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Working People: A podcast by, for, and about the working class today. Working People is a podcast about working-class lives in 21st-century America. In every episode you'll hear interviews with workers from around the country, from all walks of life. We'll talk about their life stories, their jobs…

Working People


    • Sep 28, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 12m AVG DURATION
    • 232 EPISODES

    4.9 from 185 ratings Listeners of Working People that love the show mention: working people, working class, workers, max, movement, means, power, support, right, stories, interviews, best podcast, hearing, lot, think, great, like.



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    Latest episodes from Working People

    Leo Lindner

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 115:02


    It's been 12 years since the catastrophic explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, killing 11 workers and causing the largest marine oil spill in human history. A lot of forgetting can happen in that time. A lot of cultural amnesia and historical distortion has been able to set in over the past 12 years, whether that came in the form of a years-long PR campaign from British Petroleum (BP), the high-budget Hollywood-ification of the disaster in the 2016 movie starring Mark Wahlberg, or just the general lack of workers' voices and stories in the media. In this episode, we talk with Leo Lindner, who worked for 10 years at the mud company M-I, the last 5 of which were spent working on the Deepwater Horizon. Leo was on the rig on April 20, 2010, the day of the explosion. We talk to Leo about his life, about moving to and growing up in Louisiana as a kid, working on tugboats and in oil fields, and about the experience of being a worker in the midst of one of the most devastating industrial and environmental disasters of the modern era.  Additional links/info below... Leo's Twitter page Richard Pallardy, Encyclopedia Britannica, "Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2010)" Lisa Friedman, The New York Times, "Ten Years After Deepwater Horizon, US Is Still Vulnerable to Catastrophic Spills" James B. Meigs, Slate, "Blame BP for Deepwater Horizon. But Direct Your Outrage to the Actual Mistake" Alison Rose Levy, TruthDig, "The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Was a Cover-Up, Not a Cleanup" Associated Press, "Short Portraits of 11 Who Died on the Deepwater Horizon" Megan Milliken Biven, Current Affairs, "Dredging Up the Past" Oliver Milman, The Guardian, "'I Pray to God It Never Happens Again': US Gulf Coast Bears Scars of Historic Oil Spill 10 Years On" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    For Evan (w/ Ken Seyfried, Eric Seyfried, Amy Chamberlin, Erica, Jana Murphy, & Austin LiPuma)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 23, 2022 53:43


    (C/W: bullying, harassment, suicide) This time last year, we introduced listeners to the family of Evan Seyfried, a dedicated Kroger employee in Milford, Ohio, for nearly 20 years, whose beautiful life was tragically cut short after he was targeted and tortured by coworkers and driven to suicide, according to Evan's family. A lot has happened since we published that episode one year ago, and we wanted to provide Working People listeners with an update on how Evan's family and loved ones are doing, what the status of the lawsuit against Kroger is, and how the Justice for Evan coalition is growing around the country. In this panel episode, we check in with Evan's father Ken, his brother Eric, his girlfriend and best friend Amy, Jana and Erica of the Justice for Evan coalition, and Austin LiPuma, the attorney representing the Seyfrieds in their lawsuit against Kroger. Additional links/info below... Justice for Evan Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram Working People, "Evan Seyfried (w/ Ken, Linda, & Eric Seyfried)" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "'Justice for Evan': Supporters Demand Accountability from Kroger after 19-Year Employee Allegedly Bullied by Management to Suicide"  Maximillian Alvarez, Breaking Points, "Max Alvarez: A DEADLY, Silent Epidemic of Workplace Abuse is Growing" National Workplace Bullying Coalition website, Facebook page, and Twitter page "Lawsuit: Kroger Manager Drove Employee To Suicide" (PDF) Julian Mark, The Washington Post, "Former Kroger Grocery Store Employee's Suicide Was a Result of ‘Torturous Conditions,' Lawsuit Says" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    Countdown to Midnight (w/ Jay & Joe)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2022 125:18


