The Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) has a strong history of fighting for civil and human rights that began with our founder, Mike Quill. Unlike other unions, which often treated black Americans as second-class citizens, Quill was ahead of his time by insisting on equality for our black Members.
In 1961, when twenty-five TWU airline workers in Tennessee protested against the union’s support for the Civil Rights desegregation campaign, Quill’s response was to invite the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. to address the TWU Constitutional Convention. He introduced Dr. King to the gathering as “the man who is entrusted with the banner of American liberty that was taken from Lincoln when he was shot 95 years ago. Dr. King’s life at this moment is in just as great danger as was Lincoln’s.” Quill added, “And he has to walk with care if he is to continue to lead this crusade.” Read more