Joint Workers United as we commemorate the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire on March 20, 12-1pm at Washington Place and Green Street in New York City.
The Triangle Waist Company was located one block east of Washington Square Park. There were over 500 employees – most were young women and recent immigrants. On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out on the 8th floor. Workers ran to the fire escape. It collapsed, dropping them to their deaths. On the 9th floor a critical exit was locked. People on the street watched as the workers began to jump out the windows. Fire trucks arrived but their ladders only reached the 6th floor. The elevators ran as long as they could as workers pressed into the cars; some tumbled down the elevator shaft.
In the end, 146 people died. There was a trial but the owners, long known for their anti-union activities, were acquitted. The fire became a rallying cry for the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) and the international labor movement as a whole. Many of the labor and fire safety laws that protect us to this day were created in response to this tragic event.
We remember because we are still fighting for social justice for all.
Please join us on the 102nd anniversary to commemorate the lives and legacies of the victims of the Triangle fire.
And find out more about the exciting international design competition to create a public art memorial at the site of the original fire by visiting www.rememberthetrianglefire.org.