Martin Luther King Jr. often drew the parallels and connections between the civil rights and union movements. Today, on the eve of the anniversary of King’s assassination, national civil rights leaders called for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would give workers the choice of how to form a union.
During a telephone press conference, Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), a coalition of some 200 organizations, pointed out that unions have been one of the main vehicles for African Americans to move into the middle class. The Employee Free Choice Act has been largely written about as a labor bill but those of us in the civil rights community know it is so much more…workers’ rights are civil rights; and that the right to organize is a civil and human rights issue of the first magnitude. From generation to generation, by organizing unions, working Americans have turned entire industries and occupations into sources of middle class incomes, secure benefits, and opportunities for upward mobility. This is true for Americans from every background—but especially for African Americans. continue reading

Share This