaps sing "Look for the Union Label"?)

    Learn more about it.

    Read a well-received recent history of it.

    Teach a child about it.

    Learn what the former ILGWU is doing now.

    Join the anti-sweatshop movement or even just learn more about it.

    Commit to buy sweatshop-free clothing.

    I'm a total novice at organizing, so perhaps none of these suggestions will be useful, but I agree that there needs to be as much education, recognition, and commemoration of this event as possible.  It damn sure looks like the right would prefer we forget.  

    Next year will be the 95th anniversary.  If this year's efforts don't get far, we can start working now for that date.  

  •  Fire poetry (4.00)
    For those with a literary bent, Janet Zandy wrote a wonderful history of poetry about this fire.

    An Essay about Triangle Fire Poetry

    "The lesson of the hour is that while property is good, life is better, that while possessions are valuable, life is priceless. The meaning of the hour is that the life of the lowliest worker in the nation is sacred and inviolable. . . ." Rabbi Stephen S. Wise

        "I would be a traitor to those poor burned bodies if I were to come here to talk good fellowship. We have tried you good people of the public--and we have found you wanting." Rose Schneiderman

    It was March 25, 1911, a late Saturday afternoon, and nearly spring. One short block from Washington Square Park in New York's Greenwich Village a fire raged on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors occupied by the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. A passerby along busy Washington Place and Green Street noticed a "bale of dark dress goods" come out of a top floor window. He thought that someone was trying to save expensive cloth. But then another bale came down, and another. One caught the wind and opened. It was not a bale of goods; it was a young woman.

    more ...

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 10:25:00 AM PST

    •  The Little Red Songbook (4.00)
      While we're on the subject of labor poetry, here's a link to the first electronic edition of the IWW's famous Little Red Songbook, one of the true monuments of that period's movement culture.

      Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. -Adam Michnik.

      by GreenSooner on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 12:43:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "The Triangle Fire" (none)
    I shuddered a little when I saw the title of this diary because I knew exactly what it meant, but as rocketito mentions above (and thanks for those kickass links!), a lot of people don't, and this is a very important story.  It demonstrates the worst case scenario of what can happen to workers without rights or representation - without a voice - and we allow it to be forgotten at our peril.

    I'll be forwarding a link to this diary widely.  Beautiful work, sophiebrown.

    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. -Philo of Alexandria

    by vansterdam on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 10:38:52 AM PST

  •  Haunting (none)
    I think of this whenever I read about a Republican attempt to erode workplace safety protections, weaken the minimum wage or do away with the forty-hour work week.  These regulations were put in place because our system requires the government to step in and establish boundaries about how employees can and cannot be treated.

    Jonestown, U.S.A.: The Rapture is a metaphor for collective suicide.

    by bink on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 11:13:31 AM PST

    •  how did we go so wrong on this? (none)
      and how do we go back?
      •  Start by (4.00)
        becoming familiar with general labor law through the AFL-CIO or any other labor.org site.  Remedies at this point are primarily legislative.

        Start by building a bridge between labor orgs and other "progressives" and democrats.  There is a movement to shift democrats away from "minimum" and towards "living" wage laws.  [ http://www.livingwagecampaign.org  ]

        "We" went wrong a long time ago, with equal parts blame for insular union managment, member apathy, management + political greed, and the American public's blindness.  In hard times we are silent and happy to just have a job.  In good times we have enough, so who cares?

  •  We are (4.00)
    proactive when it comes to making money; and

    reactive when it comes to doing so safely and sustainably.

    That combination is a recipe for total disaster.

    Yesterday we stood at the abyss; today we are taking a step forward.

    by peeder on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 11:21:25 AM PST

  •  My grandmother, (4.00)
    Agatina, entered the Triangle factory weeks before the fire looking for a job, but she immediately left after seeing the conditions.  She thought she's go back if she couldn't find something else and fortunatly she found a factory job some blocks away.

    After the tragedy, she marched for workers' rights and was thrown into a paddy wagon for getting into a fight with a woman who wanted to cross a strike line.  

    I had no idea any of this happened until I started asking her questions about her life.  She had no idea she was part of a much bigger story.  She said she had little else to lose and everyone in her neighborhood was mobilized to support one another in any way they could during this time.

    The immigrant communities were very tight.

    here boo, here boo, want a cookie? good girl.

    by tepster on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 11:31:37 AM PST

  •  racism (none)
    as always, race must enter into this discussion. Prior to the Triangle fire, there were few black women working in the garment industry due to segregation laws. During the 1909 strike waves, black newspapers even encouraged black women to take jobs as scabs, reasoning that the garment unions had not done crap for black women (true).

    http://web.gc.cuny.edu/ashp/heaven/text2.html

    nowadays, i worry more about the future Triangle Shirtwaists fires that are sure to be occuring in China, where the bulk of textile production is going with the expiration of the Textile Quotas in 1995 of all WTO members.

  •  Republican kill. (none)
    Any time the Grace Corporation is mentioned I like to remind people that W.R Grace was an early financial backer of and advisor to Ronald Reagan.  Once Reagan became president, he touted W. R. Grace's list of some thousand of ways, big and small, to streamline governement and (especially) to weed out unnecessary regulation.  

    In Libby, MT the Grace Co. deliberately withheld evidence that their mining operation was poisoning the air, water and soil, and that workers were going home covered with toxic dust that would result in them dying prematurely of asbestosis and various cancers.  

    Now that so many Grace workers have indeed died (and inadvertently poisoned their own families coming home covered with the dust)and the case against the Grace Co had been demonstrated beyond any doubt, we need to take the next step and link the chief architect of this large-scale murder-for-profit scheme to the political agenda of Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party.

    Republicans kill.  It's a matter of policy.

    "We cannot let terriers and rogue nations hold this nation hostile. - W, 09/09/00

    by Bob Love on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:07:08 PM PST

    •  although (none)
      the justice department is prosecuting them for this.  is there more or less to that than would appear?
      •  Unknown (none)
        I don't know the status of the prosecution.  I don't expect anything significant to come of it, though.  The company is in some legal limbo, I can't tell whether it's in bankruptcy proceedings or not.  Old man Grace is dead, so it's too late for justice.

        "We cannot let terriers and rogue nations hold this nation hostile. - W, 09/09/00

        by Bob Love on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:39:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Head up from "This Week in Fascism" (none)
         I have a policy of letting diary authors know what I said about their diaries in my series on This Week in Fascism 03-06-05 [Major Announcement]

         Come on over and let me know what you think about my comments. I also remind the Authors that I probably recommended their diaries and am consistantly the top recommended each week. Hint! Hint!

         without further ado here is what I said.

         Sophie Brown asked us all to Remember the Triangle Fire. March 25th will be the 94th anniversary of the New York City's famed fire that killed 146 workers and led in part to the start of industry regulations to protect worker safety. What caught my eye was a snippet from a Washington Post article about the Administrations record on worker safety:
         In the past 3 1/2 years, OSHA, the branch of the Labor Department in charge of workers' well-being, has eliminated nearly five times as many pending standards as it has completed. It has not started any major new health or safety rules.
         I remember my time in industry the good companies aggressively sought out and incorporated safety suggestions. The bad ones didn't want to hear about safety concerns. The worst one actually fired me the week after I completed a new facility audit that included safety concerns.

    "It's about the accountability, stupid." Thomas Davis 2005

    by Tomtech on Sun Mar 06, 2005 at 09:42:04 PM PST

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