'We Are One' events to take place across the U.S. on April 4, the 43rd anniversary of the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated after speaking in Memphis, Tennessee on behalf of striking black sanitation workers.
(30 March 2011) - Fresh from being reinvigorated in the fight to protect collective bargaining rights of public sector employees in Wisconsin, the American labour movement is embarking on a national campaign to head off future challenges to the labour rights of U.S. workers.
Under the leadership of the AFL-CIO, union activists are mobilizing under the We Are One campaign to make the case that the benefits and rights won by organized labour are equivalent to the rights won by black Americans during the civil-rights movement.
To make the point, the AFL-CIO is planning a series of nationwide events leading up to April 4, the 43rd anniversary of the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated after speaking in Memphis, Tennessee, on behalf of striking black sanitation workers. The message: King’s cause and that of public sector workers in Madison are one.
The AFL-CIO is asking local leaders to tie the Wisconsin issue to the King assassination and civil rights. “April 4 is the day on which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his life for the cause of public collective bargaining,” notes the AFL-CIO. “Join us to make April 4, 2011, a day to stand 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 We Are One campaign already has the support of the Obama administration. “Union rights are no different than civil rights,” Labour Secretary Hilda Solis told union leaders during a Wisconsin strategy conference call two weeks ago. “It’s a part of our history, it’s a part of our culture, it’s a part of what has made this country so great.”
Earlier this month NUPGE national president James Clancy joined other NUPGE representatives in Wisconsin to provide support and solidarity to public service workers. They joined with 100,000 other people who marched around the state Capital.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE