Civil Rights Activist to Speak at MCCC Feb. 10
began his professional labor experience working for the International
Union of Electrical Workers at Local 320 in Syracuse, N.Y., serving as
chief steward and as an executive board member on the Educational and
Civil Rights committees. From 1960 to 1972, he served as the assistant
to the International President of the American Federation of State, County,
and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Working on behalf of AFSCME, he traveled
to Memphis in the spring of 1968 to assist in settling the sanitation
workers strike against the city. In the waning days of this effort, Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., agreed to the request of AFSCME officials to
become involved in the negotiations. The strike ended with the tragic
assassination of Dr. King on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel balcony
on April 4, 1968. In spite of this tragedy, or perhaps because of it,
Epps and AFSCME successfully negotiated a contract for the 1,300 striking
sanitation workers. Last April, Epps was recognized for his role in the
strike with the Drum Major for Justice Award, presented by the women's
branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
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