IFPTE Local 4

Think Unions Aren't Important?

Working conditions at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in NYC shortly before a fire killed 146 workers in 1911.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911 still remains one of the most vivid and horrid tragedies that changed American Labor Unions and labor laws. The fire had come only five years after Upton Sinclair published his book The Jungle, which detailed the plight of the workers at a meat packer's plant. But instead of reforming the working conditions most people wanted to reform the health and safety regulations on food. The tragic death of 146 girls, whose average age was 19, was needed before the politicians and the people saw for the need to regulate safety in the workplace. For even further information on the American Labor Movement, please see our article on "What is so special about Local 4" found under our Local 4 Benefits and Scholarships tab.

 

Income Inequality v. Union Membership in the US
Courtesy of Economics Policy Institute

With the steady decline in Union Membership in the U.S., a larger share is going to the wealthiest Americans.

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