In 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.