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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. Supported Public Employees Right to Unionize

Memphis sanitation workers strike of 1968
Today is the national holiday honoring the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. All across our nation, elected officials will be participating in various activities to mark the occassion. They will seek to honor King's memory. But many will be dishonoring his work by their attack on public employee unions.ll

Dr. King was in Memphis, Tennessee when he was assasinated on April 4, 1968. King was in Memphis supporting a strike by the city's sanitation workers. Many of the politicians who will be praising Dr. King today, are trying to eliminate public workers right to unionize and collectively bargain for good wages and safe working conditions. In other words, they seek to destroy the very thing King gave his life to defend.

If these officials want to truly honor the life of Dr. King, they should support public employees' right to organize rather than simply ring a bell or march in a parade.Dr. King marching with striking Memphis sanitation workers

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