Guardian Profile of the First Latina Leader of the National Education Association

In this photo taken Sept. 19, 2014, National Education Association (NEA) President Lily Eskelsen Garcia poses with her guitar after an interview with The Associated Press in her office at NEA headquarters in Washington. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)In this photo taken Sept. 19, 2014, National Education Association (NEA) President Lily Eskelsen Garcia poses with her guitar after an interview with The Associated Press in her office at NEA headquarters in Washington. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Over at the Guardian, Payday Senior Labor Reporter Mike Elk has a profile of why NEA President Lila Eskelsen Garcia is so optimistic about the future of organized labor:

As the first Latina president of the NEA, García believes the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment has drawn new energy into America’s teachers’ union, whose ranks are 77% women and whose members have launched a series of high profile, and successful, strike actions for better pay and more funding for public schools. With nearly one quarter of all union members being teachers, García says the teachers strikes have made important connections between organized labor, communities of color, and women.

“If you look at the strongest unions today, they are our public sector education unions and these are unions that by and large are made up of women with women leaders,” said García. “We aren’t not sitting by and accepting the status quo.”

Studies show that by 2020, the majority of the workforce will be women and that by 2030, the majority of the workforce will be people of color. Increasingly, a majority of the gains of the labor movement are coming among women and people of color – groups that are more likely to be active in unions than their more conservative white male counterparts.

For more go the Guardian, to read the full story. 

About the Author

Mike Elk
A Sidney-award winning labor reporter, Mike Elk is the founder of Payday Report and also covers labor and immigration for The Guardian. In Chattanooga in 2016, he used his $70,000 NLRB settlement for being fired in the union drive at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. The son of United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and regulars walks picket lines with his parents and two golden retrievers. He can be reached at Melk@PaydayReport.com

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