Out of the Smoke and the Flame: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and its Legacy
Event ends: March 24, 2011 6:30 pm
Registration is now CLOSED and attendance is open for only those who have registered. There is no extra room or video feed for walk-ins.
ILRF's Staff Trina Tocco and Bjorn Claeson will speak on panels during this day long conference. The Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, a partner of ILRF, will also be presenting.
9 – 9:15 a.m. Cultural Presentation
- World premier of the dramatic oratorio, Triangle: From the Fire
Music by composer Elizabeth Swados.
9:15 – 9:25 a.m. Welcome
- William Kelly, President, Graduate School & University Center, CUNY
9:25 – 10:45 a.m. Plenary: The Political Significance and Present Day Legacy of the Triangle Fire
- The Triangle Fire in its Historical Context
Steve Fraser, New Labor Forum, Murphy Institute, CUNY
- From Fire to Ashes: The Changed Contemporary Political Landscape
Frances Fox Piven, Graduate Center, CUNY
- The Unfinished Business of Triangle Protest: Challenges and Possibilities Confronting Labor Today
Sarita Gupta, National Executive Director, Jobs with Justice
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Concurrent Panels
- Global Perspectives on Sweatshops
Trina Tocco, International labor Rights Forum; Mary Frederickson, Miami University; Beth English, Princeton University; Robert Ross, Clark University.
- Why No Fire This Time? Passivity and Resistance in Politics Today
Stephen Pimpare, NYU; Gerry Hudson, SEIU; Liza Featherstone, Journalist.
- Memorializing the Past: Using Memorials and Monuments to Teach NY History
Ed O’Donnell, College of the Holy Cross; Christopher Moore, Historian; Ruth Sergel, Artist; Janet Zweig, Artist; Wendy Aibel-Weiss, Museum Curator; Public School Teacher (TBA).
Moderators: Suzanne Wasserman and Julie Maurer, the Gotham Center for NYC History, CUNY Graduate Center.
- Labor and Immigration Politics: Past and Present
Muzaffer Chishti, NYU, Migration Policy Institute; Janice Fine, Rutgers University; Mae Ngai, Columbia University, Ruth Milkman, Graduate Center/Murphy Institute, CUNY.
- Labor Standards and the State
Melvyn Dubofsky, SUNY Binghamton; Rory Lancman, NY State Assemblyman and Chair of the Subcommittee on Workplace Safety; Colleen Gardener, NY State Commissioner of Labor
- Grassroots Organizing for Workers Health and Safety Today
Barbara Rocky, United Auto Workers; Richard Witt, Justice for Farmworkers Campaign; Priscilla Gonzalez, Domestic Workers United; Eric Frumin, Health & Safety, Change to Win.
- Triangle and Representations of Labor in 20th Century Art
Ellen Todd, George Mason University; Temma Berg, East Carolina University; Esther Cohen, Artist, cultural organizer.
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Break
1:30 – 2:45 p.m. Plenary: The Global Sweatshop
- Worker Protest Today in Bangladesh
Kalpona Akter, Secretary General & Executive Director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity
- The Economic Role of the Global Sweatshop
Saskia Sassen, Columbia University & London School of Economics
- Workers’ Resistance in the Chinese Sweatshop
Ching Kwan Lee, University of California Los Angeles
- Protecting Workers’ Rights in the Global Economy
Jennifer Gordon, Fordham University School of Law
3 – 4:30 p.m. Concurrent Panels
- Garment Unionism and the Garment Industry: From Triangle to Today
Andrew Ross, NYU; May Chen, former Vice-President Workers United, currently Murphy Institute, CUNY; Richard Greenwald, Drew University; Katie Quan, former organizer ILGWU, currently UC Berkeley
- Teaching the Triangle Fire: A Conversation
Stuart Eimer, Widener University; Kimberly Schiller, English Language Arts teacher in Huntington, New York; Rob Linne, Adelphi University.
- Child Labor: Then and Now
Kriste Lindenmeyer, University of Maryland Baltimore County; Hugh D. Hindman, Appalachian State University; Reid Maki, Child Labor Coalition, Social Responsibility & Fair Labor Standards, National Consumers League.
- Global Sweatshops and International Solidarity: The Case of Bangladesh
Bjorn Claeson, Sweatfree Communities, International Labor Rights Forum; Babul Akhter, former garment worker, Secretary of the Bangladesh Garments and Industrial Workers Federation; Mitch Cahn, President of Unionware, garment manufacturer in Newark, New Jersey.
- Feminism, Low Wage Workers, and Organized Labor
Ileen DeVault, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University; Annelise Orleck, Dartmouth College; Susan Feiner, Francis Perkins Center & University of Southern Maine.
- OSHA at 40: From Triangle to Today
David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA; Gerald Markowitz, CUNY Graduate Center.
- The Legacy of Triangle and Youth Labor Organizing in the US
Jennifer Polish, Queens College, CUNY, Laura Binger, Food AND Medicine, Maine; Theresa Cheng, United Student Against Sweatshops; Thenjiwe McHarris, Field Organizer, Amnesty International.
4:45 – 6:30 p.m. Plenary: The Contemporary Legacy of the Triangle Fire
- What is the Triangle Legacy?
Alice-Kessler Harris, Columbia University
- From the Triangle Fire to the BP Explosion: Protecting Workers Today
David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA
- Organized Labor and the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century
Bruce Raynor, President, Workers United, SEIU
7 – 8:30 p.m. Gotham Center for NY History Plenary Discussion (Separate Free Registration Required)
- Rich Greenwald, Drew University
- Annelise Orleck, Dartmouth College
- Ellen Todd, George Mason University
- Jennifer Guglielmo, Smith College
- David Von Drehle (Author)
- Ruth Sergel (Artist, Organizer, Remember The Fire Coalition)
To Follow: Book signing of Arcadia Press’ The New York City Triangle Factory Fire