Weingarten Pledges Solidarity in Speech to UAW Leaders

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Weingarten at UAW photo by Jim West  

AFT president Randi Weingarten fired up a meeting of the United Auto Workers on March 24 with a promise that labor will continue to fight efforts to silence workers and destroy the middle class.

"We are all in this together, and we must stand together as never before," the AFT president told the UAW leaders and activists. "The labor movement's vision of good jobs, widespread economic opportunity, a social compact that binds us together, and a voice in the workplace is under attack."

Weingarten was in Michigan to address the UAW Special Convention on Collective Bargaining in Detroit and speak at a student rally at the state Capitol in Lansing.

In her remarks to the UAW, she pointed to polls showing that the public overwhelmingly rejects the efforts of governors like Michigan's Rick Snyder, Ohio's John Kasich and Wisconsin's Scott Walker to strip workers of their bargaining rights. The American people, Weingarten said, are unhappy with the "new generation of ideologues" who want to destroy the gains made by the middle class.

"Our job is to take this moment and make an opportunity to re-energize the labor movement," she added.

Later that day, Weingarten traveled to Lansing, where she met with Mike Flanagan, the state's superintendent of public instruction, and spoke to hundreds of college students and staff gathered for a rally at the state Capitol.

"We cannot take a hatchet to higher education," Weingarten said at the rally in Lansing. "How can higher ed be the path to innovation when we are cutting it by millions?" [Roger Glass/photo by Jim West]

March 28, 2011