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Champion of Working Class

William Jenkins III, you will be missed

by Randy Evans and staff |
December 1, 2001
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The late William Jenkins, appearing on CAN-TV
William Jenkins, appearing on CAN-TV, Chicago Access Network (CAN-TV/Greg Boozell)

Chicago, IL - On Oct. 30, 2001, the workers' movement lost a voice - and a camera - when William Jenkins died of heart failure. Jenkins, as he was known and loved, was a member of the New Leadership Slate in Teamsters Local 743; a nationally known video professional; and a contributor and a top distributor of Fight Back! newspaper. He was a third shift worker at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, where he often would get out 200 or more copies of Fight Back! to his co-workers. Richard Berg, New Leadership Slate presidential candidate, said, "His death is a great blow to the workers' movement." Jenkins was chairperson of the Committee for Labor Access, a Chicago-based non-profit which produces the Labor Beat cable TV show and Labor Express radio show. An award named after Jenkins has been established by Freedom Road Socialist Organization in Chicago, to be presented annually at their Peoples Thanksgiving. The first award was presented to the New Leadership Slate. Randy Evans, a worker at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago, and a union steward in the Service Employees International Union Local 73, prepared a statement about Jenkins for the presentation of the award. "Jenkins was a quiet, unassuming, and decent man...father, friend, activist, videographer, comrade, and supporter of the movement for peace and justice - he did what he could to contribute to the advancement of the working class movement."

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