October 25, 2016
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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dedication to Working Families

For Immediate Release:                                                            CONTACT: Kawana Lloyd, 202-730-7087
Friday, April 3, 2009

Statement of SEIU President Andy Stern on

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dedication to Working Families


"We must work unceasingly to uplift this nation that we love to a higher destiny, to a higher plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humanness” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
*Listen to Dr. King's full speech at 1199SEIU to union members and supporters before his assassination in 1968 about continuing fight for social and economic justice.
Washington, DC – “This weekend, we will remember the life and the dream of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his dedication to uplifting all Americans seeking social justice and economic freedom.
“Dr. King had a strong commitment to labor and ensuring workers’ rights even until his death in Memphis. There, he stood with striking sanitation workers in their struggle to form a union and bargain for better wages and benefits with their employers. He understood the connections between strengthening unions, uplifting workers, and the Civil Rights Movement, to achieve long-term justice.
“The struggle of workers continues even now. As the nation copes with today’s news of another 600,000 jobs lost and an 8.5 percent unemployment rate, the stakes remain high for passing the Employee Free Choice Act.
“As we continue urging Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act to improve the lives of working men and women regardless of race, color or creed, and in doing so, we should remember Dr. King’s work and legacy.  We should pay tribute to him by blazing the path that will give workers the right to unite in the workplace. Improving living standards and bargaining with employers for better job security, wages and health care — employee free choice— is a basic civil right and one that keeps the American Dream alive.”
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With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers—not just corporations and CEOs—benefit from today's global economy.

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