Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Western Kentucky Labor Movement and Faith Community Demand McConnell Support Workers and Racial Justice

Western Kentucky

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

J.W. Cleary remembered his friend and union brother, the late W.C. Young, a national labor and civil rights leader from Paducah, Kentucky. “W.C. always said, ‘I’ve got my union card in one hand and my NAACP card in my other hand,’” said Cleary, the Paducah-McCracken County NAACP branch president and a retired member of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 550. “The unions and the NAACP have always walked hand in hand.” Cleary was one of several dozen union members who joined a 30-vehicle caravan sponsored by the Kentucky Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival that converged on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office in Paducah on Sept. 21 to protest his “meanness, mayhem and misery.” Benny Heady (UA) said, “McConnell is not for the working people. I came out today because we need a change. We need somebody in there who will do things to help the people as a whole.” Read the full story of how union members, civil rights activists and faith leaders are coming together in Kentucky to fight for workers and racial justice.