“Injustice is a threat to justice everywhere”– Martin Luther King, Jr.
The night before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King told a group of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee: “We’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We’ve got to see it through.”
“I Am a Man” read the sandwich board posters worn by public sanitation workers in Memphis, who walked off the job 1,300 strong after years of abuse and mistreatment by their employer. They struck for dignity and respect and, in the end, achieved recognition, though lives were tragically lost in the process.
Today, 43 years later, workers across this country are still fighting to achieve and preserve the same rights that cost MLK his life. In Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio, thousands of workers are standing up to demand respect and dignity and recognition that their contributions matter.
On Monday, April 4, 2011, thousands of American workers stood together in over 1,000 actions across this country to not only remember Martin Luther King, but to draw attention to the reality that our work is far from over. Millions of Americans battle each and every day to earn a decent wage, take care of their families and preserve their rights to collectively bargain.
But, by standing together, as one, we can continue building upon MLK’s legacy to confront injustice and work toward a better future for us all.