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Statement From Teamsters HRDC Director Marcus W. King On Black History Month

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Press Contact: Galen Munroe Phone: (202) 439-7427 Email: [email protected]

(WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement from Marcus W. King, President of Teamsters Local 331 and Director of the Teamsters Human Rights and Diversity Commission:

“As we reflect upon all of the progress our country and our union have made for racial equality, we are reminded that our work is far from finished.

“The history of our union and the history of the civil rights movement are deeply intertwined, just as the work we do today for racial and economic justice is deeply intertwined. In 1917, the Teamsters won a clause in a contract for women laundry workers that required equal pay regardless of race – the first such “color blind” contract clause of its kind. Today union contracts are indispensable to narrowing the racial wealth gap. Black and white Teamsters rode buses together to Washington so they could lobby in favor of the civil rights act, just as today black and white Teamsters visit state capitols throughout the country to lobby in favor of anti-racist and pro-worker policies. The Teamsters worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and helped finance the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, just as modern Teamsters support modern civil rights movements like Black Lives Matter.

“It’s easy to despair when you read the headlines these days – our country is once again gripped by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest and the stark reality that life in America is very different for some of us than it is for others depending on the color of our skin. That’s not a reason to give up, though. It’s a reason to double down on the fight for justice, for as W.E.B. DuBois once said, the cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.

“From all of us at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Happy Black History Month.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.

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