This was on Twitter today:
For those of you unfamiliar with Sara, she is the President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. She is a real union leader. While Michael Mulgrew is trying to sell Medicare privatization for NYC Retirees (Mulgrewcare), Sara supports Medicare for All:
The head of a flight attendants union that represents nearly 50,000 members across the country said Thursday that there is “broad support” within the labor movement for “Medicare for All.”
“This is really something that is very unifying for union members across the country and for all the people that they care about who are not union members and don’t have access to the same health care,” Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, told Hill.TV in response to Medicare for All, or single payer health care.
Sara isn't afraid to use the strike:
January 20, 2019 — AFA International President Sara Nelson accepted the 2019 AFL-CIO MLK Drum Major for Justice Award, with a call to conference activists from across the Labor Movement to talk with their union leadership about conducting a General Strike to end the Government Shutdown.
Here are some more details from a Jacobin feature:
“There are no labor rights without the right to strike,” says Nelson. “You can’t have a collective bargaining process without the right to strike.” The reason is that without that threat, management has no incentive to reach an agreement with workers. When Ronald Reagan famously fired the striking air traffic controllers in 1981, he knew this, and his move had just the consequences that he and his right-wing backers desired. Making it harder for workers to go on strike has immeasurably complicated their efforts to build and exercise power, and union membership has steadily declined.
But worker power is not just about having the legal right to strike. Power also lies in being organized and willing to strike. During negotiations, Nelson says, “You have to be able to show the company that your workforce is ready to act. You cannot lead on policy. You can’t lead by slamming your hand on the table. I’ve never seen management, when you walk in and make this impassioned argument at the table, that they sort of slap their head and go, ‘Oh you’re right! We should pay the flight attendants more!’ No, it’s when they know that you have a mobilized workforce who can go out
Nelson’s call for a general strike last month was moved by solidarity with government workers who were going without pay. But the flight attendants’ strike preparations had an equally urgent motive: fear for their own safety. Air traffic controllers — unpaid but facing felony charges if they were to strike — were working but, Nelson says, “driving Ubers and Lyfts outside their shifts to try to provide for their families when they should have been getting rest. We said, ‘There’s going to be a breaking point here.’” Nelson insists, “We just could not continue to fly and ask the members to be put in harm’s way. It was increasingly clear that we were open to accident or attack.”
Nelson’s strike mobilization was real, and industry and government alike knew it. “The airline industry knows me,” she says. “I think they know they had to take that threat seriously. It was very clear to the airline industry, to everyone on the Hill, that we were prepared to take action.”
This is the kind of union leadership we need in NYC right about now. We should be taking back our right to strike.