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For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Memphis Sanitation Strike Workers to Be Inducted into Labor Hall of Fame

Secretary of Labor to host ceremony on Friday, April 29, to begin induction of 1968 Memphis, Tenn., sanitation strike workers into Labor Hall of Fame

Washington, DC — 

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis has announced that the 1,300 workers who took part in the historic 1968 Memphis, Tenn., sanitation strike will be inducted into the Labor Hall of Fame. She will host an open press ceremony April 29 at the U.S. Department of Labor’s headquarters to begin the process. Several of the living workers who took part in the strike will be present. The induction process will conclude later this year in Memphis, marking the first time a Labor Hall of Fame induction is held outside of Washington.

Martin Luther King Jr. lent his support to the Memphis sanitation workers during the 1968 march for recognition of the right to bargain, job safety, better wages and benefits. It was King’s final campaign before his death. The workers were members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. AFSCME gave the strike its support, as did other labor unions.

Friday’s event will include remarks from several of the Memphis sanitation workers, an invocation from Ambassador Andrew Young (one of King’s close associates who was in Memphis with him) and a tour of the Labor Hall of Fame, which was founded in 1988 to honor Americans whose distinctive contributions to the field of labor have enhanced the quality of life of America’s workers. To date, Hall of Fame inductees include 41 individuals and 403 fallen public sector rescue workers – honored with the many hundreds more in New York and Washington who applied their hands and hearts to selfless, humanitarian efforts on Sept. 11, 2001.

WHO: Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and several workers from the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike
WHAT: Ceremony honoring the 1,300 workers of the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike
WHERE: U.S. Department of Labor’s Frances Perkins Building
200 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20210
(visitors’ entrance is at Third and C Streets NW)
WHEN: Friday, April 29
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EDT