“The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress.”– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As we remember the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 19th, 2015, for his unparalleled civil rights achievements, it’s important that we also recognize and honor Dr. King as a champion of workers’ rights.
Dr. King waged what would be the final civil disobedience campaign of his life on behalf of sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, who enlisted his aid during a lengthy strike for job safety, better wages and benefits – and yes, union recognition. After several stops and starts, Dr. King’s allies negotiated an agreement with a judge for a march to proceed on April 8, 1968, and that message was conveyed to Dr. King as he was dressing for dinner. Moments later, as Dr. King stepped out of his motel room on the evening of April 4th to join his colleagues, he was assassinated.
We believe that the best way to carry on Dr. King’s legacy is to continue to fight for social and economic justice and to demand the good jobs that improve the quality of life for working families. Dr. King’s words still ring true: “The labor movement IS the principal force that transforms misery and despair into hope and progress.” We all move forward when we work together.