For immediate release
March 21, 2007
UNITE HERE Leads City in Commemorating 1911 Triangle Fire
96 Years after Tragedy, Service Honors Workers' Lives Lost, Recognizes Continued Dangers
WHAT: Ceremony involving workers, NYC fire fighters, officials and public and private school students
WHO: His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York
Bruce Raynor, General President, UNITE HERE
Christine Quinn, Speaker, New York City Council
Nicholas Scoppeta, Commissioner, New York City Fire Department
William Thompson, Comptroller, New York City
Scott Stringer, Borough President, Manhattan
Patricia Smith, Commissioner, New York State Department of Labor
Randi Weingarten, President, United Federation of Teachers
Ed Ott, Executive Director, New York City Central Labor Council
WHERE: The corner of Washington Place & Greene Street – just east of Washington Square Park
WHEN: March 26, 2007 at Noon
On Mar. 26, UNITE HERE, the New York City Fire Department, city officials, workers and school children will commemorate the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 that claimed the lives of 146 immigrant garment workers, most of whom were young women.
The fire at New York’s Triangle Waist Company was one of the worst industrial tragedies in our nation’s history, and, until September 11, 2001, it was the city’s deadliest workplace disaster. The fire broke out on the afternoon of March 25, 1911 and within minutes had spread to consume the building’s upper three stories. Firefighters who arrived at the scene were unable to rescue workers trapped inside because the doors were locked and their ladders could not reach the factory floor.
The incident marked a turning point in the city’s fire safety efforts and in the struggle by workers to organize for safer, more just working conditions. It remains significant to this day, highlighting dangerous, inhumane conditions that workers continue to face.
The horrors of the Triangle fire epitomize the vulnerability of modern-day workers like the 15 killed in 2005 at a Texas refinery owned by British Petroleum and Cintas employee Eleazar Torres-Gomez killed this month at the company’s Tulsa plant.
To RSVP, or for more information, please call: Anna Oman at 212-265-7000 ext. 4380 or Ninka Rueda at 212-352-4761.