It was 100 years ago today that factory workers at the Triangle Waist Company in Lower Manhattan ushered in a new era of labor rights for employees across the United States.
The workers made up of mostly young Jewish and Italian women did not know they would be a part of history. On March 25, 1911 the workers were preparing to go home after working long hours at the factory when the unspeakable happened that day.
Fire engulfed the building trapping workers inside killing 146 people. Dozens jumped to their death in order to escape the burning building.
In the aftermath, a series of legislation was developed that changed labor laws within New York and across the US. The National Labor Relations Act was approved giving rights to workers and strengthening their right to organize.
On this day let’s remember those who lost their lives in that terrible fire.
Labor unions and its hard-working members have done and are doing their part to make this country great.
A century after the Triangle Waist Company fire we still find ourselves in the midst of a political struggle to protect employees and their basic rights in the work place.
The IAFF will never stop fighting for you.
So please stay strong and support your fellow brothers and sisters across the labor movement as we continue to confront the political challenges ahead.