an excerpt from her address
Albany, NY (March 23, 2010) - State Labor Commissioner Colleen Gardner today joined state legislative and union leaders to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire, which led to the tragic death of 146 garment workers. At a ceremony at the Empire State Plaza, Commissioner Gardner acknowledged the importance of the fire, which significantly changed worker protection laws.
On March 25, 1911, fire swept through the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trapping workers on the top three floors of a 10-story building, where exits were locked and fire escapes were defective. The tremendous public outcry that followed the tragedy led New York State to enact many of the first significant worker protection laws in the nation.
Commissioner Gardner said, "We are here to see that this tragedy never happens again. By enforcing the State's Labor Laws, the Department of Labor ensures safe working conditions for all New Yorkers. New York enacted many of the first significant worker protection laws in the nation. We continue to lead in protecting the health and safety of employees in the workplace. We honor the women who died at the Triangle Fire and stay true to our fight for workers' rights and workplace safety."