Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

March 25, 2011 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire where 146 people mostly immigrant Jews and Italians who worked in a locked sweat shop lost their lives. Additional coverage, here. The building still stands today in Washington Square, NYC. The building is currently owned by NYU. 

What is significant about this fire is that it gave birth the modern labor movement. There is an excellent HBO documentary that will be showing March 21st and cermonies all week. 

With what is going on in Wisconsin, I can not help, but to be fearful that some of us may be forgeting about history as well as the importance of unions. 

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

Unions | Permalink


Here is History of

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, an event that had a far-reaching impact on workplace safety, the labor movement and the New York political scene. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.

The event was remarkable if only for the sheer horror: 146 people dead -- mostly young women -- many burned to death on a factory floor, trapped because of a locked exit door. Dozens jumped to their deaths nine stories below rather than burn alive. But it was the societal changes wrought by the Triangle Shirtwaist fire that made it a watershed moment in the city’s history.

"People began to accept that workers had a right to organize unions, to protect themselves against these kinds of abuses. The sentiment went on the side of the workers’ rights on the job. That was the seminal change in New York City. It was a seminal change in America," said Workers United President Bruce Raynor.

Posted by: Charter Bus DC | Mar 21, 2011 10:19:33 PM

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