“In our unions, we’re never alone. And through our unions, we can take care of each other the best, and make the most out of that care. It never goes away; the need to organize, the need to show the power of labor.”
-Sara Nelson, episode 289 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
This Labor Day weekend we’re joined by flight attendant and AFA President Sara Nelson! To begin, we discuss the challenge of summer air travel (6:14), the union’s fight against stock buybacks (9:45), and the history of harassment and sexism in the industry (18:33). Then, we walk through Sara’s early years at United (22:35), the physical toll of being a flight attendant (26:44), and how she found her way into the labor movement (30:37).
On the back half, Sara recounts 9/11 (34:42), the colleagues she lost (36:59), the United furlough that followed (45:29), and the recent boom in union petitions across the country (53:20). To close, she reads a passage from her preface of Jeremy Brecher’s Strike! (56:25).
- Learn more about Sara’s work on AFA’s website.
- Support their No Stock Buybacks campaign.
- Follow Sara on Instagram and Twitter.
- For more conversations, hear our talks with Gloria Steinem, Dolores Huerta, Beto O’Rourke, Stacey Abrams, Dr. James Whitfield, Anita Hill, and Noam Chomsky.
- Order your Talk Easy mug in cream and navy or our vinyl record with Fran Lebowitz.
Original illustration by Krishna Shenoi.