As working families celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington this Aug. 28, which accelerated the nation’s own march toward social and economic justice, it's important to note union members played a big role in spreading the message that social justice is economic justice. The march, which propelled the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, was conceptualized by labor leaders at the time—along with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—including, A. Philip Randolph, AFL-CIO vice president and president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and Bayard Rustin, field coordinator, who called for the march. Along with the leadership of Randolph and Rustin, the UAW, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and the Transport Workers (TWU) were instrumental in supporting the march.
President Obama yesterday designated the home and burial site of the legendary United Farm Workers (UFW) leader, César Chávez, a national monument. Known as La Paz, short for Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz, or Our Leady Queen of Peace, the site is in Kenne, Calif. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the designation is a:
fitting tribute for a man whose campaign for civil rights and respect for workers struggling in the shadows broke new ground and left an indelible mark on the pages of American history.
Rev. Al Sharpton’s statement fired up a crowd of thousands standing in front of the steps of the Alabama State Capitol building in downtown Montgomery early Friday afternoon: "These laws in Alabama aren't immigration laws. They're Jim Crow laws."
More than 1,000 union members and immigrant, civil rights and faith activists rallied for immigrant rights and against attacks by Alabama and other states on immigrant workers and families on day four of the re-enactment of the historic 1965 Selma to Montgomery, Ala., march for justice.