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104 years ago today, on March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City — one of the deadliest industrial disasters in United States history– left 146 workers dead. Almost all of them were young immigrant women.

Triangle-Fire New York Herald

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory building interior after the fire. Photograph from the National Archives.

“Locked doors kept the workers from escaping; there was not enough water to put out the flames, and firemen’s ladders were too short to reach the upper stories. Many of the young women and men working there leapt out the windows and fell to their deaths onto the sidewalk outside. Others were crushed in the elevator shaft or when the fire escape collapsed,” reports the U.S. National Archives, which holds many records of this tragic event.

In the aftermath of the fire Congress passed sweeping reforms in labor laws and safety standards, providing a boost to labor unions. After the fire, Frances Perkins served as secretary for the Committee on Safety, which led the way to new labor laws. Perkins later became FDR’s Secretary of Labor — the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet.

“But 104 years later it has become clear that too many folks in this country have forgotten the painful lessons of that day,” writes Huffington Post blogger Keith Mestrich, President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank, the largest majority-owned union bank in the United States. “And as we gear up for next year’s presidential election, voters should know that some of the candidates running would rather folks forgot about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire altogether.”

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Rockwell_1943_Rosie-the-RiveterRepresentatives from the Local 243 Recertification Committee will be visiting the Madison College regional campuses throughout the month of March 2015. Local 243 will be providing box lunches for all full-time faculty and PSRP staff during these visits. So look for the union table, stop by, grab your lunch, and ask questions.

Union and campus reps will be staffing the tables between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Reps will be available to answer questions and provide information regarding the First Annual Certification Election, union efforts, and union membership.


Tuesday, March 10, 2105 – Portage Campus
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 – West Campus
Thursday, March 12, 2015 – Reedsburg Campus

Monday, March 23, 2015 – Commercial Avenue Campus
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 – DTEC
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 – Watertown Campus
Thursday, March 25, 2015 – South Campus

Bell - 1st telephoneOn March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful telephone call by saying “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.” Consider celebrating this historic event by indulging in an “all you care to eat” opportunity to sample sweet miniature desserts at the Truax campus on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

Although event organizers may not have been aware of the significance of the date they selected for the Baking and Decorative Arts Students Dessert Tasting, celebrating Bell’s success is a good excuse for indulging in this sweet-centric event student event which runs from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. in the Truax campus Cafeteria.

Sweet treatsTickets for the tasting are $20 and may be purchased at the Bakery, located across from TruSyle Salon at Truax, or from any of the Baking and Decorative Arts students.

If you can’t make it to this event, you may want to consider indulging in a four-course meal at Madison College Gourmet Dining Room. It’s just $20. In a recent issue of Isthmus, reviewer André Darlington wrote that, “Getting a table for the Gourmet Dining Room at Madison College’s Truax campus feels a bit like trying to score a spot at a hot restaurant. It’s not exactly easy.” However, he went on to note that, “…the overall impression of the Gourmet Dining Room was of a surprisingly perfectly paced — and relaxing — formal restaurant experience,” and “… it’s a true working lab where your visit will be worth every penny.”

Work Retirement 243A message from Local 243 President Marie Dusio:

I am interested in collecting as many interests and options related to Early Retirement as possible PRIOR TO THIS FRIDAY (2/6/2015)

I e-mailed a Survey Monkey survey on Wednesday, January 21, 2015. If you have not already done so, please feel free to reply, as the survey is still open. If you have already replied to the survey but have additional thoughts, please feel free to reply via e-mail:

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string-around-fingerLocal 243 members should mark their calendars and make plans to attend one or more of these important meetings scheduled for the first two weeks December 2014:

  • Tuesday, December 2, 2014 – Local 243 Forum meeting at 5 p.m. in Room C1435 on the Truax Campus – All members may attend
  • Wednesday, December 3, 2014 – Local 243 Faculty Chapter meeting from 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. in Room C1435 on the Truax campus
  • Wednesday, December 10, 2014 – Local 243 PSRP/ESP Chapter meeting from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in Health 311 on the Truax campus
  • Wednesday, December 10, 2014 – Madison Area Technical College District Board meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the Board Room at Madison Area Technical College’s Truax Campus
  • Tuesday, December 16, 2014 – Local 243 Forum meeting at 5 p.m. in Room C1423B on the Truax Campus – All members may attend

Union dues withdrawn from April paychecks in error will be refunded in May 15, 2014 paychecks

April 30, 2014

Update: Refunds of union dues and COPE donations withdrawn from the April 2014 paychecks will be included in the May 15, 2014 paychecks. Thank you all for your patience and, especially to the staff in Payroll, all of your work.

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