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Season 4, Episode 43

Gen Z and female leadership pushing the labor movement forward

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Guest Name:

Lane Windham

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Lane Windham, Associate Director of Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast and shared her thoughts on the current momentum of organized labor and where the newfound support is coming from. 

Following the pandemic, more workers realized they were treated poorly by their employers. The group most impacted, according to Windham, is Generation Z. They have become the most pro-union generation. She believes the only thing standing in the way of increased union membership is a broken system that prevents easy access to unions for workers. This is something that will be fixed by a new generation of union members, she added.

Windham is excited by the recent additions of women to leadership positions with organized labor. She explained how the election of Liz Schuler as the first female AFL-CIO President ushered a wave of women into other leadership positions. Now, the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO each have female presidents. Windham believes this is a major step forward and will propel unions to the front of the diversity and inclusion fight.

Windham then discussed some of the most influential women in the history of the labor movement, including Mother Jones, Luisa Moreno, Hattie Wyatt and Clara Lemlich. Windham believes these women and many more should be remembered for their role in shaping today’s labor movement.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about these topics.

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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