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  • Working ConditionsWhy was labor angry?

  • Corporations - you, too, can own a company!Corporations - Companies that are publicly ownedSell stock to raise funds to grow businessStock prices are determined supply and demandStock is sold on a stock market (New York Stock Exchange is on Wall Street in NYC)Share - One part of the business. Shareholders - people who own at least one share of stock

  • Corporations vs. Private companiesMust tell public (potential shareholders) about profits/lossesControlled by a elected board of directors (shareholders vote)Can raise $ quicklyOwners do not have to tell profits/lossesOwners have more controlHarder to raise capital (funds) for new machines, factories

  • Working Conditions in late 1800sAs mass production increased, companies get bigger, less personal.Workers can be fired any time for any reasonFactories were uncomfortable, unsafe, dark, and dirtyHours varied from 10 to 14 hours a day, 6 days/weekInjuries - if you were hurt, you were fired. No insurance.Sweatshops - crowded and dangerous, usually refers to textile/garment industry

  • Workplace Safety1900 - 35,000 people died in industrial accidents500,000 people were injured in the same yearMost infamous incident was the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City, a clothing sweatshop that started on fire

  • Women and Children in the Labor ForceWomen paid half as much as menChild LaborHundreds of thousands under 16 workingSome states ban laborers under 12, but these laws were ignoredKids work on machines designed for adultsKids have almost no power to stand up for better pay, conditions

  • Triangle Shirtwaist FireProgressives Attack Workplace Reform

  • Triangle Shirtwaist Fire (1911)Fire breaks out in NYC garment shopMost workers are female Jewish immigrants146 die in fire, some by jumping out of upper story windowsLower windows were barred and doors were locked to prevent workers from leaving early

  • How It BeganDoors were lockedWindows on first and second floors were barredNo breaks, no fresh airSpark lit lint in the air on fire, and it spread rapidly

  • People could not escape, and the workers, mostly women, jumped out of upper windows to the streets below146 workers perished in the fire

  • Police could only stand by and watch - doors were locked!

  • Fire escapes melted due to the intense heat and were useless

  • And there was this beautiful little girl, my friend, Dora. I remember her face before she jumped. Bessie Cohen - Worker

  • Triangle Shirtwaist fire Made National NewsPeople began to look at reforms in the workplace

  • Unions Protest Deaths of Their Fellow WorkersUnfortunately we had to have a horrible incident to get things movingWhen else has this happened?

  • Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Websitehttp://www.ilr.cornell.edu/trianglefire/