Friday, January 27, 2017

The Ship Is Sinking, So You're Fired...!

I can only imagine what the families of the passengers and crew of the Titanic must have felt when denied any benefits from their deaths.

The Titanic
They Billed The Families Of The Victims

Photo credit:

The White Star Line was nothing if not frugal. Due to a clause worked into their contracts, every employee aboard the ship was fired the second that the Titanic began to sink. The company would not, after all, pay wages for employees who were wasting their time drowning.

Afterward, the families of the dead were informed that they would have to pay the freight cost if they wanted their loved ones’ bodies. Most couldn’t afford it, of course, and so today, many of those who died have memorials instead of graves.

Things were far worse for the musicians. The band who heroically played on while the ship sank were completely abandoned. They were registered as independent contractors, which meant that White Star Line legally didn’t have to do anything for them. The other crew members’ families got survivor benefits, but the families of the band didn’t get a penny.

That doesn’t mean they got nothing, though. The families of the band were sent one memento: a bill for the cost of the uniforms.

Can you imagine what an insult that must have been? It boggles the mind, I think!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's cold out on the patio!


Momlady said...

Reckon no one read their contract. Most people don't because they are so long and wordy and full of incomprehensible terms.

linda m said...

Insult doesn't even begin to describe how I would have felt. The actions of the White Star Line after the sinking are appalling. I had no idea they were that despicable. Still cold, damp ad dreary around here. I am so ready for a warmer climate. Have great weekend.

HermitJim said...

Hey Momlady...
We are guilty of that, even today. We should pay more attention to what we sign, I think.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Linda...
I think outrage would be more likely in my case.
Thanks for coming over this morning!

JO said...

These are facts I don't think many have heard before. That is the worst. How could they have gotten away with such a scandalous contract. And yes its true I am so guilty of not reading contracts.

27 degrees here this morning I think I have had more than enough of this cold. Kitchen sound good this morning

Dizzy-Dick said...

You have to have a lot of faith in the persons who are airline pilots, ship captains, taxi and bus drivers, and doctors. Personally, I think doctors are the worst.

Fredd said...

Ah, the good ol' days. This type of treatment was the rule, rather than the exception back in the day.

Insults like this were fairly common back in the days of robber barons, monopolies and trusts that stomped on the worker simply because they legally could. In mine disasters in the late 1800's, when workers 'owed their souls to the company store', the mine company would often issue invoices to the survivors of mine collapse victims for the balance due the company of monies owed by the victim who ran up a tab on the company store just to live day to day.

Ah, yes. The good ol' days....

Caddie said...

The same situation happens today in many binding agreements. All the "fine print" we can't or not allowed time to read. How often I'm told about that "fine print" is: "oh, its nothing, it's not important. Sign on this line".