    On Friday, September 16, the United States could see its first major rail strike and/or rail lockout since the early '90s. Railroad workers have reached the end of their rope after years of enduring dramatic staff cuts that have piled more work onto fewer workers, along with exhausting schedules and draconian attendance policies that have made it impossible to live and reasonably plan their lives. These cost-cutting, profit-maximizing policies are part of a larger, decades-long trend that workers say have destroyed the freight rail industry. For years, quality of service for freight rail customers and shippers, and quality of life for railroad employees, has plummeted, all while prices, profits, and stock buybacks have skyrocketed. While many are understandably concerned about the seismic damage a national rail strike initiated by the unions, or a lockout initiated by the rail carriers, could do to the supply chain, railroad workers are the ones taking a stand to save the supply chain from the corporate greed that has already done irreparable damage to the freight rail industry. In this urgent episode, recorded on Sunday, September 11, we talk with Jay, a longtime train dispatcher and recent guest on the show, and Joe, a locomotive engineer, about the ongoing crisis on the nation's railroads and about the latest updates on the dispute between the rail unions and rail carriers as we countdown to the strike/lockout deadline on 12am EDT, September 16.  Additional links/info below... Shiyin Chen & Keith Laing, Bloomberg, "US Freight Railroads to Cut Services as Union Talks Fail, Report Says" SMART-TD, BLET Joint Statement on Rail Embargo  Jeff Stein, Lauren Kaori Gurley, & Tyler Pager, The Washington Post, "Freight Rail Strike Threatens Supply Chains, Prompting White House Planning" Working People, "Jay" Maximillian Alvarez & Mel Buer, The Real News Network, "Is the US Headed for a National Rail Strike"  Mel Buer, The Real News Network, "Fired Up Rail Workers Rally in Galesburg, Illinois, as Potential National Strike Looms" Mel Buer, The Real News Network, "Corporate Billionaires Are Wrecking the Supply Chain. Just Look at the Railroads" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Railroad Workers Are Being Ground to Dust. Who Will Help Them?" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Court Blocks Railroad Workers from Striking Over Draconian Attendance Policy" Joe DeManuelle-Hall, Labor Notes, "Rail Workers Reject Contract Recommendations, Say They're Ready to Strike" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    Is the US Headed for a National Rail Strike? (w/ Mel Buer, Jeff Kurtz, & Ron Kaminkow)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2022 93:50


    The rail industry is experiencing a self-induced crisis as a result of decades of cost-cutting, profit-maximizing executive decisions that have driven rail workers and the supply chain into the ground. In an attempt to mediate between the major freight rail companies and unions representing around 115,000 railroad workers, President Biden appointed a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) to offer recommendations for resolving the ongoing contract dispute. But an overwhelming number of surveyed workers seem prepared to reject the PEB's recommendations, and if the current contract dispute isn't resolved the US could be headed towards its largest rail strike in decades. In this livestream produced by The Real News Network, Max and journalist Mel Buer co-host a panel with current/former railroad workers and members of Railroad Workers United Jeff Kurtz and Ron Kaminkow to discuss the looming possibility of a massive national rail strike. With permission from TRNN, we are sharing the audio from this livestream on the Working People feed for our listeners.  Additional links/info below... Mel's Twitter page Ron's Twitter page Railroad Workers United website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Press Release: "RWU Announces Position on PEB #250" Survey Results: Rail Workers and the PEB  Working People, "Jay" Mel Buer, The Real News Network, "Fired Up Rail Workers Rally in Galesburg, Illinois, as Potential National Strike Looms" Mel Buer, The Real News Network, "Corporate Billionaires Are Wrecking the Supply Chain. Just Look at the Railroads" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Railroad Workers Are Being Ground to Dust. Who Will Help Them?" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Court Blocks Railroad Workers from Striking Over Draconian Attendance Policy" Joe DeManuelle-Hall, Labor Notes, "Rail Workers Reject Contract Recommendations, Say They're Ready to Strike" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    **Gen Z for Change (w/ Elise Joshi & Sean Wiggs)** PATREON EXCLUSIVE

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2022 12:11


    ***This is a Patreon Exclusive episode*** Subscribe to our Patreon:  www.patreon.com/workingpeople Thank you to all the Patreon subscribers for their love, support, and generosity. 

    Amazon Keeps Firing Union Organizers (w/ Matt Littrell)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 51:12


    Matt Littrell has worked as a picker at the Amazon warehouse in Campbellsville, Kentucky, for the past year and a half. He's also been one of the lead organizers and the public face of a growing push to unionize Amazon facilities in Kentucky. In retaliation for his organizing, Littrell says that Amazon management has been watching him like a hawk and finding reasons to write him up—and last week, the company finally fired him for "performance" issues. In this urgent mini-cast, we speak with Littrell about working and organizing at Amazon, the company's continued union busting, and about what folks around the country can do to support him and Amazon workers everywhere.  Additional links/info below... Matt's Twitter page Survival Fund for Fired Amazon Worker-Organizer Matt Littrell  Eli M. Rosenberg, NBC News, "Fired Amazon Union Organizer at Kentucky Warehouse Alleges Retaliation" Caroline O'Donovan, The Washington Post, "Amazon Calls Cops, Fires Workers in Attempts to Stop Unionization Nationwide" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    "If You Can't Stand the Heat, Keep Working" (w/ Zakk, Gabriela, & Steve)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2022 85:37


