Ontario Local Honors Memphis Sanitation Workers with Mayor

Council 36's AFSCME Local 3061 in the City of Ontario today commemorated the 50th anniversary of a horrific accident, on Feb. 1st, 1968, that crushed to death two sanitation workers on the job in Memphis, TN.  This accident followed many years of racial discrimination, negligence, and mistreatment by the City.
Ontario Local President Mike Shaffran was instramental in organizing the commemoration as part of a nationwide series of AFSCME "I AM  2018" events. (For more information about this program, visit: https://iam2018.org/)
Ontario sanitation truck driver, Richard Blakeney, recalled the tragedy five decades ago, which within a matter of days had catalyzed the historic AFSCME sanitation strike that shook not only the city of Memphis. but all of the country.  Blakeney, who serves on the Executive Board of the Ontario Local, spoke of the resilience of AFSCME , which has endured for nearly 80 years, despite relentless attacks by right-wing political opponents and corporate CEOs seeking to crush labor rights.
Ontario Mayor Paul Leon, who was invited to participate in the union commemoration, delivered a moving speech about the important role of AFSCME in the larger civil rights movement, as well as about his own childhood memories of those tumultuous days. The mayor also led the workers in a moment of silence to honor the two men killed.