Center for American Progress

Strength in Numbers: Talking Labor with AFSCME President Lee Saunders

Strength in Numbers: Talking Labor with AFSCME President Lee Saunders

This week, Daniella and Ed chat with AFSCME President Lee Saunders about the state of unions in the United States, particularly the rising popularity of unions among young people.

When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) last summer, some predicted it would be a nail in the coffin for labor unions. But Lee Saunders, the president of AFSCME—the largest trade union for public sector employees—joined the pod this week to tell us that the state of labor unions is, in fact, strong. Despite constant attacks from wealthy special interests working to lower wages for working people and decimate public sector unions, unions have defied their expectations and are enjoying a bout of popularity not seen in years among Americans.

The son of a union member in Cleveland, Ohio, Saunders discusses with Ed and Daniella the challenges unions have faced to their viability and membership over the past decade, as well as about the hopeful future of unions with younger generations embracing the power of collective bargaining.

Learn more about the podcast here.

Daniella Gibbs Legér is the senior vice president for Communications and Strategy at the Center for American Progress. Ed Chung is the vice president for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center. Rachel Rosen is the senior director of Broadcast Communications at the Center. Kyle Epstein is the media relations manager at the Center. Chris Ford is the broadcast coordinator at the Center.

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Daniella Gibbs Léger

Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategy


Ed Chung

Senior Fellow

Rachel Rosen

Senior Director, Broadcast Communications

Kyle Epstein

Manager, Media Relations

Chris Ford

Broadcast Manager