Author Archives for Daria Ovide

2020 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Commemoration

March 25, 2020 12:54 am Published by Leave a comment

1March 25, 2020, is the 109th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York’s Greenwich Village. This tragedy took the lives of 146 young immigrant garment workers and galvanized a reform movement to raise standards for workers.

Most years, UNITE HERE staff and members gather at the union headquarters in New York to remember the victims with a reading of their names and testimony from one of the survivors. UNITE HERE’s New York headquarters is closed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. We offer these historic resources instead to commemorate the 146 immigrant workers whose sacrifices led to safer workplaces. May their memories be for a blessing.

To learn more about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, visit Cornell University’s Kheel Center.

This incident has had great significance to this day because it highlights the inhumane working conditions to which industrial workers can be subjected. To many, its horrors epitomize the extremes of industrialism.

“It is by remembering our past that we prepare to fight for our future. We are measured by how we protect the most vulnerable and ensure their health and safety to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that is our guiding light.”

—D. Taylor, President, UNITE HERE

The tragedy still dwells in the collective memory of the nation and of the international labor movement. The victims of the tragedy are still celebrated as martyrs at the hands of industrial greed.

The fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City is one of the worst disasters since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The Asch Building was one of the new “fireproof” buildings, but the blaze on March 25th was not their first. It was also not the only unsafe building in the city.

On the corner of Greene Street and Washington Place, fire fighters struggle to save workers and control the blaze. The tallest fire truck ladders reached only to the sixth floor, 30 feet below those standing on window ledges waiting for rescue. Many men and women jumped from the windows to their deaths. Photographer: unknown, March 25, 1911.


An officer stands at the Asch Building’s 9th floor window after the Triangle Fire. Sewing machines, drive shafts, and other wreckage of the factory fire are piled in the center of the room. Photographer: Brown Brothers, 1911.


In the April 5th funeral procession for the seven unidentified fire victims, members of the United Hebrew Trades of New York and the Ladies Waist and Dressmakers Union Local 25, International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, the local that organized Triangle Waist Company workers, carry banners proclaiming “We Mourn Our Loss.” Photographer: unknown, April 5, 1911.


The Triangle Fire Memorial to the six unidentified victims in the Evergreens Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY, was created in 1912 by Evelyn Beatrice Longman. The six bodies were all recently identified by Michael Hirsch, who worked tirelessly to recognize the names of the unidentified victims.

The victims names:

