For those who believe that the conditions which precipitated the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, and the movement which gained power in response, are historical anachronisms, check out this piece in the Times on Wal-Mart's policy of locking its workers inside the store: It was 3 a.m., Mr. Rodriguez recalled, some heavy machinery had just smashed into his ankle, and he had no idea how he would get to the hospital. The Sam's Club, a Wal-Mart subsidiary, had locked its overnight workers in, as it always did, to keep robbers out and, as some managers say, to prevent employee theft. As usual, there was no manager with a key to let Mr. Rodriguez out. The fire exit, he said, was hardly an option — management had drummed into the overnight workers that if they ever used that exit for anything but a fire, they would lose their jobs. "My ankle was crushed," Mr. Rodriguez said, explaining he had been struck by an electronic cart driven by an employee moving stacks of merchandise. "I was yelling and running around like a hurt dog that had been hit by a car. Another worker made some phone calls to reach a manager, and it took an hour for someone to get there and unlock the door." Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world. Their explanation? It's for the workers' own protection. Strange then that none of the workers get keys.

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