Monday, August 26, 2013

Teamsters still marching, 50 years later

The Teamsters are continuing the struggle for jobs and dignity 50 years after the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Recognizing that much remains to be done, the Teamsters National Black Caucus met in Atlanta recently (see video above) and pledged to rededicate themselves to the struggle. Over the weekend, Teamsters from all over America came to Washington to join the march commemorating the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Speech."

A Teamster sister reminds us that Teamsters were at that historic event: 
Teamsters played a very important role in the March on Washington 50 years ago. They were at the forefront of the march demanding better jobs, better education and a decent living for all working men and women. There were Teamsters from all over the nation in Washington, D.C.,  on August 28, 1963. At the time, there was desperate need for economic equality for all. The Teamsters didn’t care about race, sex, religion, age, physical disability or national origin.  
Everyone deserved a chance to experience the American Dream; the dream of having freedom, a decent education, safe working conditions and a fair wage, regardless of who you were. A Teamster contract was as close to civil rights as one could get. It was a form of insurance to those who actually joined. Teamsters will always fight to protect working families. 
This sister came all the way from Cleveland to Saturday's march.
The Teamsters are still front and center fighting the war on workers. On Saturday,  the Teamsters -- along with hundreds of other unions, civil rights groups, clergy and community leaders -- were present demanding economic equality, better working conditions and better wages for every working-class man and woman. 
Many forget that the labor movement jump-started the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom 50 years ago. A. Phillip Randolph, president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, organized the march, demanding change for economic equality, freedom and fair treatment in the workplace. He wanted all to have an opportunity to a good education and a decent wage to obtain the American Dream. 
In 1963, everyone felt the impact of the low wages, the discrimination and inequality. Forward-thinking workers in America understood that. To show their concern they traveled from near and far, bringing men and women from all walks of life to support the union as well as blacks in the March on Washington 50 years ago. 
The Teamsters Union continued that tradition on the 50th anniversary.