News & Press Releases

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Memorial Scholarship Event Returns on March 30

March 26, 2023

In 1911, 146 workers died in a horrific fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.  Their working conditions, untimely deaths, and the lack of adequate compensation for the families of the victims led to widespread unionization of garment industry workers, fire and workplace safety codes, and the creation of the Workers’ Compensation Law.

Nine decades later, a group of workers’ compensation attorneys created the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Memorial to provide academic scholarship to the children of workers who were killed or permanently disabled on the job.  Between 2001 and 2018 the Memorial provided a total of almost $500,000 in scholarship assistance while presenting its Clara Lemlich Public Service Award to luminaries including Hilary Clinton, Dr. Stephen Levin, Randi Weingarten, Lillian Roberts, Denis Hughes, Gary LaBarbera, and others.

After a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Memorial will hold its 18th Annual Scholarship Award Event at RWDSU headquarters on Seventh Avenue on Thursday, March 30, 2023.  Honorees are Janella T. Hinds, Secretary Treasurer of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Charlene Obernauer, Executive Director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, and Heriberto “Ed” Vargas, posthumously, as well as scholarship recipient Alexandra Bryer.

Memorial President Robert Grey said: “The Scholarship Award Event is such a valuable cause.  It is important to remember and commemorate the Triangle Fire and the lives that were lost.  It is also important to remember and reinforce the connection between the fire, the labor movement, and the Workers’ Compensation Law.  And we are grateful for the opportunity to provide scholarships in memory and in honor of the young women who died in the fire.”

Information about the Memorial, the upcoming Scholarship Award Event, and scholarship applications can be found at  The deadline for journal ads is March 2 and the ticket deadline is March 9, 2023.

Images courtesy of Cornell University

TSFFM, a recognized 501 ( c )(3) organization incorporated on December 2, 2002, was established to memorialize the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of March 25, 1911, its impact on changing New York State labor laws, and its role in the creation of the Workers' Compensation law. TSFFM seeks to educate the general public regarding workplace safety and to provide scholarships for the children of workers who died or were permanently disabled as the result of workplace accidents or illnesses.