Before she became the first female Labor secretary in 1933, Frances Perkins had seen firsthand the tragedy of Manhattan’s 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire. Locked in by their employer, 146 mostly young girls died when they couldn’t escape the burning building where they toiled in sweatshop labor. Later, as the New York industrial commissioner, Perkins held employers accountable for workplace safety and health, expanding factory investigations and championing other pro-worker laws, like unemployment insurance.
Now, imagine if Elaine Chao had been there instead. more »
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