Monday, September 14, 2009

Remembering Leon J. Davis

On this day exactly seventeen years ago, Leon J. Davis passed away. Who was he and what did he do? In 1932, Leon J. Davis co-founded Local 1199 of the Drug, Hospital, and Health Care Employees Union and stayed on as the head of the Union for fifty years. Among many other achievements, Davis' Local 1199 fought for hospital workers' Union rights. 1199 was also committed to the civil rights movement in America, and waged a successful, seven week-long strike in Harlem to give African Americans the right to work as local pharmacists. The Union later provided support and financial aid towards the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once dubbed Local 1199 "my favorite union".

The Union's early motto was: "An Injury to One is an Injury to All". What side of the health care debate do you think Davis would have taken nowadays?

Read More:
Leon Davis, 85, Head of Health-Care Union, Dies [NY Times]