By Jackie Starr, International Labor Rights Forum
On April 6th, 2011, the International Labor Rights Forum hosted a reception and award ceremony, Not One More Fire! Organizing Globally ~ Remembering the Triangle Fire. This event commemorated the 100th anniversary of the horrific Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire by highlighting the connection to similar conditions that persist in our world today and honored those who have shown an extraordinary commitment to workers in the United States and around the world.
Among those recognized was the Honorable Hilda Solis whose role as US Secretary of Labor comes after years of advocating for workers’ rights in her previous positions.
Also recognized was Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, whose award was accepted by General Secretary Kalpona Akter. Kalpona attended the event with her co-worker Babul Akhter and garment worker Aleya Akter, after wrapping up Sweatshop, Warehouse, Walmart: A Worker Truth Tour, a five-city speaking tour that was jointly organized by the International Labor Rights Forum, United Food and Commercial Workers, Jobs with Justice, and United Students Against Sweatshops.
ILRF also awarded the American Federation of Teachers for their work that brings issues of child labor into classrooms around the United States, in an effort to raise awareness and mobilize campaign activities among teachers and students nationwide.
Finally, United Steelworkers received an award for the passion and leadership they have brought and continue to apply to the fight for workers rights. Their efforts have been critical in helping exploited workers to organize for the first time and participate in training programs.
ILRF was glad to have the chance to honor these important individuals and institutions who have achieved progress in the fight for workers’ rights in the United States and abroad.