Remember MLK as a champion for the Labor Movement

This week we remember the legacy of a civil rights activist and champion for Labor as we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birthday.

Dr. King often spoke of the correlation between the labor and civil rights movements. He saw strengthening unions and lifting up workers as critical to achieving long-term justice for communities of color and low-income people.

“The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress. Out of its bold struggles, economic and social reform gave birth to unemployment insurance, old age pensions, government relief for the destitute, and above all new wage levels that meant not mere survival, but a tolerable life. The captains of industry did not lead this transformation; they resisted it until they were overcome,” King said in a 1965 speech to labor organizations and union members.

Dr. King’s legacy continues to live through the works of leaders, staff and members of PSE, SEIU, and countless other labor unions across America.

  • Watch an excerpt of Dr. King’s speech from the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike.
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