Today, we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who dedicated his life to securing justice and equality for all. The last speech he gave was to a group of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee.
The sanitation workers, who were paid just .65 cents an hour, had been calling on the city to provide better pay and safe working conditions. Two weeks before the strike, two workers had been killed by equipment that malfunctioned and the city refused to compensate the families of those lost. The 1,300 sanitation workers went on strike on February 12th.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., addressing the striking sanitation workers said, “So often we overlook the worth and significance of those who are not in professional jobs, or those who are not in the so-called big jobs. But let me say to you tonight, that whenever you are engaged in work that serves humanity, and is for the building of humanity, it has dignity, and it has worth. One day our society must come to see this. One day our society will come to respect the sanitation worker if it is to survive. For the person who picks up our garbage, in the final analysis, is as significant as the physician. All labour has dignity.”
Let’s continue to honor and build on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by standing up for racial, social, economic and worker justice and a dignified future for all. #DrMartinLutherKing#MartinLutherKingJrDay