Dean Colvin Welcomes Sara Nelson to WORK!

In the latest episode of the ILR School’s podcast, Dean Alex Colvin and Sara Nelson discuss shifts in union approaches, membership and leadership.
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Monday, September 28, 2020

In our latest episode of “WORK! Exploring the future of work, labor and employment,” Cornell ILR Dean Alex Colvin wraps up the program’s “Labor Leaders” mini-series by speaking with Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO. The duo examines the shifts that have occurred in unions – from their approaches, to their membership, to their leadership and what must continue to happen to benefit all workers. 

Serving in her role since 2014, Nelson led her union to 18 federal legislative victories, including reversing the national security policy that had allowed weapons on planes. She also crafted the campaign for "100,00 Eyes in the Skies," which resulted in mandatory training for flight attendants to recognize and report human trafficking.

In the broader labor movement, Nelson serves as a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, the Communication Workers of America Executive Board, the Transportation Trades Department Executive Board, the Labor Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and Trade Policy, and the International Transport Workers Federation Civil Aviation Steering Committee. 

Other episodes in the WORK! podcast labor leaders’ mini-series feature Randi Weingarten ’80 from the American Federation of Teachers, JC Tretter ’13 of the NFL Players Association and Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO.

The podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Amazon Music and other platforms. Visit for options.