In february 1968, two african american sanitation workers were killed by unsafe equipment in memphis, tennessee outraged at the city's refusal to recognize a labor union that would fight for higher pay and safer working conditions, sanitation workers went on strike. Memphis sanitation workers strike background: longstanding tensions between disgruntled african american sanitation workers and memphis city officials erupted on february 12, 1968 when nearly one thousand workers refused to report to work demanding higher wages, safer working conditions, and recognition of their union, local 1733 of the american federation of state, county, and municipal employees.
In this lesson, students will learn about the 1968 memphis sanitation workers' strike by first hearing the testimonies of two former workers involved in the strike and then completing a reading that places the men's stories in a greater historical context. The night before his assassination in april 1968, martin luther king told a group of striking sanitation workers in memphis, tennessee: we've got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end.
This is part 2 of our conversation about rev martin luther king jr's role in the 1968 memphis sanitation workers' strike, 50 years after his assassination. The memphis sanitation strike began in february 1968 in memphis, tennesseefollowing years of poor pay and dangerous working conditions, and provoked by the crushing to death of workers echol cole and robert walker in garbage compactors, over 700 of the 1300 black sanitation workers met on sunday, february 11, and agreed to strike.
Martin luther king, jr, and memphis sanitation workers background the name of martin luther king, jr, is intertwined with the history of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s in the united states. In 2017, the city of memphis announced it would make tax-free cash payments of $50,000 (increased to $70,000 by the city council) to each sanitation worker who had been on the job at the end of 1968 and had retired without a pension. The sanitation strike of 1968 is one of the great struggles of working people in general and black workers in particular, he said equally important, this struggle occurred at a time when dr martin luther king jr was attempting to put a face on poverty for our entire nation to see. When african american sanitation workers in memphis began a strike on february 12, 1968, few then suspected the walkout would escalate into one of the climactic struggles of the civil rights and labor movements of the 1960s. After two men were crushed in a garbage truck, more than 1,300 memphis sanitation workers went on strike 50 years ago to protest abysmal wages and working conditions.
The memphis sanitation strike, 1968 a short history of the 1968 strike of 1300 african-american sanitation workers in memphis, tennessee, during which martin luther king jr was assassinated the night before his assassination in april 1968, martin luther king told a group of striking sanitation workers in memphis, tennessee: we've got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. The strike began over the mistreatment of 22 sewer workers who reported for work on january 31, 1968 and were sent home when it began raining white employees were not sent home when the rain stopped after an hour or so, they continued to work and were paid for the full day, while the black workers lost a day's pay. But the 1968 memphis sanitation workers strike plays, at best, a tertiary role in the popular narrative of king's legacy—this despite the fact that it was his last campaign, the battle which.
Dr martin luther king, jr delivered this speech in support of the striking sanitation workers at mason temple in memphis, tn on april 3, 1968 — the day before he was assassinated license to reproduce this speech granted by intellectual properties management, 1579-f monroe drive, suite 235. On february 12, 1968, sanitation workers in memphis, tennessee, began a labor strike to protest unfair wages, unsafe working conditions, and the city's refusal to recognize their sanitation workers union.