Two Fires - on the horrific fire in a garment factory in Karachi
October 18, 2012 6:08 AM   Subscribe

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, previously on Metafilter: Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Anniversary, Remember The Triangle Fire.
posted by zamboni at 6:30 AM on October 18, 2012

As soon as I heard about the fire in Karachi, I immediately thought of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire (previously on MetaFilter). My thoughts were not only about the parallels of the tragedies, but also were wondering whether there would be the same kind of public outrage and reform of working conditions taking place in Pakistan as happened here after that much earlier fire.

Sadly, that doesn't seem to be what happened.
posted by hippybear at 6:32 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't know enough about Pakistani culture to say the lack of outrage is to be expected or not, but it certainly is disappointing. The Triangle Fire was a important catalyst for industrial safety, labor and women's rights in the US, the Karachi fire could have been the same for Pakistan.
posted by tommasz at 7:22 AM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

When heard about the Karachi fire, I immediately thought of the 1991 food processing plant fire in Hamlet, NC that killed 25 people. Some of the doors were padlocked shut to prevent employee theft.
posted by marxchivist at 7:27 AM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

Great article. And the author appears to be a USAn professor originally from Pakistan - he's probably the best person in the world to write it.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:43 PM on October 18, 2012

Sickening. I'm especially saddened to think that very little will come from this in terms of protection for workers. Triangle did have some impact, although, the Hamlet fire just shows that profit still trumps a worker's life.

Should we not make sure that when ten years from now someone wishes to learn about the Baldia Fire, or the fire at the shoe factory in Lahore, their search engine turns up at least a dozen titles?

It would be good to think that would happen, or that some justice would be served. However, three words and a date:

Union Carbide, Bhopal, 1984

8000 dead within two weeks. another 8000 gas-related deaths afterwards. too many gas-related health problems to count since then. continuing chemical contamination.

Nearly 30 years later, still in litigation that will NEVER be settled to the advantage of those appallingly affected, and Dow Chemical has come out smelling like a rose.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:30 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

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