NYC Honors the 146 Workers Lost in the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
Yesterday, working people across our city, state and nation remembered and honored the victims of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, a catastrophic event in which 146 workers, mostly young immigrant women, were killed as a direct result of abhorrent working conditions and woefully insufficient workplace safety standards. The loss of life was both tragic and avoidable, and sent shockwaves through our city and nation. Outraged Americans demanded that these workers’ deaths not be in vain, and the public outcry that followed brought a renewed sense of urgency to the labor movement and to the fight for stronger workplace protections and fire safety laws.
For the second time since the start of the pandemic, we were unable to gather together as we usually do at the site of the fire on the corner of Washington and Greene Street. Instead, members of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition including Workers United, SEIU and the NYC CLC organized a commemoration of the 110th anniversary of the event throughout the day on virtual platforms. Hundreds posted remembrances using the hashtags #WeRemember and #TriangleFire, emphasizing the continuing need to "pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living" to ensure strong and meaningful health and safety standards for all working people, especially as we continue to deal with the COVID crisis and begin the process of recovering and returning to work.
The day's commemorations culminated in a moving streamed program that included music, poetry, video presentations, and ended with a unique “reading of the names” by 146 essential workers, family members, organizers, actors, artists, writers, labor leaders, teachers, students, and activists from around the world holding the names of the Triangle workers. If you missed the live event, please visit RememberTheTriangleFire.org to watch!