On this day in 1911, 146 mostly young, mostly immigrant, mostly female workers were killed in one of the worst industrial accidents in our country's history. The outrage that followed this disaster led to protective legislation and reform in the conditions for the majority of factory workers in the country.
In 2011, is there going to be an equivalent disaster in some other country whose mostly young, mostly female, all-foreign (to us) workers are being exploited in one of the factories doing our outsourced menial work? Will we hear about it? Will we care? Twenty years have passed since the Bhopal/Union Carbide horror and those people are still waiting for compensation.
How important is it for us to have all the junk we have at incredibly affordable prices? What is the cost in human terms? How long can we ignore the fact that every human on the planet is inextricably entwined with every other human on the planet and that every polluted river in India or Mexico is flowing through our own backyards?
Note: A shirtwaist is a blouse with buttons up the front that tucks into a skirt.