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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez

    :: Thursday, September 08, 2005 ::

    Here's To The Good Life - EDITORIALS, Hartford Courant
    Labor Day was declared a national holiday in 1894. Ironically, then-President Grover Cleveland was anti-union, but supported the drive in an election year. He lost the election. One reason may be that he signed the bill creating the holiday into law just a few days after sending 12,000 troops to Pullman, Ill., to break up a strike that had turned violent. The company town where railroad sleeping cars were made was established by the factory owner as a utopian community. It turned out to be utopian for the boss, who controlled the rents and deducted them from workers' pay. When orders for sleeping cars declined, rents did not. Workers' demands for a fairer deal got nowhere.

    It took a tragedy to pound home the message that workers deserve to be treated humanely. In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York exposed sweatshop conditions and crystallized public opinion in favor of workers' rights. The flash fire killed 146 women who perished because they were trapped behind locked doors.
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