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A look into the deadliest workplace accident in NYC history and it’s impact on organized labor “TRIANGLE FIRE”

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Presentation on theme: "A look into the deadliest workplace accident in NYC history and it’s impact on organized labor “TRIANGLE FIRE”"— Presentation transcript:

1 A look into the deadliest workplace accident in NYC history and it’s impact on organized labor “TRIANGLE FIRE”

2  146 die at Triangle Shirtwaist factory – (3/25/1911)  Illustrates working conditions of immigrant workers in early 20 th Century  Show growing demand for unions and resistance from factory owners  Highlights pioneering women who spearheaded the labor movement in the garment industry  Illuminates the dramatic shifts that occur between labor and govt. b/c of Triangle Fire BACKGROUND

3 1.Immigrant experience (as embodied by the workers of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory) 2.Challenges and perils of industrialization 3.Workers’ demands for unionization and bosses’ resistance to these demands 4.The changing relationship between labor and government that emerged as a result of the Triangle fire THEMES TO THE FILM

4 1.What role does the government play in making 21 st century workplaces safe for employees and in establishing rules for employers? 2.What would happen if the government stopped regulating industry? The film depicts an epic clash between workers who fought for unionization and better working conditions, and bosses who fought equally hard to keep their factories free of unions and regulations. While watching the film make note of arguments on both sides of this debate.  Which of these arguments (workers or bosses) do you consider most persuasive?  What caused public opinion to shift from favoring the factory owners’ arguments to supporting workers’ demands for workplace regulation? PREVIEWING QUESTIONS

5 TRIANGLE FIRE – 03/25/1911

6  What brought these immigrants to America, and what motivated them to work such long hours?  How did these realities of their working lives contrast with their dreams and their observations and promise and opportunity in America?  In what ways does their (bosses) story embody the American Dream? IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE DREAMS VERSUS REALITIES / RAGS TO RICHES

7  What is a shirtwaist?  Describe a typical day at the factory: tasks, conditions, dangers, pay, docking of pay, etc  Why did Blanck and Harris believe that their empire “was under constant siege”? Why did the owners keep the factory’s Washington Place exit locked? INSIDE THE TRIANGLE SHIRTWAIST FIRE CONDITIONS AT THE FACTORY / THE PRICE OF COMPETITION

8  What changes were shirtwaist workers agitating for when they made the decision to go out on strike?  Why did factory owners like Harris and Blanck see unionization as a threat and personal attack?  In your opinion where the workers’ demands reasonable or were the factory owners justified in resisting these demands?  Who was Anne Morgan and what did her (and the mink brigade’s) support of the workers do for the cause? DEMANDING A UNION ENVISIONING CHANGE / A DARING IDEA / “THE MINK BRIGADE”

9  What caused the fire? Who was alerted, not alerted? Who survived and why? How many people died in the fire?  What was the outcome of the manslaughter case against Blanck and Harris? Was justice served?  What impact did the fire have on industry? What did Samuel Gompers mean when he said that women had to burn in order to spur government action on labor safety? THE FIRE AND ITS AFTERMATH CAUSES OF THE FIRE / JUSTICE DENIED? / LEGACY OF A DEADLY BLAZE

10  Essay Response to one of the following… 1.How does the Triangle Factory workers experience reflect and illustrate the role and value of working women in the late 19 th and early 20 th Century in the United States? 2.Why does the labor movement occur? (Consider the greater historical event that predates this movement as well as the conditions that come about) How does the labor movement continue to benefit us today? 3.Why do workers unionize? Why do business owners fight unionization so much? What role does the government play in this struggle? In your essay cite historical details and personal anecdotes from the documentary to support your argument. This is your opinion so I don’t have to agree with it, but you need to make me understand why you believe what you do! ASSIGNMENT

11 Women and the Labor Movement Essay Rubric Requirements and Guidelines 1.5pts – Basics  Length: ¾ - 2 pgs  Single spaced / 12 pt font (Times)  Name, date, class – top left corner  No extra spaces 2.10pts – Essay Format  Title – relates to essay, creative (Triangle Fire – not good!)  Introduction, body, conclusion  Organized – strong topic sentence, essay flows, easy to follow  Spelling and grammar count 3.10pts – Content  The question is answered – this isn’t just a summary of the Triangle Video (choose 1) 1.How does the Triangle Factory workers experience reflect and illustrate the role and value of working women in the late 19 th and early 20 th Century in the United States? 2.Why does the labor movement occur? (Consider the greater historical event that predates this movement as well as the conditions that come about) How does it continue to benefit us today? 3.Why do workers unionize – why are their efforts more successful that previous efforts? How does the government’s relationship and view of workers/unions change after the Triangle Fire?  Key to a good essay is to EXPLAIN what you think and why you think it – offer examples from the video, our lectures, life today to help make your point Essay Grade: /25


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