Will Teacher’s Union Head Randi Weingerten Thwart Trump’s Infrastructure Plan? by the Forward

Will Teacher’s Union Head Randi Weingerten Thwart Trump’s Infrastructure Plan?

Image by Shmulik Almany

Teachers union leader Randi Weingarten is shaping up to be one of President Trump’s toughest opponents, especially when it comes to implementing his ambitious $1 trillion infrastructure plan.

Axios reports that Weingerten’s clout goes way beyond the 1.6 million member American Federation of Teachers which she heads. According to the report, the Jewish Democratic union leader may hold the key to allowing Trump to go ahead with his plan, which requires reaching deals with national organized labor groups.

Weingerten may have no direct influence on infrastructure workers, but she’s close to the Building Traders union and is a major stakeholder at the AFL-CIO, meaning it will be hard to pull off a deal without her consent.

Furthermore, the infrastructure plan is expected to rely on private equity, making the teacher’s pension funds valuable for financing the program, which will also give Weingerten and the AFT a say in the process.

Will Weingerten play along with the administration’s plans?

So far she has been highly critical of Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and has positioned herself as the president’s major union rival. So collaboration over infrastructure does not seem to be in the cards.

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com

Author

Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Will Randi Weingerten Thwart Trump’s Plan?

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