In Memoriam: 4 April 1968

AFSCMEIn 1968 sanitation workers made history in Memphis, Tennessee. Over a thousand workers went on strike to protest unfair wages, discrimination, and unsafe working conditions that took the lives of two of their own. Marching through the streets, they wore signs declaring “I Am a Man.” In April, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. arrived to Memphis to support the workers and was assassinated after delivering his famous Mountaintop speech.

Conditions for sanitation workers in Memphis today are surprisingly similar to conditions in the 1960’s. The city is threatening to privatize their jobs, workers are not earning a living wage, and working conditions are hazardous and unsafe.

In the midst of contract negotiations, the sanitation workers of Local 1733 continue the struggle for fairness and respect begun forty five years ago.

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

3 thoughts on “In Memoriam: 4 April 1968

  1. Nice shoutout to unions and MLK’s support of them. As any study worth referencing has noted, unions don’t harm workers so much as raise their wages, because even non-union employers have to compete for workers.

    This is all long ago and far away. Unions are dead, and my brain is channeling Hedges’s "Days Of Destruction," a book illustrated by veteran war reporter Joe Sacco that will cause the average person to beg innocent street strangers for mercy killings. There’s a limit on how much misery we can process at once.

    Time to crank up the Motown and hit the hay.

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