WASHINGTON, DC—Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement as the nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saw early on that it was the labor movement that could propel our citizens out of poverty and hopelessness and set them firmly on a path to the middle class. We are reminded every day of Dr. King’s legacy and of the work yet to be done to ensure that all Americans, not just the privileged, have access to good jobs, safe workplaces, quality health care and retirement security.
“Sadly, we are still fighting many of the same battles for social and economic justice that Dr. King fought with such clarity and resolve many decades ago. It was in 1961 that Dr. King warned of a law called right-to-work, saying, ‘It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote.’
“To truly honor Dr. King, we must both remember and act on his words. We must commit to give more working men and women the right to bargain collectively and to form and join unions that Dr. King once said, ‘transformed misery and despair into hope and progress.’
“We can honor Dr. King with our activism and resolve to take on those in politics, including many in office today, who seek to hollow out the labor movement and turn back the clock on workers’ rights.”
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, represents 31 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, motor carrier, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit us at www.ttd.org or on Facebook and Twitter.
Contact: Jennifer Michels, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703.395.2195