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Cincinnati honors sanitation workers who died on the job 50 years ago

Deaths of Cole and Walker were pivotal
Posted at 7:18 AM, Feb 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-01 07:46:16-05

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati is one of the cities that took time Thursday to honor two sanitation workers who were killed on the job 50 years ago today in Memphis.

The deaths of Echol Cole and Robert Walker were defining moments for civil rights and worker's rights movements around the country.

After the two men were crushed by a garbage compactor while on the job, more than 1,300 sanitation workers across the country went on strike.

BELOW: A video produced by IAM2018 in preparation for the 50th anniversary of Cole and Walker's deaths

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. even joined the workers in April 1968. He addressed a crowd of workers on strike on April 1, 1968; tragically, he was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine hotel in Memphis three days later.

For Cincinnati's observance of the anniversary, Cincinnati's public services employees; Mayor John Cranley; councilmembers P.G. Sittenfeld and Tamaya Dennard; and leaders of the state, county and municipal union all gathered at the Cincinnati Sanitation Division building on Millcreek Road for a moment of silence in conjunction with other cities across the nation.

Web editor Marais Jacon-Duffy contributed to this report.