In commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, that claimed the lives of 146 garment workers and was the impetus for working people’s rights in America, Council Member Elizabeth Crowley (D-30, Queens) released the following remarks:
“Today we remember the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. This tragedy was an awakening of the American consciousness of worker’s rights.
“Before being elected to the City Council, I was an active union member. Those of you here today, know that once one is an active union member, one is always an active union member.
“We know how critically important it is to protect the rights of our working people. We have struggled over the years for safe and fair working conditions and have come a long way since the deplorable conditions that so many working people faced back then.
“This fire changed America and was the driving force behind stronger laws for fire and building codes; it set the standard for child labor laws, the 40-hour work week and weekends.
“Today we have those laws that protect our workers but we cannot take them for granted. Right now these very values are being challenged in Wisconsin and all over this nation. We cannot be silent.
“This 100th anniversary should serve as a reminder of what our ancestors fought for; and it should motivate us to speak out to protect the rights that so many people have died for.”