    "As blistering heat waves swept across the United States this summer, breaking temperature records and placing millions under heat advisories and warnings," Livia Albeck-Ripka writes at The New York Times, "workers... have continued to deliver America's packages for a variety of carriers, often in trucks that have no cooling mechanisms for drivers. Some UPS workers have shared photographs that show thermometer readings of up to 150 degrees in the backs of their trucks." A shocking number of package deliverers and letter carriers—to say nothing of farmworkers, construction workers, warehouse workers, etc.—have reported heat-related injuries and illnesses, and some have even died on the job from heat exposure. As climate change makes dangerous working conditions even worse for those who are exposed to extreme heat, workers, unions, and the public are demanding serious action be taken. In this urgent panel episode, we speak with Zakk, Gabriela, and Steve, three UPS package deliverers and members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, about the serious dangers of working in the heat and the fight they and their union are waging to ensure better protections for workers.  Additional links/info below... Gabriela's Twitter page Zakk's Facebook page and Twitter page  International Brotherhood of Teamsters website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Teamsters for a Democratic Union website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Livia Albeck-Ripka, The New York Times, "UPS Drivers Say ‘Brutal' Heat Is Endangering Their Lives" More Perfect Union, "UPS Drivers Are Dying Of Extreme Heat. The Company Doesn't Care" Jordan Hart, Business Insider, "'We're Dying Out Here:' After Death of 24-Year-Old UPS Worker in His Truck, Family Members, Other Workers Renew Calls for AC in Trucks, Warehouses" Working People, "(Unlocked) BONUS EPISODE - A Pivotal Moment for the Teamsters (w/ Indigo Olivier)" Working People, "'We Are Essential,' Pt I (Voices from the Covid-19 Crisis)" Denise Chow & Nigel Chiwaya, NBC News, "The US Could See a New 'Extreme Heat Belt' by 2053" Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Teamsters Set Stage for Union Contract Battle with UPS" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    (Unlocked) BONUS EPISODE - Mansa Musa

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2022 50:44


    Mansa Musa is a radical freedom fighter who was imprisoned in the US for nearly 50 years. Now, at 70 years old, he is the co-host of Rattling the Bars at The Real News Network, a staunch advocate for the rights of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, and a soldier in the struggle to dismantle the prison-industrial complex. We talk to Mansa about his life and about how the labor movement and the fight for prison abolition are necessarily interconnected.  Additional links/info below... Rattling the Bars on The Real News Network   Voices for a Second Chance website and Twitter page  Mansa Musa, The Real News Network, "‘I Wouldn't Even Feed This to My Dog': The Inhumane Reality of Prison Food" Eddie Conway & Mansa Musa, The Real News Network, "Mansa Musa: How I Survived 48 Years in Prison" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Jay

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2022 108:57


    As we speak, the major railroad companies and 13 different unions representing over 115,000 railroad workers have reached an impasse in contract negotiations that have been going on for years, and we are now closer to a national rail shutdown than we've been in a generation. President Biden has even appointed an Emergency Presidential Board to try to mediate between the rail unions and the rail carriers, but if that mediation fails we'll be on the verge of a historic shutdown. So, how did we get here? If you talk to any railroader in private, you'll get an earful about how decades of corporate greed, consolidation, cost cutting, automation, layoffs, and other profit-maximizing, shareholder-serving decisions have upended the railroads and turned what used to be good lifelong jobs into exhausting, impossible jobs that veteran workers are leaving in droves. But if any workers speak up publicly about what's going on on the railroads, they will likely face severe consequences. Luckily, we were able to connect with Jay, a qualified conductor who was licensed to operate locomotives at 19 years old, and who became a qualified train dispatcher before he was 23. We talk about Jay's life, how he came to work at the railroads, and what the job of a train dispatcher entails, but we also talk about how the industry has changed in recent decades, the havoc those changes have wreaked on workers and the supply chain, and why we should all be concerned about the crisis the railroads are in right now. Additional links/info below... Mel Buer, The Real News Network, "Corporate Billionaires Are Wrecking the Supply Chain. Just Look at the Railroads" Mel Buer, The Real News Network, "Fired Up Rail Workers Rally in Galesburg, Illinois, as Potential National Strike Looms" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Railroad Workers Are Being Ground to Dust. Who Will Help Them?"  Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Court Blocks Railroad Workers from Striking over Draconian Attendance Policy" The Hill's Rising, "Max Alvarez: DRACONIAN New Rail Industry Policy WORSENS Supply Chain Crisis, CRUSHES Workers" Jeff Schuhrke, In These Times, "US Railroad Workers Inch Closer to a Possible National Strike" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    You Gotta Stand Up for What's Right (w/ Lauren Bianchi & Chuck Stark)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 48:27


    Last week, Lauren Bianchi and Chuck Stark, two teachers at George Washington High School on the Southeast Side of Chicago, were on the verge of losing their jobs. In what Chicago Teachers Union officers suspect was an act of retaliation from Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago Public Schools recommended that Bianchi and Stark be fired for their involvement in the student-, teacher-, and community-led effort to stop the relocation of the General Iron metal shredder from the wealthy Northside neighborhood of Lincoln Park to a site half a mile from their school. With the union and their community behind them, though, the Chicago Board of Education issued a stunning rejection of Chicago Public Schools officials' recommendation to fire the two teachers. In this min-cast, we talk to Bianchi and Stark about the struggle to stop General Iron and the importance of teachers serving the needs of their communities.  Additional links/info below... Chicago Public Schools website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Darryl Fears & Robin Amer, The Washington Post, "To Stop a Scrapyard, Some Protesters in a Latino Community Risked Everything" Maxwell Evans, Block Club Chicago, "2 CPS Teachers Say They're Being Fired In Retaliation For Their Activism Against General Iron" Brett Chase, Chicago Sun Times, "Outspoken Teachers Who Urged Students to Join Environmental Protest Avert Firing by Chicago Board of Ed" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    Chipotle United (w/ Brandi McNease)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2022 53:25


