Union Mourns Passing of Civil Rights Icon John Lewis

JULY 18 -- Long-serving US Congressman John Lewis, the last of the civil rights leaders who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., died yesterday. He was 80 years old.

Lewis was an original Freedom Rider in 1961, a speaker at the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. King delivered his I Have a Dream speech, and a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Commitee in the 1960's. Unafraid to stand up to racism, Lewis was beaten and arrested many times at protest marches and demonstrations. He described these as "getting into good trouble," a phrase which mirrors our union activism.

On March 7, 1965, Mr. Lewis was beaten while marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama. TWU Local 100 President Matthew Guinan was also on that bridge marching with the demonstrators. He committed union resources to that march and to Dr. King's cause.

In 2011, Lewis was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. TWU Local 100 mourns the loss of this courageous leader in the struggle for equality and against bigotry.