WASHINGTON - Gearing up for the biggest nationwide mobilization of workers in decades, Communication Workers of America (CWA), the union movement and a growing list of allies are planning activities and events for April 4, the day in 1968 that Martin Luther King was murdered while supporting striking sanitation workers in Memphis.
From wearing stickers that say, "Stand Up for Workers' Rights" to leafleting, community outreach, rallies, candlelight vigils and more, CWA locals, sectors and districts will be working hard to meet President Larry Cohen's goal to have dramatic events in every workplace across the United States.
Allies joining the effort include the NAACP, National Council of La Raza, the National Urban League, American Association of People with Disabilities, Center for American Progress, Common Cause, the Sierra Club and many more.
This week, they issued a call to action asking Americans to remember King's stand for workers' rights and to honor him and all workers still fighting for those rights today.
"On April 4 this year, the anniversary of Dr. King's death, we will stand together across this country for those same human rights and human dignity for working men and women," the call to action states. "We will remember the courage and determination of those 1,300 workers who endured assault and arrest as they walked a picket line for two months, as we stand with public workers whose bargaining rights are under attack, with private workers who can't get bargaining rights, and against those politicians and their allies who want to silence our political voice."
Go to www.cwaaction.org to read the full statement and check out other April 4 materials. Or click on the picture to the right to view the whole flyer.
CWA Local 2201 activists, including retirees, discuss their multi-pronged plan for workers' rights actions on April 4.
Local 2201 in Richmond, Va., is close to finalizing details for major actions on several fronts on April 4. They include handbills helping private sector members understand why they need to be concerned and involved in the attacks on public sector bargaining; using members' pick-up trucks to display large plywood signs with messages honoring King and workers; a truck with a digital reader board calling attention to the organizing fight at T-Mobile; and a lunchtime tailgate cookout.
TNG-CWA is asking locals to take a few minutes at 3 p.m., local time, on April 4, and have all members in newsrooms and other worksites stand, either for a moment of silence or a brief presentation. Locals are already ordering thousands of CWA's "Stand Up for Worker' Rights" stickers.
Meanwhile, District 13 activists are getting a very positive response as they contact tenants in their 20-story Center City Philadelphia building asking them to rally outside with union members and supporters at noon April 4. "Think of what a visual it would be if everyone came out of the building together and spent the lunch hour talking to each other about these issues," CWA District 13 Vice President Ed Mooney said.
CWA Districts 1, 2 and 13 will also use April 4 to kick off mobilization efforts for Verizon bargaining. Many locals will also call attention to the fight for a union at T-Mobile call centers and retail stores.