    On June 22 of this year, workers at a Chipotle location in Augusta, Maine, made history by becoming the first store in the US to file for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board. Then, on Tuesday, July 19, Chipotle announced that it would be permanently closing the Augusta location. While spokespeople for the fast-casual dining giant deny that the closure is related to union organizing activity, workers and their supporters say the drastic move is a clear act of retaliation and "union busting 101." The Chipotle store closure coincides with a broader, aggressive escalation of anti-union actions taken by other employers who have also recently closed stores and production plants where workers were organizing, including multiple Starbucks locations across the US, Heine Brothers' Coffee in Kentucky, Amy's Kitchen in California, and G&D Integrated, LLC, in Illinois. “By closing the Augusta store," Jeffrey Neil Young, a lawyer representing the Chipotle workers, told The New York Times, "it's signaling to Chipotle workers elsewhere who are involved in or contemplating nascent organizational drives that if you organize, you might be out of job.” But workers are refusing to be bullied and silenced by the company, and they are fighting back. In this extended mini-cast, we talk with Brandi McNease, a worker-organizer at the Augusta Chipotle location and a founding member of Chipotle United.  Additional links/info below... PETITION: Tell Chipotle CEO to Re-Open Augusta!  Chipotle United website and Twitter page Noam Scheiber, The New York Times, "Chipotle Closes a Maine Store, and Workers Say It's Because of a Union Drive" Mike Pomranz, Food & Wine, "Chipotle Closes Store That Voted to Form Chain's First Union, Citing Staffing Issues" Noam Scheiber, The New York Times, "Chipotle Is Sued by New York City Over Scheduling Practices" Alex Press, Jacobin, "Chipotle Is a Nightmare Employer" Working People, "Starbucks Sinks to a New Low (w/ Nadia Vitek)" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Starbucks and Other Companies Escalate War on Unions with Store Closures" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "‘They F*cked Us': Illinois Ironworkers Laid Off after Unionizing" Nico Madrigal-Yankowski, SFGate, "Bay Area Frozen Foods Giant Amy's Closing Production Plant after One Year" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    An Injury to One Is an Injury to All (w/ Gabbi Pierce & Martha Grevatt)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2022 57:09


    Things are getting very dark in this country, and it's likely going to get worse before it gets better. At every turn—as collective society breaks down, as the ruling class continues to rob us blind, as humanity barrels towards climate catastrophe—working people are being encouraged to turn on each other and to see certain groups of their fellow workers as the enemy. From the demonization and increasingly violent attacks against LGBTQIA+ people, to an extremist-dominated Supreme Court preparing to strip away queer people's right to marry, to legislatures around the country working to eliminate trans people's right to exist, we must respond to these assaults on our neighbors and coworkers with the same spirit of solidarity that gives life to labor's eternal message: an injury to one is an injury to all. In this special and urgent episode, we speak with Gabbi Pierce and Martha Grevatt about how far the labor movement has come in defending the rights of LGBTQIA+ workers, how far we still have to go, and what role the labor movement can and must play in fighting for dignity and equality for all.  Gabbi Pierce is an organizer with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), co-chair of Pride at Work—Twin Cities, and she is the first transgender person to serve on the Minnesota AFL-CIO General Board. Martha Grevatt is a retired autoworker and member of the United Auto Workers (UAW); she formerly served as Executive Board member for UAW Locals 122 and 869 and was a founding member of Pride at Work.  Additional links/info below... Gabbi's Twitter page Communication Workers of America website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Martha's Facebook page and Workers World author page  United Auto Workers website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Unite All Workers for Democracy website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Pride at Work website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Kelly Hayes, Movement Memos, "Attacks on Trans Rights and Abortion Rights Are 'Bound Together'" Kelly Hayes, Movement Memos, "Attacks on Trans Youth Are a Fascist 'Moral Battering Ram'" Molly Shah, The Real News Network, "Supreme Court's Hearings on Abortion Bans Are an Ominous Sign of What's Coming" Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "How LGBTQ Union Activists Transformed the Labor Movement" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    RMT Strike (w/ Mel Mullings, Clayton Clive, Cat Cray, & Gaz Jackson)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2022 82:22


