On the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., union members and civil rights activists gathered in Trenton to support collective bargaining rights.
King was in Memphis to support a strike by local sanitation workers when he was killed.
New Jersey state AFL-CIO president Charlie Wowkanech said workers in every state are now facing attacks on their rights and their jobs.
“Dr. King understood the link between economic justice and social justice,” he said. “He knew the fight for labor rights and the fight for civil rights were, and are today, the same struggle.”
Princeton University economist Paul Krugman said Dr. King understood formal equality is not enough. An effective labor movement is the reason why the U.S. had a strong middle class, said Krugman. He said that’s something that is endangered by corporations’ influence of politics through the use of big money.