Randi Weingarten would not engage Michael Kane
Watch us march HERE
by Michael Kane
On September 10, 2022, NY Workers for Choice (NYWC) marched in the NYC Labor Day Parade up 5th Ave. chanting “End all mandates: Let Us Work!” When we first arrived we walked across 47th St. where the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) were gathering and eating. We came in chanting. Hundreds of UFT educators were there all in blue shirts, and they all began to scream and applaud for our chant!
It was a phenomenal welcome!
I have to admit, this caught me off guard. Since I wasn’t expecting it I don’t think we captured any video as it happened. We then ran into Randi Weingarten who is, of course, the President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). This is the national umbrella union of the local UFT NYC teachers union. Randi refused to engage me while those around her bumped, elbowed, and blocked me from talking to her.
Later in the evening I was able to communicate with Randi by email and she responded stating she did not engage me at the parade because I was yelling and screaming. I was not doing any such a thing, but some who I was with were. I actually stopped everyone from shouting, waited about 10 seconds, and then politely introduced myself and asked very rational and fair questions she chose to ignore. You can watch video I recorded of the interaction on my Instagram page.
Before the majority of us had arrived Mawuli “Mo” Olivier of Educators for Freedom had a discussion with Randi. Mo will be my guest on GOOD MORNING CHD this Tuesday, 9-13, 10 am to discuss this exchange as well as the entire weekend launch of NYWC as Mo was a major part of the weekend and a major force in NWFC.
Randi has agreed to speak with me once again. Over one year ago Teachers for Choice had a Zoom call with Randi and her AFT team right when she played a significant role in getting me (and now thousands of educators) fired from our careers in NYC Schools. I will be asking for it to be a live discussion and publicly broadcasted.
During the parade onlookers were wildly supportive of us!
We became bigger the longer we marched, as onlookers and some union members from other delegations joined us. When we got to the end of the march at 64th St. the US Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh, was there. We chanted “End all mandates, Let Us Work!” and got the MC on the microphone to announce us as “New York Workers for Choice,” to which we erupted in cheers and screams. There were many not-too-happy old white men staring us down, but also quite a few smiles and winks in our direction coming from the dais.
It was an amazing day!
When added with our City Hall press conference the day before, NYWC had an amazing launch and left a powerful impact on New York City. Much more to come from us real soon.