    Last month, roughly 40,000 UK rail workers with the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) went on strike for three days, bringing major portions of the British rail system to a halt in a historic show of collective strength. This week, after receiving a contract offer from state-owned Network Rail that union leaders described as "paltry," the RMT announced that workers at Network Rail and the train operating companies will engage in another day of strike action on Wednesday, July 27. With these strikes, and in the ongoing negotiations, workers are fighting for livable wages at a time when the cost of living is spiraling out of control and corporate executives and shareholders are stuffing their pockets with cash. As Adam Bychawski writes, "Train companies paid out nearly £800m to shareholders last year before telling rail unions that employees must take a real-terms pay cut for them to stay afloat." But workers are fighting for much more; they are fighting against years of austerity policies and corporate profit-generating schemes that have led to deteriorating working conditions and quality of service on the rails; they are fighting against further job losses for the sake of "modernization"'; and they are fighting for better, safer, more accessible, and well-staffed rail services for the people who depend on them.  In this special panel episode, we speak with four rail workers and RMT members/officers—Mel Mullings, Clayton Clive, Cat Cray, and Gaz Jackson—about the strike and the importance of workers around the world standing in solidarity with strikers.  Additional links/info below... RMT Union website, Facebook page, and Twitter page, Clayton's Twitter page Manchester South RMT Twitter page Cat's Twitter page Gaz's Twitter page Rupert Pickering, Tribune, "Defend the RMT" Karl Hansen, Jacobin, "Britain's Rail Workers Are Poised to Strike Against Austerity" Ronan Burtenshaw, Jacobin, "Britain's Striking Rail Workers Are Drawing the Hatred of the Establishment" Matthew Weaver, The Guardian, "Mick Lynch: Rail Union Bruiser Who's More Than a Match for the Media" Gwyn Topham & Tom Ambrose, The Guardian, "Train Services Cut as RMT Rail Strike Enters Third Day" Jasper Jolly, The Guardian, "Rail Workers to Strike Across Britain on 27 July, Union Announces" Mel Buer, The Real News Network, "Corporate Billionaires Are Wrecking the Supply Chain. Just Look at the Railroads."  Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    Labor on the Airwaves (w/ Judy Ancel, Sarah Jaffe, Michelle Chen, Jamie Partridge, & Chris Garlock)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2022 29:52


    The "Labor On The Airwaves" panel attracted an overflow audience at this year's Labor Notes conference in Chicago. A show of hands revealed that about a third of those in attendance already had shows while another third was interested in finding out how to start their own shows, many of whom stopped by the Labor Radio-Podcast Network's booth after the panel. Working People's Maximillian Alvarez hosted a panel that included BeLabored hosts Sarah Jaffe and Michelle Chen, Heartland Labor Forum's Judy Ancel, and Jamie Partridge from Labor Radio on KBOO FM.   For the Labor Radio-Podcast Weekly, the Labor Radio-Podcast Network's weekly digest show, featuring highlights from shows in our network, Chris Garlock recorded, edited, and published a shortened version of the "Labor on the Airwaves" panel from Labor Notes. With permission from Chris, we are excited to share the episode on the Working People feed for our listeners.  NOTE: For those interested in joining the Labor Radio Podcast Network (or finding out more about us), please contact us here. Additional links/info below... Judy Ancel's Twitter page Heartland Labor Forum website  Sarah Jaffe's Twitter page Michelle Chen's Twitter page BeLabored's website  Jamie Partridge's Twitter page Labor Radio's (KBOO FM) website  Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    (Unlocked) BONUS EPISODE - Labor Notes Postgame (w/ Tevita 'Uhatafe, McKenna Schueler, & Jacob Morrison)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 4, 2022 77:09


    We wish everyone could have been in Chicago for the Labor Notes 2022 conference! But for those who couldn't make it, we convened this comradely panel with some fan-favorite guests of the show—Tevita 'Uhatafe, McKenna Schueler, and Jacob Morrison—to share our thoughts and reflections on the gathering, and to talk about the lessons and strategies we're taking from Labor Notes and applying in our daily lives.  Additional links/info below... Subscribe and donate to Labor Notes!  Tevita's Twitter page McKenna's Twitter page and Linktree Jacob's Twitter page The Valley Labor Report Twitter page, YouTube channel, and Patreon  Working People, "Tevita 'Uhatafe"  Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Alicia Johnson

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2022 62:58


    The Amazon Labor Union victory at the JFK8 warehouse on Staten Island was historic, but right now, as we speak, Amazon is currently in court trying to throw out the results of that election, and pro-union worker-organizers keep getting fired. One of those workers is Alicia Johnson, who, as Luigi Morris writes, is "a 56-year-old Black immigrant who lives in the deep Bronx and worked at JFK8 as a Picker Packer. Her commute to work took more than two and a half hours." After Alicia exercised her right to request accommodation from Amazon that would allow her to keep working with an injured leg, along with providing the necessary medical paperwork, she was fired in a suspected act of retaliation. We talk to Alicia about her time working at Amazon, why she supports the union, and about the Kafkaesque nightmare she's faced trying to secure the unemployment benefits she's entitled to.  Additional links/info below... GoFundMe: ALU Member Alicia Johnson, Fired in Retaliation  Luigi Morris, Left Voice, "Amazon Won't Stop Union Busting and Firing Organizers" Alex Press, Jacobin, "Amazon Is Trying to Destroy Its Staten Island Union by Firing Union Supporters" Andrea Hsu, NPR, "Inside the Marathon Zoom Call Where Amazon Seeks to Overturn Historic Union Victory" Working People, "Amazon Labor Union" Amazon Labor Union website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song  

