On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Manhattan, claiming the lives of 146 garment workers — mostly women and girls. It was one of the deadliest workplace disasters in American history. Caused by a combination of carelessness and poor safety measures, the fire eventually set off a wave of workplace reforms that changed industry in America and sent New York party politics in a totally different direction.
But in the years before the fire, the workers of the Triangle factory were focused on a different issue — advocating for higher pay. Facing long hours and unsympathetic bosses unwilling to implement change, the women decided they had only one option left.
It was time to go on strike.
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