Washington, DC — Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues the following statement in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
“At a time when the middle class is shrinking and economic upward mobility is becoming increasingly difficult for working families to achieve, we must turn to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, work and teachings for hope and inspiration.
“Dr. King understood the incredible power working people have when they come together, and recognized that access to strong union representation can transform our country into a place where prosperity is always within reach and dignity, safety and respect on the job can be achieved. Yet, nearly 50 years after Dr. King met with Memphis sanitation strikers, working people are still fighting an uphill battle against well-funded political forces whose agenda is focused on silencing workers’ voices and eroding their rights.
“As we pause to commemorate and reflect upon Dr. King’s achievements, we must not forget that his unwavering pursuit of justice endures today. That pursuit rests with those of us who, through our advocacy, demand a fairer economy that lifts up everyone.
“Dr. King taught us a great deal about what it means to engage in the political process and be heard by the people we elect. He also taught us and believed that by empowering more working people to form and join unions, we could ‘transform misery and despair into hope and progress.’
“Those teachings are not only relevant today — they provide the fuel for our advocacy on behalf of frontline transportation workers.”