Dr. King's legacy of unions and workers' rights

Posted Jan. 20, 2020 by

As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday this week, AFSCME President Lee Saunders is reminding Americans of a lesser known but equally important strand of Dr. King’s legacy: his unwavering belief in the dignity of labor and the vital difference made by labor unions in the lives of working people.

President Saunders elaborated on and celebrated that legacy in a column in The Root on Monday:

Dr. King understood the union difference – the way that a voice on the job and a seat at the table empowers workers of all races. It means a bigger paycheck at the end of the week. It means better health benefits, so you can afford to see a doctor when you’re sick. It means security in retirement when your working days are done. It means the basic dignity and respect you deserve….

Read the column in full to see why Dr. King believed in the connection between civil rights and economic rights, and why, according to President Saunders, his message is as relevant today as it was more than 50 years ago.