• City of Memphis to pay more workers who participated in sanitation strike

    By: Siobhan Riley

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The City of Memphis is helping more Memphis workers who participated in the 1968 sanitation strike.

    The city wants to give payments to additional surviving sanitation workers.

    City leaders are talking about approving more money for three new recipients.

    The discussion is up for approval at chamber. City leaders said three more individuals will likely get $70,000 each.

    “I’m very excited, it’s an opportunity to provide benefits to people who are deserving of it,” said Michael Burose, retirement plans coordinator for the city. 


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    Burose has been in contact with three more sanitation workers who were on strike in 1968.

    “There was educational counseling classes they had to take. Once they complete the educational counseling, First Tennessee Bank will have funds available for them to receive that benefit,” Burose added.

    In order for recipients to qualify for $70,000 each, they must have 25 years of service and they had to have been on strike.  

    Shirley Ford, chief financial officer for Memphis, asked council to amend the fiscal year 2019 operating budget in the amount of nearly $269,000 to allow payments to three new recipients.

    “I think they’re very appreciative, this is now our third round, as we find other participants who were there, people have come forward,” Ford said.

    The city said 12 individuals met the requirements last year and they’re excited to see three more names added to the list.

    “First Tennessee Bank also offered some financial literacy because that’s a large amount of money for an individual who has been basically only receiving social security benefits,” Burose said.

    That item will likely be approved by council.

    None of the sanitation workers who are still living were there.

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