America's union movement champions those who lack a voice in our society. Union members played a critical role in the civil rights struggles of the past and that involvement continues today.
When Martin Luther King Jr. was jailed for civil disobedience, unions and union members frequently came to his aid with the legal and financial help he needed. Union members marched in Washington in 1963 and in countless cities around the country. King was killed while in Memphis to aid striking sanitation workers.
Today, the union movement is in the forefront of efforts to ensure that the gains of the past are maintained and to fight for those still denied opportunity and equality. From its struggles to ensure U.S. workplaces are free of discrimination to its battles to ensure that the hard-earned right to vote is secure for all, the union movement continues to fight for the poor and the oppressed.
These images are a snapshot of moments in the partnership between the union movement and the civil rights movement.