Commemorating the 109th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

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Senate Resolution No. 3041


COMMEMORATING the 109th Anniversary of the
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire on March 25, 2020

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to commemorate the
109th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which took
the lives of 146 garment workers, on March 25, 2020; and

WHEREAS, It is also incumbent upon this Legislative Body, as we
commemorate this anniversary, to acknowledge the continued efforts of
Workers United/SEIU (formerly the International Ladies' Garment Workers'
Union) in empowering and protecting workers across the country; and

WHEREAS, Each year, Workers United/SEIU, together with the New York
City Fire Department and the United Federation of Teachers, commemorates
the anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire at the original
site of the tragedy with a wreath, speeches and the laying of 146
flowers in honor of the fire victims; members of Ladder Company 20, the
first to respond to the fire, toll their bell and raise their ladder to
the sixth floor; and

WHEREAS, The majority of the fire's victims were Jewish and Italian
immigrants, many of them young women, who might otherwise have survived
this tragedy had the factory's managers not locked the doors to the
stairwells so as to prevent theft and early departure; there was almost
no water that the workers trapped on the 8th, 9th, and 10th floors could
use to douse the rapidly spreading flames; doors that were not locked
opened the wrong way, leaving workers with no option for escape;
meanwhile the factory's owners were in the factory that same day with
their children, and were able to find their way to safety by escaping to
the building's rooftop; and

WHEREAS, Since the doors to the stairwells were locked, dozens of
panicked factory employees attempted to escape via the building's
structurally compromised fire escape only for it to collapse onto the
concrete eight stories below; after the fire escape collapsed and the
stairways became inaccessible because of the smoke and heat, employees
were trapped in the building with no means of escape except by jumping;

WHEREAS, Only three weeks prior to the fire, a group of property
owners had met to oppose the fire department's calls for the
installation of indoor sprinklers; the fire department's ladders were
not tall enough to reach beyond the sixth and seventh floors, leaving
the workers on the 8th, 9th, and 10th stranded; and

WHEREAS, The deplorable working conditions in New York City's
garment industry were well-known at the time and, in 1909, industry
leaders were met with a massive strike known as the Uprising of the
20,000 led by the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union in which
workers demanded higher wages, safer working conditions, and better
hours; this strike precipitated the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire by
just a year; and

WHEREAS, Recent research has determined the names and ages of the
handful of previously unidentified victims; and

