Memphis Trip to Honor MLK Fires Up UNAC/UHCP Activists

May 2013

In 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. helped sanitation workers organize AFSCME Local 1733 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was assassinated. This April UNAC/UHCP members Kita Stovall, RN; Steve Rodriguez, RN; and President Ken Deitz, RN, joined AFSCME members from all over the country in Memphis to support that same local, facing privatization.

Kita reflected on the forces attacking unions in the United States today. “We have a voice because other people fought for us to have that voice. We have to get active, because they are trying to break up unions.”

King was drawn to Memphis after two sanitation workers died on the job. “They weren’t as big as MLK,” said Kita. “I don’t even know their names. But because their coworkers moved, Martin moved, and because he moved, we need to move, and we need to move in that same direction. I’m not going to stand still, I’m stepping forward.”