    Dr. Frances Gill

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2022 77:42


    We all know that, even before the horrific, world-changing event of COVID-19, society would fall apart without hospital workers and medical staff. But as we also know, like so many other fields and sectors of work, the medical field is a very stratified one. Even though we as patients may not see it, many of the folks who make hospitals and medical facilities run are overworked, understaffed, under-protected, and paid way less than we're led to believe. This was made painfully clear last month when frontline physicians at LA county hospitals voted overwhelmingly in favor of striking over unfair labor practices. After voting to strike, LA County members of the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU), which is a local of the Service Employees International Union, won a historic tentative agreement with LA County, including average salary increases of 5.5% in the first year of the contract, followed by 3.25% in the following two years, a $3000 increase in annual housing stipends, a signing bonus for incoming interns, the creation of a $125,000 fund for diverse recruitment efforts and more. To talk about all of this and more, we chat with Dr. Frances Gill, a first-year resident physician at LAC/USC Medical Center who is training to be a psychiatrist. Additional links/info below... Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU) website, Facebook page, and Twitter page CIR/SEIU Press Release: LA County Frontline Physicians and CIR Members Announce Contract Resolution After History-Making Campaign  Dave Muoio, Fierce Healthcare, "LA County's Tentative Labor Deal Heads Off 1,300-Physician Strike at 3 Public Hospitals" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    Dollar Store Workers Deserve Better (w/ Kenya Slaughter & Curtis Williams)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 19, 2022 57:59


    From Dollar General and Dollar Tree to Family Dollar, dollar stores are spreading rapidly throughout Louisiana and across the country, but dollar store workers notoriously have to endure low pay, understaffing, and hazardous working conditions. That's why Step Up Louisiana, "a community based organization committed to building power to win education and economic justice for all," is organizing employees, customers, and community members to fight for safer stores and better pay and working conditions for dollar store workers. In this episode, we speak with Kenya Slaughter, who has been an organizer and frontline worker at Dollar General for a number of years, and Curtis Williams, a dollar store customer who has gotten involved in Step Up Louisiana's campaign.  Additional links/info below... Step Up Louisiana's website and Twitter page Kenya Slaughter, The New York Times, "I Never Planned to Be a Front-Line Worker at Dollar General" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    Starbucks Sinks to a New Low (w/ Nadia Vitek)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2022 31:09


    We've adjusted our episode publishing schedule to bring y'all an urgent episode about Starbucks' escalating retaliation against pro-union workers and Starbucks Workers United. As Rina Torchinsky writes for NPR, "Starbucks is closing a store in Ithaca, NY, in what Starbucks union organizers are calling an illegal move of retaliation after workers at the location voted to unionize. The coffee giant gave the employees at the College Ave. location near Cornell University a one-week notice of the closure, the union says, with the store slated to permanently close on June 10. The coffee giant has said the decision to close the store was unrelated to the unionization effort. The store was one of three Starbucks locations in Ithaca that voted to unionize on April 8. Workers at the College Ave. location previously went on a one-day strike in April for what the union says were unsafe working conditions—'a waste emergency caused by the overflowing grease trap.' Starbucks later cited the grease trap as reason for shuttering the location, according to the union."  In this mini-cast, we talk with Nadia Vitek, a partner at the College Ave. location and a worker-organizer with Starbucks Workers United, about the sudden decision to close the store and the mounting evidence that this is an illegal act of retaliation meant to send a chilling message to pro-union workers around the country.  Additional links/info below... Starbucks Workers United website, Twitter page, and Instagram Union Election Data: Current Starbucks Statistics Rina Torchinsky, NPR, "Starbucks Union Says the Coffee Giant Is Closing a Store to Retaliate" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "The Historic, Youthful, Rank-and-File Movement to Unionize Starbucks" Paul Blest, VICE News, "Lateness, Cursing, a Broken Sink: Starbucks Keeps Firing Pro-Union Employees" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    The Five-Year Union Election (w/ Maggie Levantovskaya)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 46:02


    Adjunct faculty and lecturers at Santa Clara University, a private Jesuit university in Silicon Valley, have been working to organize a non-tenure-track faculty union for five years. Along with navigating the particular challenges that come with worker organizing in higher education, theirs is a historic campaign because it is taking place at a religious institution, which the National Labor Relations Board does not exercise jurisdiction over. Nevertheless, after years of organizing and union busting, NTT faculty at Santa Clara are currently voting in their long-awaited union election. In this mini-cast, we reconnect with former Working People guest Maggie Levantovskaya to talk about why NTT faculty have fought so hard for so long to get to this point and why organizing your workplace—in higher ed and beyond—is so important. Maggie is a lecturer in the English Department and member of AFLOC, the Adjunct Faculty and Lecturer Organizing Committee, at Santa Clara University. Additional links/info below... Maggie's website and Twitter page Santa Clara University Adjunct and Lecturer Union website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram  Working People, "Maggie Levantovskaya" Maggie Levantovskaya, Medium, "On 'Divisiveness'" Maggie Levantovskaya, Current Affairs, "Organizing Against Precarity in Higher Education" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    Caliber Workers Union (w/ Tyler Powles & Erinn Murphy)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2022 86:14


