There's been some good recent coverage on the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which claimed the lives of 146 workers due to unsafe conditions and the managers locking the doors. NPR had some good pieces, and so did Crooks and Liars, although the most comprehensive one I heard was the Democracy Now on 3/25/11. PBS show American Experience did a documentary on the fire which can be viewed here. HBO also just aired a documentary on the same subject. Here's the trailer:
Considering the current assault on labor, the middle class and the social contract, it's a good time to revisit the history of workers' rights, and why some regulations are absolutely necessary.