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For Immediate Release

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Martin Luther King Day is Opportunity to Renew His Dream for Justice

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders issued the following statement to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Washington, D.C. — 

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders issued the following statement to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

“It was 47 years ago this year that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. went to Memphis to support AFSCME's sanitation workers in their struggle for a living wage, and for their right to join our union. It was there, after weeks of protests, that Dr. King was gunned down, a martyr to the cause of social and economic justice. Our members are forever grateful for his courage and his commitment, and he is a guiding spirit for our union.

“We celebrate the memory of Dr. King throughout the year, but the holiday in his honor is a special opportunity for us to rededicate ourselves to the struggle for civil and worker rights. Today, millions of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck – and some with no paycheck at all. And the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us threatens the extinction of the middle class. There is still much work to be done.

“As Dr. King said in 1961, ‘Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable ... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.’

“AFSCME will continue to fight for working families, for the women and men who work hard and play by the rules, for an economy that treats all of us fairly, and for a system of justice that treats us all with dignity and respect. These are goals that Dr. King pursued with vision and purpose, and we are committed to renew his dream with the same vigor.”

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