WHEREAS, The complete list now includes: Lizzie Adler (24 years
old), Anna Altman (16), Annina Ardito (25), Rose Bassino (31, sister of
Catherine Giannattasio), Vincenza Benanti (22), Yetta Berger (18), Essie
Bernstein (19), Jacob Bernstein (38), Morris Bernstein (19), Gussie
Bierman (22), Vincenza Biliota (16), Abraham Binowitz (30), Rosie
Brenman (23, sister of Sarah Brenman), Sarah Brenman (17), Ida Brodsky
(15), Sarah Brodsky (21), Ada Brooks (18), Laura Brunetti (17),
Josephine Cammarata (17), Francesca Caputo (17), Josephine Carlisi (31),
Albina Caruso (20), Annie Ciminello (36), Rosina Cirrito (18), Anna
Cohen (25), Annie Colletti (30), Sarah Cooper (16), Michelina Cordiano
(25), Bessie Dashefsky (25), Josie Del Castillo (21), Clara Dockman
(19), Kalman Donick (24), Celia Eisenberg (17), Dora Evans (18), Rebecca
Feibisch (20), Yetta Fichtenholtz (18), Daisy Lopez Fitze (26), Mary
Floresta (26), Max Florin (23), Jennie Franco (16), Rose Friedman (18),
Molly Gerstein (17), Catherine Giannattasio (22, sister of Rose
Bassino), Celia Gitlin (17), Esther Goldstein (20), Lena Goldstein (22,
sister of Mary Goldstein), Mary Goldstein (18), Yetta Goldstein (20),
Rosie Grasso (16), Bertha Greb (25), Diana Gerjuoy (18), Rachel Grossman
(18), Mary Herman (40), Esther Hochfeld (21), Fannie Hollander (18),
Pauline Horowitz (19), Ida Jukofsky (19), Ida Kanowitz (18), Tessie
Kaplan (18), Beckie Kessler (19), Jacob Klein (23), Beckie Koppelman
(16), Bertha Kula (19), Tillie Kupferschmidt (16), Benjamin Kurtz (19),
Annie L'Abbate (16), Fannie Lansner (21), Maria Giuseppa Lauletti (33,
sister of Isabella Tortorelli), Jennie Lederman (21), Max Lehrer (18,
brother of Sam Lehrer), Sam Lehrer (19), Kate Leone (14), Mary Leventhal
(22), Jennie Levin (19), Pauline Levine (19), Nettie Liebowitz (23),
Rose Liermark (19), Bettina Maiale (18, sister of Frances Maiale),
Frances Maiale (21), Caterina Maltese (39, mother of Lucia and Rosaria
Maltese), Lucia Maltese (20), Rosaria Maltese (14), Maria Manaria (27),
Rose Mankofsky (22), Rose Mehl (15), Yetta Meyers (19), Gaetana Midolo
(16), Annie Miller (16), Beckie Neubauer (19), Annie Nicholas (18),
Michelina Nicolosi (21), Sadie Nussbaum (18), Julia Oberstein (19), Rose
Oringer (19), Beckie Ostrovsky (20), Annie Pack (18), Provindenza Panno
(43), Antonietta Pasqualicchio (16), Ida Pearl (20), Jennie Pildescu
(18), Vincenza Pinelli (30), Emilia Prato (21), Concetta Prestifilippo
(22), Beckie Reines (18), Fannie Rosen (21), Israel Rosen (17, son of
Julia Rosen), Julia Rosen (35), Louis Rosen (33), Yetta Rosenbaum (22),
Jennie Rosenberg (21), Gussie Rosenfeld (22), Nettie Rosenthal (21),
Emma Rothstein (22), Theodore Rotner (22), Sarah Sabasowitz (17),
Santina Salemi (24), Sarafina Saracino (25, sister of Teresina
Saracino), Teresina Saracino (20), Gussie Schiffman (18), Theresa
Schmidt (32), Ethel Schneider (20), Violet Schochet (21), Golda Schpunt
(19), Margaret Schwartz (24), Jacob Seltzer (33), Rosie Shapiro (17),
Ben Sklover (25), Rose Sorkin (18), Annie Starr (30), Jennie Stein (18),
Jennie Stellino (16), Jennie Stiglitz (22), Sam Taback (20), Clotilde
Terranova (22), Isabella Tortorelli (17), Meyer Utal (23), Catherine
Uzzo (22), Frieda Velakofsky (20), Bessie Viviano (15), Rosie Weiner
(19), Sarah Weintraub (17), Tessie Weisner (21), Dora Welfowitz (21),
Bertha Wendorff (18), Joseph Wilson (22) and Sonia Wisotsky (17); and

WHEREAS, Subsequent to this devastating, preventable tragedy, the
labor movement sprung to action and the New York State Legislature
formed the Factory Investigating Commission to study and make
recommendations on working conditions; the Factory Investigating
Commission's reports and findings led to 38 new labor laws in New York

State strengthening worker protections with measures that required
stronger fire safety efforts, more effective factory ventilation, safe
operation of elevators, and improved machine guarding and sanitation
measures; and

WHEREAS, The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire reinvigorated a labor
movement that would give American workers access to rights we must never
take for granted, including the nationwide adoption of the 40-hour work
week and the weekend in 1940, the passage of the Social Security Act in
1935, and the right to organize a union and negotiate in good faith
under the Wagner Act in 1935; and

WHEREAS, It is imperative at a time when our Federal Government
continues to demonize and persecute immigrants that we honor our state's
history of welcoming immigrants, that we cherish the fact that this
country was built by immigrants, and that we re-commit to continuing
that legacy by standing up for immigrants today; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
commemorate the 109th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory
Fire, and to acknowledge the efforts of Workers United/SEIU, Governor
Andrew M. Cuomo, Commissioner of Labor Roberta Reardon, and the New York
State Legislature; and be it further

RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to Workers United/SEIU; Clarissa M. Rodriguez, Chair of the
New York State Workers' Compensation Board; Daniel A. Nigro, New York
City Fire Commissioner; Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Memorial
Society; Serphin R. Maltese; New York State Commissioner of Labor
Roberta Reardon; and the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition.


  • 11 / Mar / 2020
  • 31 / Mar / 2020
  • 31 / Mar / 2020

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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