Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A straight line from Memphis to Madison

In just six days, Teamsters across America will honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, who died fighting for collective bargaining rights. On 4.4.11, Teamsters will participate in rallies across the country, as they have for weeks now. But they will also take concrete steps to get educated and get involved in the fight for workers rights.

Here's a good way to get started: Read the Rev. Jesse Jackson's article in the Huffington Post, Injustices, From Memphis to Madison. Jackson writes,

I was in Memphis at Dr. King's side -- and on Monday I will be in Madison, for there is a straight line from Memphis to Madison.
Dr. King came to Memphis to rally in support of striking public employees. Months earlier, two black sanitation workers had been crushed to death when a compactor mechanism in a truck malfunctioned. On the same day, 22 black workers were sent home without pay, while their white supervisors were retained with pay. Two weeks later, 1,100 black sanitation workers began to strike for job safety, better wages and benefits and union recognition.
It was a frantic time for Dr. King...But he chose to join the strikers in Memphis for he knew their cause was just, their need great and their time had come.
Now in Madison, teachers and nurses and sanitation workers are standing up against an attempt to strip them of their right to bargain collectively. Students have come to their aid, while protesting deep cuts in university and school budgets and efforts to strip them of their right to vote on campus. Workers are standing up in solidarity with those under attack.
Read the whole thing here.