Washington, DC — Larry I. Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
“Today we pause to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision for a more fair and just society. Recognizing that the struggles for social and economic justice are one and the same, Dr. King saw union representation as the clearest path out of poverty and into the middle class. He understood that by coming together and focusing on what unites us, rather than what divides us, working people can make life better for themselves, their families and their communities.
“Those beliefs led Dr. King to Memphis, Tennessee in the spring of 1968, where he proudly stood shoulder to shoulder with the city’s striking sanitation workers. As we now know, this act of solidarity would end in tragedy.
“As our nation prepares to reflect upon the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s tragic and untimely passing, we cannot and must not forget the ideals he fought and died for — including access to good jobs, fair pay, and safe working conditions — are the same things working people are fighting for today. With middle-class families under attack and special interests bound and determined to erode workers’ rights, Dr. King’s teachings are just as important now as they were 50 years ago.
“Transportation labor is proud to carry on Dr. King’s legacy. We pledge today to continue standing up for working families by fighting for an economy that works for everyone and building a labor movement that has the power to ‘transform misery and despair into hope and progress.’”