WHITAKERS — Union workers at Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant held an event Wednesday at the Bloomer Hill Community Center in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
King was in Memphis on April 4, 1968, to support a sanitation workers’ strike after two workers had been crushed by a malfunctioning garbage truck compactor, sparking a strike by about 1,300 black sanitation workers protesting poor working conditions and racist treatment.
Jim Wrenn, president of the Carolina Auto, Aerospace & Machine Workers Union-UE Local 150 at Cummins, said in the summer of 1978, Rocky Mount sanitation workers staged a series of walkouts and spearheaded a community struggle against racial injustice in defense of arrested and fired co-worker Alexander Evans, who was accused of stealing a suit of clothes off the back steps of a home in the wealthy white Englewood neighborhood in Rocky Mount. (Read more)