    Caliber Public Schools, a group of charter schools in Northern California, states on its website that its mission is "to achieve educational equity by shifting the experiences, expectations and outcomes for students in historically underserved communities. Our strengths-based educational program validates, affirms, respects and supports students, families and staff members to reach their full potential." But when teachers and staff who believe in that mission did not feel validated, affirmed, respected, and supported, they took it upon themselves to organize and push Caliber to live up to its promise. Earlier this month, the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) ruled that a majority of the 150 teachers and staff at Caliber: Beta Academy in Richmond and Caliber: ChangeMakers Academy in Vallejo had demonstrated sufficient support for unionizing with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and ordered management to formally recognize the union. In this episode, we talk with Tyler Powles, who was a 4th-grade teacher at Caliber: Beta Academy for five years, and Erinn Murphy, an education specialist (and school parent) at Caliber: ChangeMakers Academy, about their experience working for the charter school network and fighting for a union.  Additional links/info below... Caliber Workers Union website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Industrial Workers of the World website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Cal Colgan, Industrial Worker, "Charter School Workers' Year-long Fight for Recognition" IWW Press Release: "California Public Employment Relations Board Determines Union of Teachers and Support Staff at Caliber Public Schools Must Be Granted Recognition" Zane Sparling, The Oregonian, "Burgerville Employees Ratify Contract, Establishing First Fast-Food Union in U.S." Working People, "cOrE vAlUeS (w/ MacKenna Alvarez)" Working People, "Drew Edmonds"  Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    Tevita 'Uhatafe

    Play Episode Listen Later May 21, 2022 99:54


    If you were following the strikes and labor actions that were happening last year, then you may have noticed that a certain face kept popping up in photos and reports from picket lines all over the country, from the Kelloggs', Nabisco, and John Deere strikes, to the Warrior Met Coal miners caravan to New York City. Who was this mysterious member of the Transport Workers Union making his way to states all around the US to show solidarity with workers in their different struggles? Well, it turns out that that guy is Tevita 'Uhatafe, a first-generation Tongan American, family man, rank-and-file member of the Transport Workers Union Local 513 in Dallas-Fort Worth, and Vice President of the Tarrant County AFL-CIO Central Labor Council. In this episode, we talk with Tevita about his life, about why family has always been so important to him, about working in the airline industry, coming to the organized labor movement, and about how doing the vital solidarity work he does is such a fundamental part of who he is as a person. Additional links/info below... Tevita's Twitter page Tevita's PayPal (let's get Tevita to Labor Notes!): @TUhatafe  Haeden Wright's Twitter page Braxton Wright's Twitter page Haeden and Braxton's PayPal (let's get them to Labor Notes too!): @haedenwright Tarrant County Central Labor Council website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Tevita recognized for his contribution to the labor movement for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "'Twerking-class heroes: LA strippers are fighting for a union"  Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    Starbucks "partners" becoming partners (w/ Arianna Ayala)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2022 39:25


    We'll be back with new interviews next week after Jules has settled in and recovered from moving cross country! Until then, with permission from The Real News Network, we are sharing the audio of Max's recent interview with Arianna Ayala, a Starbucks partner in New York City and worker-organizer with Starbucks Workers United. The rank-and-file effort to unionize Starbucks stores around the United States is one of the most head-spinningly historic worker-led movements in our generation. Since the Elmwood Avenue store in Buffalo, New York, made history by becoming the first location to unionize in December of 2021, hundreds of Starbucks locations have filed for union elections, and the overwhelming majority of stores that have already held elections voted in favor of unionizing. Even in the face of intense opposition from corporate executives and upper-level managers at one of the most powerful companies in the world, and working within the incredibly restrictive confines of US labor law, partners organizing with Starbucks Workers United keep racking up wins. In this interview for TRNN, Max sits down with Arianna Ayala, a Starbucks partner and member of the organizing committee at her store in New York City, which recently filed for a union election, to talk about her own experience working at Starbucks during the COVID-19 pandemic, why she and her fellow partners took that fateful step to organize, and why they, like Starbucks partners around the country, believe that a unionized workforce will make Starbucks a better company. Additional links/info below... Starbucks Workers United website, Twitter page, and Instagram Union Election Data: Current Starbucks Statistics Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "The Historic, Youthful, Rank-and-File Movement to Unionize Starbucks" Paul Blest, VICE News, "Lateness, Cursing, a Broken Sink: Starbucks Keeps Firing Pro-Union Employees" Alex N. Press, Jacobin, "The Starbucks Union Drive Is Spreading With Impressive Speed" Rani Molla, Vox, "How a Bunch of Starbucks Baristas Built a Labor Movement" Kate Rogers, CNBC, "Starbucks Hit with Sweeping Labor Complaint Including Over 200 Alleged Violations" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    50 Years of Class War in Wisconsin (w/ Frank Emspak & Adrienne Pagac)