• Lizzie Adler, 24
• Anna Altman, 16
• Annina Ardito, 25
• Rose Bassino, 31
• Vincenza Benanti, 22
• Yetta Berger, 18
• Essie Bernstein, 19
• Jacob Bernstein, 38
• Morris Bernstein, 19
• Vincenza Billota, 16
• Abraham Binowitz, 30
• Gussie Birman, 22
• Rosie Brenman, 23
• Sarah Brenman, 17
• Ida Brodsky, 15
• Sarah Brodsky, 21
• Ada Brucks, 18
• Laura Brunetti, 17
• Josephine Cammarata, 17
• Francesca Caputo, 17
• Josephine Carlisi, 31
• Albina Caruso, 20
• Annie Ciminello, 36
• Rosina Cirrito, 18
• Anna Cohen, 25
• Annie Colletti, 30
• Sarah Cooper, 16
• Michelina Cordiano, 25
• Bessie Dashefsky, 25
• Josie Del Castillo, 21
• Clara Dockman, 19
• Kalman Donick, 24
• Nettie Driansky, 21
• Celia Eisenberg, 17
• Dora Evans, 18
• Rebecca Feibisch, 20
• Yetta Fichtenholtz, 18
• Daisy Lopez Fitze, 26
• Mary Floresta, 26
• Max Florin, 23
• Jenne Franco, 16
• Rose Friedman, 18
• Diana Gerjuoy, 18
• Molly Gerstein, 17
• Catherine Giannattasio, 22
• Celia Gitlin, 17
• Esther Goldstein, 20
• Lena Goldstein, 22
• Mary Goldstein, 18
• Yetta Goldstein, 20
• Rosie Grasso, 16
• Bertha Greb, 25
• Rachel Grossman, 18
• Mary Herman, 40
• Esther Hochfeld, 21
• Fannie Hollander, 18
• Pauline Horowitz, 19
• Ida Jukofsky, 19
• Ida Kanowitz, 18
• Tessie Kaplan, 18
• Beckie Kessler, 19
• Jacob Klein, 23
• Beckie Koppelman, 16
• Bertha Kula, 19
• Tillie Kupferschmidt, 16
• Benjamin Kurtz, 19
• Annie L’Abbate, 16
• Fannie Lansner, 21
• Maria Giuseppa Lauletti, 33
• Jennie Lederman, 21
• Max Lehrer, 18
• Sam Lehrer, 19
• Kate Leone, 14
• Mary Leventhal, 22
• Jennie Levin, 19
• Pauline Levine, 19
• Nettie Liebowitz, 23
• Rose Liermark, 19
• Bettina Maiale, 18
• Frances Maiale, 21
• Catherine Maltese, 39
• Lucia Maltese, 20
• Rosaria Maltese, 14
• Maria Manaria, 27
• Rose Mankofsky, 22
• Rose Mehl, 15
• Yetta Meyers, 19
• Gaetana Midolo, 16
• Annie Miller, 16
• Beckie Neubauer, 19
• Annie Nicholas, 18
• Michelina Nicolosi, 21
• Sadie Nussbaum, 18
• Julia Oberstein, 19
• Rose Oringer, 19
• Beckie Ostrovsky, 20
• Annie Pack, 18
• Provindenza Panno, 43
• Antonietta Pasqualicchio, 16
• Ida Pearl, 20
• Jennie Pildescu, 18
• Vincenza Pinelli, 30
• Emilia Prato, 21
• Concetta Prestifilippo, 22
• Beckie Reines, 18
• Louis Rosen (Loeb), 33
• Fannie Rosen, 21
• Israel Rosen, 17
• Julia Rosen, 35
• Yetta Rosenbaum, 22
• Jennie Rosenberg, 21
• Gussie Rosenfeld, 22
• Emma Rothstein, 22
• Theodore Rotner, 22
• Sarah Sabasowitz, 17
• Santina Salemi, 24
• Sarafina Saracino, 25
• Teresina Saracino, 20
• Gussie Schiffman, 18
• Theresa Schmidt, 32
• Ethel Schneider, 20
• Violet Schochet, 21
• Golda Schpunt, 19
• Margaret Schwartz, 24
• Jacob Seltzer, 33
• Rosie Shapiro, 17
• Ben Sklover, 25
• Rose Sorkin, 18
• Annie Starr, 30
• Jennie Stein, 18
• Jennie Stellino, 16
• Jennie Stiglitz, 22
• Sam Taback, 20
• Clotilde Terranova, 22
• Isabella Tortorelli, 17
• Meyer Utal, 23
• Catherine Uzzo, 22
• Frieda Velakofsky, 20
• Bessie Viviano, 15
• Rosie Weiner, 20
• Sarah Weintraub, 17
• Tessie Weisner, 21
• Dora Welfowitz, 21
• Bertha Wendroff, 18
• Joseph Wilson, 22
• Sonia Wisotsky, 17
Roland Laforga from the Royal Hawaiian hotel leads the picket line during the 2018 Marriott strike.

The American Prospect: The Return of the Strike

January 3, 2019 2:23 pm Published by Leave a comment

Roland Laforga from the Royal Hawaiian hotel leads a picket line during the 2018 Marriott strike.

D. Taylor, the president of Unite Here, the union that conducted the Chicago and Marriott hotel strikes, voices dismay that walkouts have grown so rare. “I thought it was important to restore the strike to the arsenal of the labor movement,” Taylor says. “If you’re in a fight against powerful forces, why are you taking tactics off the table?”

As for why Marriott’s housekeepers, bellhops, and kitchen workers walked out in eight cities, Taylor said, “The workers we represent were very frustrated because the industry is doing quite well and the hotels got an added special Christmas gift with the Trump tax cuts, but our members more and more couldn’t afford to live in the cities they’re working in. We thought it was an opportunity to spread the economic prosperity to our members and their families, and we were prepared to do whatever it takes—up to and including strikes.”

Read more by Steven Greenhouse in The American Prospect about how UNITE HERE members are among tens of thousands of U.S. workers whose strikes show that collective action works.

Seattle housekeepers stand strong

New York Times: Hotels See Panic Buttons as a #MeToo Solution for Workers. Guest Bans? Not So Fast.

November 11, 2018 2:54 pm Published by Leave a comment

Seattle housekeepers stand strongUNITE HERE members across the United States describe their life changing campaigning to win sexual harassment protections through a combination of legislation and organizing. Click to read more

Before the hotel industry embraced panic buttons, cities including Chicago and Miami Beach, Fla., mandated them through ordinances passed by their city councils. Collective bargaining agreements have also required the devices at union hotels.

New York was the first city to require panic buttons on a broad scale when the provision was included in a contract struck in 2012, the year after a hotel housekeeper accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the chief of the International Monetary Fund and a French politician, of sexually assaulting her. Washington, D.C., followed suit with its own agreement.

Click here to read the entire story by Julia Jacobs in the New York Times

CBS News: Marriott Hotel Strike leads to Mass Employee Walkouts

CBS News: Marriott hotel strike leads to mass employee walkouts

October 9, 2018 2:59 pm Published by Leave a comment


Thousands of hotel workers in eight U.S. cities say they’ll remain off the job until a new contract is reached with Marriott International. About 7,700 employees of the world’s largest hotel chain are now walking picket lines in Boston, Detroit, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, as well as two cities in Hawaii.

