From Emmy-winning filmmakers Marc Levin and Daphne Pinkerson, this 40-minute documentary recounts the horror of March 25, 1911, when young garment workers perished in the worst industrial accident in New York City history (up until 9/11), triggering widespread reforms and ushering in the birth of modern labor movement. In addition to riveting stories of heart break and courage told by descendents of several of the fire's victims and survivors, the documentary explains how the tragedy occurred in the wake of an earlier strike (initiated by Triangle employees) that unified some 20,000 garment workers, but ended violence and few concessions by labor leaders. The Saturday afternoon fire, in which workers were literally locked inside their workspace by management apparently worried about theft, galvanized the public's outrage against big business and its treatment of employees. It also forced Tammany Hall officials to work with the fledgling International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) to enact legislation improving safety, conditions and wages for garment workers - a trend that climaxed in New Deal reforms twenty years later, and is the foundation of today's labor standards.
Filmmakers Marc Levin and Daphne Pinkerson detail the tragic fire that erupted at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City on March 25, 2011, killing 146 garment workers and paving the way for major labor reform all across the United States. It was a typical Saturday afternoon when the fire began, but the day took a particularly grim turn when the terrified workers realized they could not escape the encroaching flames because management had locked the workers inside of the building to prevent theft. As a result of the lamentable loss of life, the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) led a major push to ensure that all workers were protected from unsafe business practices, and that such a tragedy could never occur again.
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