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Season 5, Episode 48

Women's History Month: Sneiderman’s history in the labor movement

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Guest Name:

Marilyn Sneiderman

Guest Website:

Center for Innovation in Worker Organization 

Guest Social Media:





Supportive Documents:

Continuing our Women’s History Month coverage, Marilyn Sneiderman, Executive Director of the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization (CIWO) at Rutgers University, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss her work to engage members and improve diversity with AFSCME, Teamsters and AFL-CIO. Sneiderman then discussed her work with CIWO and how she hopes it will help strengthen the labor movement's future.

An Erie, Pa. native, Sneiderman was shaped living in the “Rust Belt” and seeing firsthand the importance of providing protections for workers. Her resume features a lot of positions that would impact change in unions. She began this work nationally as the Community Action Coordinator for AFSCME in the 1980s. From there, Sneiderman would join Ron Carey, former President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Together with Carey, she was able to host the union's first Civil Rights Conference and Women’s Conference where they were able to reengage with members.

Her work with the Teamsters didn’t go unnoticed. She received a call from the AFL-CIO to become the Field Mobilization Director. Sneiderman became the first woman to hold that role at the national level and began efforts to change the look of leadership to include more women and people of color. Her work at the AFL-CIO was best highlighted through the Union Cities project, an ambitious program to strengthen the American union movement in 1997. Sneiderman talked about the program developing strong union communities and building that up to the county, state and federal levels.

Today, Sneiderman continues her work as the Executive Director of CIWO. The Center was designed after thorough discussions with labor leaders to discover what was missing from the labor movement. There they have created programs dedicated to supporting leaders, developing innovative strategies and improving diversity. Leadership, organizing and innovation are the cornerstones of the Center’s work, Sneiderman said. She hopes this work will improve the quality and standards of unions as the next generation begins to take on leadership roles.

Listen to the show above to hear more about Sneiderman’s work in Labor. You can also read her and her husband’s work here: Making Hope and History Rhyme: A New Worker Movement from the Shell of the Old

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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