Nearly 500 people gathered to watch as UNITE HERE, the New York City Fire Department, city officials, workers and school children commemorated the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911. The fire claimed the lives of 146 immigrant garment workers, mostly young women.
Among those officials who joined UNITE HERE General President Bruce Raynor in marking the anniversary of the tragedy were His Eminence, Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York; New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; and New York City Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta.
The fire at Triangle Waist Company, located in New York City’s Greenwich Village, 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 tragedy 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.