Interview with William Lucy

How did you first get involved with the strike? How did it first happen?


Well, the, ah, strike came about essentially because of the, I guess, frustration of the men. Ah, I, at that time, was assigned to the city of Detroit, ah, doing some organizational work. Ah, I got a call from the President, who had got a call from a newspaper reporter, in effect, telling him or raising the question as to what we knew about, ah, what was about to take place in the city of Memphis. Ah, I was from Memphis and therefore the President thought I might be of some use, ah, down there. Ah, and he asked if I would go down and just be a part of trying to bring the thing together. Ah, I did, ah, met one or two of other staff people down there that to us seemed like a fairly simple dispute that could've been settled relatively easy. And this was early, oh, about mid-February, 1968. And, ah, in our opinion it was a simple issue if we had been working with a city, ah, or administration that had some understanding of the day to day problems of workers in these particular categories, and had a willingness to sit down and sort of address those problems.