On Tuesday, March 8, 2016, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York presented a free Tenement Talk, Who Remembers The Triangle Fire.
Steven Greenhouse, former labor reporter for the New York Times and author of The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker, moderated a conversation between Mary Anne Trasciatti, president of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, which has fought for a memorial for years; May Chen, a labor organizer who has been actively engaged in outreach and advocacy for immigrant workers for more than 20 years, working with the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union; and Katie Quan from the Labor Center at Berkeley, who was a seamstress, organizer, and international vice -president with the ILGWU, and its successor, UNITE; and Hasia Diner, NYU professor of Hebrew and Judaic studies and history.
They discussed the importance of the memorial and the fire’s resonance for immigrant garment workers from the 1970s and 1980s.
March 25th marks the date that thousands remember the 146 workers who died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911. Inadequate fire escapes, locked doors, and an overall disregard for worker safety contributed to this terrible disaster.
The factory building, which is now part of the NYU campus and has long been a site of significance to many, will now be home to a permanent public art memorial. The Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition was recently awarded $1.5 million from the state for the memorial. It will not only pay tribute to the mostly Eastern European Jewish and Italian immigrant women and men who died, it will also stand as a symbol for workers of later generations.
On Mar 23, 2016, at the site of the fire of the 1911 historic fire, the NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO joins with Workers United/SEIU (ILGWU), Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, and other labor affiliates and working people to remember these 146 workers whose deaths helped make workplaces safer for us today.
This commemoration from 11:30 AM – 1:00PM in front of the Brown Building at the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street in New York, educates rank and file union members, activists, students and community allies about workplace safety and collective bargaining rights.
The program includes the Raising of the Fire Ladder, Recitation of the Names and Laying Flowers.
For more information go to www.rememberthetrianglefire.org or contact the NYC CLC at (212) 604-9552.
The Tenement Museum preserves and interprets the history of immigration through the personal experiences of the generations of newcomers who settled in and built lives on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, America’s iconic immigrant neighborhood; forges emotional connections between visitors and immigrants past and present; and enhances appreciation for the profound role immigration has played and continues to play in shaping America’s evolving national identity.
Lower East Side Tenement Museum Website
Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999
Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek, which will screen at the end of April as an official selection of the Disorient Film Festival in Eugene, Oregon. She is profiled in Examiner.com, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.
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