As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, AFSCME President Lee Saunders explores in The Root a lesser known but equally important strand of Dr. King’s legacy: his unwavering belief in the dignity of labor and the vital difference made by labor unions in the lives of working people.
President Saunders writes:
There is an often-overlooked aspect of his work: Dr. King was one of his era’s most fearsome champions of working people coming together to organize, build power and improve their lives….
Dr. King understood the union difference – the way that a voice on the job and a seat at the table empowers workers of all races. It means a bigger paycheck at the end of the week. It means better health benefits, so you can afford to see a doctor when you’re sick. It means security in retirement when your working days are done. It means the basic dignity and respect you deserve….
Read the column in full to see why Dr. King believed in the connection between civil rights and economic rights, and why, according to President Saunders, his message is as relevant today as it was more than 50 years ago.