Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Today & Always

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Cover of Martin Luther King, Jr.
On April 4, 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., 39, was shot to death in Memphis, Tenn. after speaking to a group of striking AFCSME sanitation workers.  We remember him today and always as a man who tirelessly fought for the working class, social justice, and economic justice.

He fought to educate the American public on illnesses facing our country and culture, some of which are still plaguing our country today.  Dr. King was a leading voice against ‘Right-to-work’ legislation, legislation that was recently passed in Indiana, which weakens labor unions and rights of workers banding together to fight for a better quality of life.  In 1961 Dr. King gave his opinion on “Right-to-Work”:
“In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as 'right-to-work.' It provides no 'rights' and no 'works.' Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining... We demand this fraud be stopped.”
In his last speech before Dr. King was assassinated 44 years ago today, he addressed a group of AFCSME striking Sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. The beautiful words he spoke in 1968 still resonate today.
“You are demanding that this city will respect the dignity of labor. So often we overlook the work and the significance of those who are not in professional jobs, of those who are not in the so-called big jobs. But let me say to you tonight that whenever you are engaged in work that serves humanity and is for the building of humanity, it has dignity and it has worth.”
The words resonate with us as retail workers.  So often retail work throughout grocery stores is overlooked.  We thank you all, for serving our communities with professionalism, and making shopping a pleasant experience for New Yorkers.

The labor movement, fighting to better the lives of the working class, eternally honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and activists alike who fought and fight every day for social and economic justice.

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