On Saturday July 11th, national AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Rich Trumka will join Steelworkers President Leo Gerard and hundreds of union and civil rights activists and faith leaders in a statewide caravan, march, rally and catfish fry in Arkansas to call for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.
Union members and faith leaders will caravan from Texarkana, Fort Smith, Fayetteville, and Pine Bluff to Central High School in Little Rock. There at 12:30pm, they will be met by members of the Little Rock 9, and Arkansas union and faith leaders for a rally that will connect today's campaign for workers rights and passage of the Employee Free Choice Act to our nation's struggle for civil rights.
As Dr. Martin Luther King said, "Civil rights without silver rights are empty... It does no good to be able to eat at a lunch counter if you can't afford to buy a hamburger."
From Central High, Trumka and Gerard will lead a march to Senator Blanche Lincoln's office for a rally to call for her to vote for the Employee Free Choice Act. Faith leaders, civil rights leaders, and elected leaders will join national union leaders to call on Senator Lincoln to lead the Arkansas congressional delegation to support the Employee Free Choice Act.
After the rally, the Steelworkers Union will host an old-fashioned Arkansas catfish fry.
The Steelworkers Union has just endorsed Rich Trumka for President of the AFL-CIO. Trumka is widely considered the successor to John Sweeney when Sweeney retires in September.
Never before in Arkansas history, have two of the most important national labor leaders led such a high profile march and rally in Little Rock.
Increasingly, faith leaders, civil rights leaders, and elected leaders have stepped up the call for the Arkansas congressional delegation to support the Employee Free Choice Act. The Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus and the Arkansas Democratic Party Black Caucus have passed resolutions of support for the Employee Free Choice Act.
Just two weeks ago, the Turn Around Arkansas coalition held a 24-hour vigil at Lincoln's offices around the state and at the First Presbyterian Church in Little Rock, to call for Senator Lincoln's support for the Employee Free Choice Act.
The Employee Free Choice Act has been endorsed by every major national civil rights organization including the NAACP and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
In Arkansas, more and more significant elements of the Democratic Party coalition are joining the campaign to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. In Arkansas and across America, the campaign to pass the Employee Free Choice Act is the largest grassroots legislative campaign in the history of the American labor movement.