Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Overheard at Booth Six

I came across this poem the other day, here, read it:

Anna Imroth

Cross the hands over the breast here--so.
Straighten the legs a little more--so.
And call for the wagon to come and take her home.
Her mother will cry some
and so will her sisters and brothers.
But all of the others got down and they are safe
and this is the only one of the factory girls
who wasn't lucky in making the jump when the fire broke.
It is the hand of God and the lack of fire escapes.

That was written by Carl Sandburg in 1916. It was based on a fire in a factory. Now, you tell me why that company didn't have fire escapes . . . because it would have increased their overhead. Nothing more. It wasn't ignorance, it wasn't stupidity - it was the bottom line.

And never forget that the reason why we have overtime, healthcare, fire exits, workman's comp, and even sprinkler systems is because we had to fight Big Business to get them. Tooth and nail, every inch of the way. Because if we hadn't, there'd be an Anna Imroth dying today.

"There is . . . only her name isn't Anna Imroth - it's Ana Inez, or Maria Gonzalez, or Concepcion Castillas de la Cruz."

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