Shirtwaist Script

ROSE: While you’re filling out your registrations, I’ll give you the protocol for picketing. First, walk in small groups, no more than three. Keep walking, otherwise you’re too good of a target.

DVORAH: Target?

ROSE: These people will have shtarkers to greet you. Big, mean, off-duty cops.

BUBBE: Shtarkers: May their fingers fall off of their hands. God forbid.

ROSE: When they bring in the scabs–

SADIE: Scabs?

ROSE: Don’t call them scabs, or any other name.

BUBBE: Scabs. May their eyes drop out of their heads, God forbid.

ROSE: Talk to them nicely, and don’t touch them at all. If you touch them, the cops will arrest you.


ROSE: Right now, they’ve got the cops in their pockets.

BUBBE: Cops? May their mothers forget their names, God forbid.

ROSE: None of the cops speak Yiddish. If they threaten you with clubs, take them seriously and leave fast. Clara Lemlich had six ribs broken at the Leiserson picket line in September.

SADIE: Where do you want we should picket?

DVORAH: I hope we don’t have to go to Zlata’s.

ROSE: The Union wants to really hit Triangle.

BUBBE: Triangle?

YITZOCK: The biggest and the worst.

DVORAH: They lock their girls in, Bubbe.

BUBBE: Lock them in! Why would they lock you in?

SADIE: So you won’t steal things, they say. But when I worked there, it made me so nervous. They’ve already had three fires.

BUBBE: Oye, veh.

ROSE: It’s one of the places where you have to rent your own chair.


BUBBE: Rent your chair?