Marking 100 Years Of The Triangle Fire
By Matthew Weinstein

Today marked the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire – a traumatic event in which 146 workers, mostly young women, died. Many of them jumped to their death, unable to flee the 11th floor sweatshop where the door had been locked to prevent organizers from entering. These were the days before American workers enjoyed the protection of unions; the days of dangerous working conditions, child labor, intolerably long hours and six-day work weeks for miserable pay.

The workers died because of the sickening greed of their bosses and the malfeasance of local officials who looked the other way. The bosses never paid for the murder of these workers but in the months and years that followed, American unionism took off and laws protecting workers and improving their conditions were established.

Today, on a bitingly cold March day, thousands jammed into Washington Street to listen to stirring speeches. The passion and emotion of the crowd was palpable. The expressions on people’s faces showed they understood that all that which was gained with the death of those martyrs one hundred years ago is now under attack as Corporate America and their Republican shills try to turn our country back to the time when they could treat workers as a tool to maximize profit without regard for their safety or, indeed, their very lives. The Triangle Shirtwaist workers will never be forgotten and they live in our hearts and minds today, one hundred years later. –

For the Photo Essay, go to THIS location.

As part of the ongoing events this week commemorating the Triangle Fire tragedy, the New York City Labor Chorus held performances at the site of the disaster in lower Manhattan.

The New York Times wrote about this HERE

From left, Tom Karlson, Ricky Eisenberg and Paul Kopelman singing bass.
Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

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