An Injury To One Is An Injury To All
Originally uploaded by Greatwork.
International Longshoremen's & Warehousemen's Union - Local 10
San Francisco California 2003
"Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major. Say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. Say that I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things in life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that's all I want to say. If I can help somebody as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody with a word or song, if I can show somebody he is traveling wrong, then my living will not be in vain."
Excerpted from The Drum Major Instinct, a sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, on 4 February 1968.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Minister, Orator, Civil Rights Worker, Drum major (1929-1968)
Pictured above the ILWU drill team has become a Bay Area tradition and they are so very special. Performing at Labor Rallies and Peace marches they always send an electric shock through the audience with their slick precision cadence. Their routines fall somewhere between close order drill and a rendition of African American "Step" They used to pull cargo by hand now this is how they do it.
Full disclosure when I was a young man I went from working in a couple of non-union warehouses in the Bay Area to working out of Local 6 in Oakland. Suffice it to say the conditions in the union shops were night and day.
"Put your cart up son," an older worker said to me.
"But I'm not through," I said. "I can eat this and put up this stuff man"
"For the next half hour your through" he said "And if anyone says anything tell em to come see Joe, trust me they ain't gonna wanna do that. Now go on sit down in the break room and eat lunch like a gentleman brother."
"Yes sir" I said.
"I aint no sir man I'm an enlisted man.... and I'm a lifer." I looked at his lapel and saw an enamel pin with ILWU Local 6 and the word Shop Steward.
Never seen the man since but he is a large reason I'm a union man to this day. Remember this - If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything! Though I haven't seen the inside of a warehouse for years I still believe in the ILWU motto to my heart - "An Injury to One - Is an Injury to All !"
Uploaded by Greatwork on 4 Sep '06, 6.24pm PDT.