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PORTSIDELABOR  April 2012, Week 1

PORTSIDELABOR April 2012, Week 1

Subject:

Honoring Dr. King by Continuing His Struggle

From:

Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>

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[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 4 Apr 2012 20:45:46 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (66 lines)

Honoring Dr. King by Continuing His Struggle
BY JOYE BARKSDALE  |  APRIL 04, 2012
http://www.afscme.org/blog/honoring-dr-king-by-continuing-his-struggle

Forty-four years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in
Memphis, where he'd gone to stand with the 1,300
sanitation workers of AFSCME Local 1733. The sanitation
workers went on strike for higher wages, better
benefits, improved safety conditions, and to force the
city to recognize their union.

In today's Commercial Appeal, AFSCME Sec.-Treas. Lee
Saunders and AFSCME Local 1733 Exec. Dir. Chad Johnson
pen a guest column about Dr. King's legacy and his
belief that workers' rights are civil rights.

An excerpt:

"For the members of AFSCME in Memphis and across the
country, today holds special significance. It represents
both a high water mark in our fight to ensure that all
workers have a voice, and a violent end for a
truth-telling, eloquent leader who was simultaneously
one of our nation's greatest champions and fiercest
critics.

This year also marks AFSCME's 75th anniversary. The
state workers of Wisconsin who formed our union at the
height of the Great Depression wanted the basics: better
pay and better working conditions. But, just like the
sanitation workers who went on strike here in 1968, they
also wanted respect.

Decades later, it was that same desire to be treated
with dignity and respect that compelled the sanitation
workers of AFSCME Local 1733 to stand their ground. They
could have gone along with the status quo, complaining
only to each other about unsafe working conditions,
awful pay and nearly non-existent benefits - especially
given the daunting twin evils of racism and poverty they
faced. It is always our choice whether to accept what we
are given or demand what we deserve. The sanitation
workers of Local 1733 chose to make a demand."

Read the full column.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2012/apr/04/guest-column-they-stood-their-ground-for-respect/

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PortsideLabor aims to provide material of interest to
people on the left that will help them to interpret the
world and to change it.

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