Using power builds power: meet the woman tipped to lead the labor movement

Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, has struck a chord with activists calling for her to run for labors top job: president of the AFL-CIO Sara Nelson, the president of the small band of laundresses in Atlanta, all black women, many of them former slaves, who formed the Washing Society. In 1881, the women organized a strike for higher wages $1 for every dozen pounds of laundry and greater autonomy over their industry. Most would have said what they were attempting to do was impossible, Nelson said, her voice wavering. There were no labor laws to protect them. There was no single employer with whom they could negotiate, and their low-skilled work could easily be taken …