Sanitation worker who marched with King recalls working conditions - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Sanitation worker who marched with King recalls working conditions

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the march for striking sanitation workers, Ben Jones was marching with him.
 
"He made a big difference, not only in Memphis, but all over the world,"  Jones said.

Jones is still on the job, but he will never forget the deplorable working conditions before Dr. King stepped in. 
  
"I worked on Christmas day - rain, shine, sleet, or snow - cold, hot, it didn't make no difference," Jones said.
 
Those conditions have improved, but 40 years after King lost his life in Memphis, sanitation work is still among the most dangerous jobs in America.  

That's why religious leaders in Memphis are uniting with sanitation workers from 1968 to 2008 to demand waste management companies improve on-the-job safety.

Teamsters Local 667 is joining forces with the Interfaith Worker Justice to form the Committee for Sanitation Worker Justice.

The committee will oversee company conduct in the waste industry and defend the rights of workers to organize. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a sanitation worker is 10 times more likely to die on the job than the average worker. 

Four decades after King's death, the fight for respect and dignity in the sanitation industry is far from being won. 


Click here to e-mail Anna Marie Hartman.

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