With 1,000+ Events Nationwide, United We Are One
More than 1,000 events this week will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was assassinated April 4, 1968 in Memphis, where he had gone to stand with sanitation workers demanding their dream: the right to bargain collectively for a voice at work and a better life. The workers were trying to form a union with AFSCME.
On April 4, 2011, union members, community activists, people of faith, students, youth, LGBTQ, civil rights, and immigrant rights allies stood in solidarity with working people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and dozens of other states where well-funded, right-wing corporate politicians are trying to take away the rights Dr. King gave his life for: the freedom to bargain, to vote, to afford a college education and justice for all workers, immigrant and native-born.
Jobs with Justice coalitions participated in nearly 50 “We Are One” events across the country.
In Washington State, Jobs with Justice took action with workers fighting for their organizing and collective bargaining rights in Tacoma and Seattle. Anti-union bosses, subsidized by tax-dollar corporate welfare, are undercutting Tacoma grocery and hotel workers’ union-won living wages and collective bargaining in the University of Washington-Tacoma neighborhood. In Seattle, construction workers at the University of Washington face sweatshop conditions, delays, and union-busting retaliation as they organize for a first collective bargaining agreement. The federal labor board has already addressed retaliatory terminations. Despite this, 93% of the workers stayed solid to form a union. Serious issues of worksite safety and inaccessible 401K accounts are unresolved. Jobs with Justice rallied to call on UW, the largest public sector employer in the state, to affirm the right of workers to collective bargaining.
Kentucky Jobs with Justice, AFSCME Council 62, IUE/CWA, Firefighters Local 345, AFSCME Local 2629, United Steel Workers, AFL-CIO, Teamsters Local 789, and the Greater Louisville Central Labor Council in partnership with allies hosted block party with public workers (moved into the convention center due to rain) featuring special guests, Grammy award-winning artists Nappy Roots. “Our community supports and stands with our public sector workers. Including firefighters, police officers, teachers, state workers and social workers,” said Kentucky Jobs with Justice Coordinator Attica Scott, “and so we wanted to celebrate them but also to do some public education and public awareness.”
As part of April 4th related events in Atlanta, Saturday there was a “Speak-Out for Jobs Now” at the Trinity United Methodist Church in downtown Atlanta. Over 250 people attended, including over 50 unemployed and underemployed workers who gave their testimonies. There were black, Latino/a, and white women and men in attendance and participating. After the Speak-Out portion of the event, dozens of service organizations and individuals provided services to participants focused on navigating the job search and unemployment processes. Here’s a video from WSB Channel 2 news: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/27409815/detail.html
In Boston, more than 500 union rallied outside the Massachusetts Republican Party headquarters in downtown Boston to speak out against attacks on collective bargaining across the country and especially nearby states New Hampshire and Maine. Watch video from the action below.