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Public Statements

Remember the Triangle Fire

Location: Washington, DC

REMEMBER THE TRIANGLE FIRE -- (House of Representatives - March 29, 2006)

(Mr. PASCRELL asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday, March 25, came and went, and not enough of us took notice of its significance. March 25, 1911, was the anniversary of the tragic Triangle Fire, an event that truly encapsulated the lengths to which industrial greed was allowed to operate at the expense of the American worker.

When the fire had subsided, 146 of the 600 Triangle factory workers were dead in New York City. Many workers jumped to their deaths from eighth, ninth and tenth floors rather than face the searing flames.

But the harsh reality of working in a sweatshop was their lives. The Triangle factory had never conducted a fire drill, had locked doors, poor sanitation, crowding, all symptoms that contributed to the high death toll.

It would be easy to believe that the Triangle Fire was a tragedy of the past, but the horrifying truth is that tragedies like Triangle are occurring throughout the world: 188 workers were killed on May 10, 1993, in Thailand when the factory of a toy company went up in flames; 52 workers were killed on November 25 of 2000 in a fire at a garment factory near Dhaka, Bangladesh. This is what happens when we try to Wal-Mart America. Think of it the next time you buy something off their shelves.


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