MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Forty-five years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed supporting a historic sanitation workers strike in Memphis, the city’s garbage and trash collectors are fighting to hold on to jobs some city leaders want to hand over to a private company.

Thursday marks the 45th anniversary of the civil rights leader’s assassination in 1968. King was standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel when he was felled by a rifle bullet fired by James Earl Ray.

As Memphis residents honor King with a planned march, the union that represents the city’s sanitation workers is trying to stave off efforts to privatize solid waste collection.

City council members who favor privatization say it can save the city $8 million to $15 million in a tough economy.


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