Local 727 Honors Memory of Memphis Sanitation Workers

| February 2, 2018

Representatives of Teamsters Local 727 joined their fellow union brothers and sisters on Thursday, February 1, to honor the memory of Memphis sanitation workers Echol Cole and Robert Walker, who were tragically killed while on the job in 1968. A moment of silence was observed at 12:00 p.m. in the parking lot of the Union’s office at 1300 W. Higgins Road in Park Ridge.

Cole and Walker lost their lives in a trucking malfunction on February 1, 1968. Their families did not receive any financial support or pensions from the City of Memphis. As a result, the unionized Memphis sanitation employees went on a citywide strike, calling for increased safety standards and a wage that coincided with the amount of work performed by each member.

Local 727’s presence at the event was to acknowledge these two individuals and others like them who are faced with discriminatory hardships and who are employed under poor working conditions.

“The tragic story of Cole and Walker reminds all of us how vital a role unions play in our lives,” said John Coli Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “We’re proud to stand with our fellow Teamsters to honor these gentlemen’s memory.”

Although the Memphis sanitation workers belonged to a different union, the Teamsters provided each of them with critical financial support at a time when they most needed it. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also served as an advocate for the striking workers and marched alongside them during their prevailing efforts for fairness and equality.


Category: Union News

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