Watch “Marriott hotel strike leads to mass employee walkouts” on CBS News’ Moneywatch

CBS News: Marriott Hotel Strike leads to Mass Employee Walkouts

A striker smiles outside Marriott's Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit

Crain’s Detroit Business: Westin Book Cadillac Detroit hotel workers go on strike

October 7, 2018 10:04 am Published by Leave a comment

Read the full story by Annalise Frank in Crain’s Detroit Business

A striker smiles outside Marriott's Westin Book Cadillac in DetroitWorkers at the Westin Book Cadillac hotel in downtown Detroit went on strike early Sunday morning.

Housekeepers, servers, door attendants and cooks represented by Detroit-based hospitality union Unite Here Local 24 walked off the job and joined a picket line, with higher wages among their demands.

Union contracts with Local 24 expired June 30. Ninety-eight percent of the approximately 160 workers represented by the union at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit voted in September to authorize a strike.

Click here to read “Westin Book Cadillac Detroit hotel workers go on strike” by Annalise Frank in Crain’s Detroit Business.

Local 2 members take action in San Francisco on Labor Day 2018

Huffington Post: Thousands Of Marriott Workers To Vote On Multi-City Strike

September 5, 2018 4:30 pm Published by Leave a comment

Unions in nine cities will be holding strike authorization votes that could lead to work stoppages at the world’s largest hotel chain

Read the whole story at Huffington Post. 
Local 2 members take action in San Francisco on Labor Day 2018

One of the Hawaii workers who plans to vote in favor of striking is Jason Maxwell, a 45-year-old bartender at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa who works a second hotel job to keep up with the high cost of living in Honolulu. As a member of his local union’s organizing committee, Maxwell said he has seen little progress in contract talks.

“That’s the only leverage we have to push this company to give workers what they really deserve,” Maxwell said, referring to the strike threat. “We know these properties do well because of the workers, especially here in Hawaii. The [same] guests come back year after year. They know our names, and we remember their drinks. It’s our labor that’s creating the wealth.”

Story by Dave Jamieson. Read it now at Huffington Post.

United Airlines catering workers pose at the Denver Airport

Bloomberg Businessweek: United Airlines Loses Challenge to Union Drive

August 23, 2018 2:42 pm Published by Leave a comment

Read the whole article by Josh Eidelson in Bloomberg Businessweek by clicking here.

In her ruling Wednesday, NMB General Counsel Mary Johnson wrote that after interviewing employees, the agency’s investigators had determined that “there is no evidence that employees did not understand that Unite Here was a union and was not a representative of United. Almost universally, employees either signed a card out of a desire to support the organization’s campaign, or they declined to sign a card without feeling pressured.” She rejected, however, the union’s request to let it be certified via a count of union cards, rather than secret ballot. The union had based its request on a claim of alleged company misconduct.

Labor United to Free Our Children August 15, 2018

Labor United to Free Our Children

August 12, 2018 1:43 am Published by Leave a comment

Labor United to Free Our Children August 15, 2018

On August 15, hundreds of UNITE HERE members will join thousands of other union members and faith and community allies for a demonstration to call for an end to family separation and detention.

Liberty & Justice For All: Labor United to Free Our Children will be the largest labor-led demonstration on immigration in the nation.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018
4 PM
Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia

The labor movement is committed to liberty and justice for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or income. All working people have the right to be safe and live with dignity.

Click here for more information and to RSVP on Facebook.

United Airlines catering workers at Trenton Poor People's Campaign action

50 Years Ago: King, Memphis, and the Poor People’s Campaign

June 19, 2018 5:07 pm Published by Leave a comment

United Airlines catering workers at Trenton Poor People's Campaign action

Inspired by the 1968 Memphis movement and the Poor People’s campaign, a broad coalition of labor, civil rights, immigrant rights, and faith-based organizations has organized a new Poor People’s campaign and issued “A Call for Moral Revival.”

Read more from on the role of union workers in the original Poor People’s Campaign and its renewal today, written by UNITE HERE Local 2850 staff member Marty Bennett.

Union’s Citizenship Program Welcomes 5,180 New Americans in 2016

December 28, 2016 3:27 pm Published by Leave a comment

Watch the video

Past and present, immigrants have been at the center of UNITE HERE’s work to end poverty and change lives. We can build even greater power when our members choose to become U.S. citizens and participate fully in American political life.

That’s why UNITE HERE helped 5,180 people in more than a dozen cities complete the process of becoming U.S. citizens in 2016. The flagship of our citizenship programs is run by UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union, which helped over 1,700 Nevada immigrants apply for citizenship.

UNITE HERE members will continue to defend the rights of all workers while carrying the torch for comprehensive immigration reform in the United States.

Special thanks to:
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN)
National Partnerships for New Americans (NPNA)
The Citizenship Project of Nevada
American Immigration Lawyers Association – Nevada Chapter
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL)