By Bonnie Stinson, Outreach and Advocacy Assistant, SweatFree Communities
This March, ILRF is collaborating with the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition to commemorate the Triangle Factory Fire in New York City with a week of public performances, art exhibits, speakers, and other collective activism. SweatFree Communities and ILRF invite you to participate in this week of remembrance by hosting an event in your own community. By remembering the Triangle Fire, we honor the victims of that tragic event and re-focus our energy on the current struggle for labor rights around the world. For more information on the Triangle Fire, and for SweatFree Communities and ILRF’s events in New York City and Washington D.C., check out sweatfree.org/trianglefire.
Essential labor rights and human rights are still under threat all over the world today. Unionized public workers in the state of Wisconsin are struggling to defend their right to collective bargaining. Egyptians, Libyans, and Tunisians have showed immense courage in the face of official opposition to their demands for respect of core human rights. Workers in China and Bangladesh continue to struggle for basic collective bargaining power and a safe workplace.
Labor rights are human rights, no matter where in the world you are or what your line of work. You and your neighbors can unite in solidarity to protect your inalienable right to a safe workplace.
This March presents a phenomenal opportunity to educate, involve, and inspire your own community in this global moment of remembrance and call to action.
Why not bring a flyer into your workplace to put on the communal bulletin board?
Maybe your child’s teacher would be interested in doing a brief unit on the international garment industry, with a field trip to a local department store to see how many countries the clothing is from and which countries and regions of the world are the largest producers.
Are you an artist? Check out rememberthetrianglefire.org for inspiration, including poetry, photographs, and films that other folks are doing to commemorate the fire in their own way. The Kheel Center at Cornell University offers a wonderful multimedia presentation of photos, names, and information to get you started.
Start a conversation, and don’t forget to let your neighbors know what you’re up to. Labor rights are human rights, and only in solidarity can we achieve our goals.