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Season 5, Episode 53

AFT President shares her experience as a female labor leader



Guest Name:

Randi Weingarten

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Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss Women’s History Month and her journey as a vocal female labor leader. Weingarten also talked about the Cleveland Reads Program and how a pro-union president has impacted their organizing efforts.

Weingarten shared a note with future female labor leaders as they begin to work with their Local unions. She discussed what it has been like being a vocal female leader seeking change in the system's operation. If women can find a way to deal with the unknown issues that will occur without warning, they will be able to leave a lasting impact on the labor movement, she said. Weingarten shared how she has dealt with these issues and why she continues to work to provide union protections for workers nationwide.

Weingarten discussed the second year of the AFT’s participation in the Cleveland Reads Program. She discussed the program and what it is doing to improve the reading level of young students in the Northeast Ohio region. As a part of the program, AFT has worked with publishers and authors to provide free books to students nationwide. Weingarten is proud to say their efforts have been well received, and this May, they will give away their 10 millionth book through their Reading Opens the World Program.

Finally, Weingarten discussed how the nation’s most pro-union president has helped organizing efforts for unions across the country. As the Presidential election approaches, Weingarten believes there is an opportunity to see a return of the middle class through a growth in union membership. To provide an example, she discussed the record number of successful organizing campaigns the AFT has experienced since June of 2023. Ensuring a balance between connecting with active members and organizing workers seeking union protections is the goal for Weingarten, and why she believes they’ve seen so much organizing success.

Listen to the show above to learn what Weingarten wants future female labor leaders to know when they begin to take on leadership roles.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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