Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Workers Know Your History, 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

       March 25 marks the 103anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York, in which 146, mainly teenage girls from poor Jewish and Italian immigrant families, lost their lives. It was an era when sweatshops were the norm in the West, as capitalism's rapacious appetite for profit was gearing up to savage the world. Appalling wages, long hours, cramped unhealthy conditions, and fire exits locked, incase workers tried to take a break, or perhaps pinch something. Some of us might say, well that's all in the past, is it? All Western capitalism have done is export their sweatshop conditions to the developing world. Bangladesh is now the sweatshop capital of the capitalist world. The same, or even worse condition that brought about the deaths of those 146 young women in New York, now feeds the Western capitalists. 103 years ago the the outrage at the avoidable tragic murder of those 146 young workers heralded the rallying call, “Who will protect the working girl?  


   By the solidarity of the working community, change for the benefit of the worker was grudgingly forced in the working conditions in the West in general. Today we still need that rallying call for all those existing in the living hell of the Eastern sweatshops, where 1911 is being repeated for the same reasons, to feed that rapacious appetite of capitalism. The real and only answer, is not to continually fight to try and extract better conditions from the corporations, but simply for the workers to organise to take over those corporations, and organise them to benefit all humanity. Otherwise we, and all future generations will find themselves in that endless fight for decent living conditions, a continuous battle to stop that race to the bottom. It doesn't have to be that way, we have the resources to see to the wellbeing of all our people, we can produce enough to see to all our needs, we already have the distribution networks. All that remains is our will to take control and shape society for the benefit of all.

Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

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