For Immediate Release
Contact: Nick Voutsinos

AFSCME releases new teaser trailer for upcoming podcast covering the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike

Today, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) released a new trailer teasing the union’s upcoming podcast series, "I AM STORY.” Through interviews with the original strikers who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and leading civil rights activists, the podcast will examine the connection between the struggles workers faced in 1968 and the challenges they face today.

“History is known to repeat itself,” the narrator says in the latest trailer. “And today, 55 years later, Memphis sanitation workers are fighting against some very similar forces.”

Sanitation workers continue to face dangerously low staffing levels, leading to exhaustion, injury and service interruptions. The city has allowed violations of the current contractual memorandum of understanding, including unfairly accounting for FMLA time and targeting union members with illegal disciplinary actions.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders underscored the union’s commitment to answer the call to action made by the 1968 strikers: “We believe that all workers deserve a seat at the table, and they've got to be treated with dignity and respect. We’re going to continue to fight for it.”

Today, sanitation workers are paid inadequate, low wages that fail to reflect the essential work they do for the city. Nationally, Black workers continue to earn about 20 percent less than white workers and are more likely to be injured on the job.

“The fact of the matter is that there’s still this huge gap between Black wealth and white wealth,” Martin Luther King III explains. “And that gap has to be closed. That’s what Dad was talking about. And that’s what got him killed.”

The first episode will launch on April 4 in commemoration of the anniversary of the death of Dr. King, who was assassinated while in Memphis to support the strikers. Find the podcast on all listening platforms including Pandora, Spotify, Apple and Amazon.