Log in  |  Search

Archive for April, 2011

From Memphis To Madison

Arizona Brewery

Jan Brewer, the incumbent Arizona governor and mother to numerous retrograde initiatives that have galvanized dismay from China to Peru has been upbraided by Craig Barrett, Intel’s former chief executive and chairman of the board.

“Quality education is extremely important to a place like Intel. (The) education cutbacks don’t bode well for that,” The Arizona Republic quotes Barrett as saying at a board meeting of the agency that superseded the state’s former Department of Commerce.

Over the past decade, according to the newspaper, Intel has invested a minimum of $14 billion in new Arizona plants and has an additional $5 billion in the works. Barrett deplores Gov. Brewer’s slashing of the education budget because it will have the effect of depressing the state’s economic development. More »

Why Martin Luther King Jr. Would Support the Public Worker Protests

At the AFL-CIO Now blog, Martin Luther King III explains why his father would be on the front lines today supporting public employees.

Forty-three years ago my father, Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated while he was in Memphis, Tenn., supporting a strike of municipal sanitation workers. It was, in his eyes, more than a quest for a few more dollars in a paycheck. He saw the strike as part of the great struggle of his time—a struggle for democracy, for truth, for justice and for human dignity.

These are the same basic reasons that my father would be joining with millions of other Americans today in supporting public employees in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and other states, where collective bargaining is now under attack.

More »

Remembering King’s Final Civil Rights Struggle

Today is the forty-third anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

King was struck down as he provided support to the struggle of Memphis sanitation workers, largely African-American, to unionize.  In honor of King’s last civil rights struggle, labor unions across the United States will be engaged in a day of demonstrations and actions. Here in New York City, the UFT is hosting a candle light vigil in Battery Park at 7 PM.

The AFL-CIO has a website, We Are One, which reports on all of the actions across the United States.

International unions are sending messages of solidarity with American workers, as we fight to preserve the right to unionize and organize which King supported. See all of the statements, including the Egyptian and Iraqi labor federations, at the bottom of this page.

The National Archives has documents and materials which can be used to teach about King’s final days in Memphis.

Erase To The Top

Teacher Sabrina, who blogs at Failing Schools, tells the story of the rise and fall of Michelle Rhee in brilliant Dr. Seuss style:

Stand in Solidarity with Workers and Honor MLK on Monday, April 4

April 4, 2011 Candlelight Vigil“The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress.” — Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., October 1965

Join us in Battery Park on Monday, April 4, 7 p.m., as the UFT hosts a candlelight vigil honoring the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. It was on April 4, 1968 that Dr. King, who was in Memphis to lead a protest march in support of striking sanitation workers, was assassinated.

View the flier »

This rally is just one part of a national mobilization by organized labor to mark that anniversary with marches, rallies and other activities, as well as to support workers all across the United States who are fighting for jobs and economic justice.

Take the AFT’s “We Are One” pledge, which includes suggestions for ways you can show your solidarity. As AFT President Randi Weingarten has said, our challenge is to take this moment and turn it into a movement.