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Moment of Silence, UPW Participates

Remembering Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and Striking AFSCME sanitation workers in Memphis Tennessee

On February 1, 2018, United Public Workers observed a moment of silence to honor the 50th anniversary of the tragic events that touched off the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike. (Please click here for pictures from the day)

On February 1, 1968, a storm forced sanitation workers Echol Cole and Robert Walker to seek shelter in the back of their truck. The workers’ repeated warnings to management about faulty equipment proved tragically prophetic that day when the truck’s compactor kicked on, crushing the two men to death (AFSCME, 2018).

Their coworkers decided they had had enough. They voted to strike, and despite facing racial hatred and disrespect, they bravely continued their strike for more than two months. They were supported by their AFSCME sisters and brothers from across the country, and by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who traveled to Memphis to march in solidarity, where he ultimately gave his life for their cause.

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UPW Participates in the AFL-CIO Labor of Love

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