Prominent union organizer and leader William Lucy was honored with the prestigious NAACP “Chairman’s Award” at the NAACP Image Awards on Monday. Lucy, Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, for nearly 40 years, was recognized for his role in the labor movement and his accomplishments as a labor organizer and justice advocate. The NAACP said that “His work with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike and the instrumental role he played in the anti-apartheid movement – which helped free Nelson Mandela and led to the first democratic elections in South Africa – exemplify Mr. Lucy’s impact on the civil and human rights movement in the U.S. and around the world.”
Then on Wednesday “warrior for justice” Paul Booth died. As recently as Monday, despite being hospitalized, the longtime AFSCME leader had been urging participation in the commemoration of the 50 years since the Memphis sanitation strike and Dr. King’s assassination. “Dr. King famously said ‘the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice,’” Paul wrote, “But he knew, and I underline, that it’s up to us to do the bending. We shall do it together." AFSCME president Lee Saunders urged Paul’s many friends and colleagues to “honor his memory by continuing to fight like hell for social and economic justice. That is exactly what Paul would ask us to do.”
For details on this weekend’s Women’s March activities, go to dclabor.org, and click on Calendar.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date 1920, 3,000 members of the Filipino Federation of Labor struck the plantations of Oahu, Hawaii. Their ranks swelled to 8,300 as they were joined by members of the Japanese Federation of Labor.
Today’s labor quote is by Pablo Manlapit, a migrant worker, lawyer, and President of the Filipino Federation of Labor.
Pablo Manlapit, who said:
"It is one of the cherished American ideals that each generation shall stand in advance of the preceding one: better physically, mentally, spiritually. And America demands for her workers this opportunity for development."
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