    Play Episode Listen Later May 8, 2022 99:02


    This is the final installment in our special series of conversations with teachers, organizers, scholars, and activists in Wisconsin that Max, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) recorded in the summer of 2021 as part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine. To round out the series, we drive straight into the heart of darkness with an in-depth discussion with veteran educators and organizers Frank Emspak and Adrienne Pagac about the passage of Act 10 in Wisconsin under Republican Governor Scott Walker, the statewide protests against it, and the devastation that it has left in Wisconsin for the past 11 years. Frank is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School for Workers and a labor activist based in Madison, Wisconsin. He is a regular contributor to WORT Labor Radio, Progressive Magazine, and a range of other media outlets. Adrienne is a scholar, organizer, and former co-president of the Teaching Assistants Association. The statewide protests against Act 10, known as the Wisconsin Uprising, comprised one of the largest sustained collective actions in the history of the United States, and anyone who was there in 2011 will attest to the collective spirit of resistance and solidarity that the uprising embodied, and the lasting impact it left on all who participated. But the protests were ultimately unsuccessful in beating back Act 10, and the short and long term effects of its passage have been a disaster for working people and organized labor. How did this coordinated assault on labor come to pass in Wisconsin? And what lessons can the rest of us around the country learn from the 50-year war on workers that has changed the state of Wisconsin for generations? Additional links/info below... Frank's Twitter page Adrienne's Twitter page Frank Emspak, Red Madison, "Commemorating the Wisconsin Uprising" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "'You've got to shut it down': Lessons from Wisconsin's 2011 Worker Uprising" In These Times investigative series: The Wisconsin Idea The Jacobin Show, "The Democratic Coalition after Trump and the Fall of Wisconsin" Dan Kaufman, Norton Books, The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics Michael D. Yates, Monthly Review Press, Wisconsin Uprising: Labor Fights Back John Nichols, Bold Type Books, Uprising: How Scott Walker Betrayed Wisconsin and Inspired a New Politics of Protest Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Amazon Labor Union

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2022 99:56


    On Sunday, April 24, the independent Amazon Labor Union held a rally outside the JFK8 fulfillment center on Staten Island, New York, where, just one month ago, workers shocked the world by becoming the first Amazon workforce in the US to successfully vote to unionize. With supporters from organized labor and the surrounding community showing up in full force, along with high-profile appearances from Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, worker-organizers with the ALU showed their support for their coworkers at the LDJ5 sorting center, another facility in the same complex that is voting in their own union election this week. If LDJ5 becomes the second Amazon facility to unionize, it will prove that what happened at JFK8 was not a fluke, but the beginning of a historic movement to unionize the second largest private employer in the US and one of the most powerful corporations in the world.  In this special episode, we put together a compilation of speeches from the rally along with interviews Max conducted on the ground with Amazon workers and other special guests. Speakers/interviewees include: Christian Smalls, president of the Amazon Labor Union; Derrick Palmer, vice president of organizing for the Amazon Labor Union; Jordan Flowers, cofounder of the Congress of Essential Workers and the Amazon Labor Union; Senator Bernie Sanders; Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Karen Ponce, interim secretary of the Amazon Labor Union; Julian Mitchell-Israel, LDJ5 Amazon worker, field organizer for the Amazon Labor Union; Maddie Wesley, LDJ5 Amazon worker, treasurer of the Amazon Labor Union; Kshama Sawant, (socialist) Seattle City Council Member; Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO; Charles Jenkins, elected officer of the Transport Worker Union Local 100 and president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) NY Chapter; Brittany Ramos DeBarros, candidate for Congress in New York's 11th District; Luis Feliz Leon, staff writer and organizer for Labor Notes; Michelle Valentin Nieves, worker-organizer with the Amazon Labor Union. Additional links/info below... Amazon Labor Union website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram  The Amazon Labor Union Solidarity Fund  Chris Smalls' Twitter page Derrick Palmer's Twitter page Jordan Flowers' Twitter page The Congress of Essential Workers website and Twitter page Julian Mitchell-Israel's Twitter page Kshama Sawant's Twitter page Sara Nelson's Twitter page The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists' website and Twitter page Brittany Ramos DeBarros's Twitter page  Luis Feliz Leon's Labor Notes author page and Twitter page Michelle Valentin Nieves's Twitter page Bernie Sanders's Twitter page Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Twitter page Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    Kenyon Student Workers & Indiana Graduate Workers on Strike (w/ Molly Orr, Nora Weber, & Anne Kavalerchik)

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 21, 2022 43:16


    Right now, a majority of residential advisers at Kenyon College, organized with the Kenyon Student Worker Organizing Committee, are on an indefinite strike over unfair labor practices. At the same time, over 1,750 graduate student workers at Indiana University with the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition are on strike, demanding that the university administration formally recognize their union, pay graduate workers a livable wage, and eliminate costly student fees. In this extended mini-cast, we talk about these important struggles with three worker-organizers across the two campuses: Molly Orr, a sophomore at Kenyon College who works at the Kenyon Farm and the Writing Center; Nora Weber, a fourth-year PhD candidate in Sociology at Indiana University;  and Anne Kavalerchik, a third-year PhD candidate in Sociology and Informatics at Indiana University. Additional links/info below... Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition—United Electrical Workers website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram  Kenyon Student Worker Organizing Committee—United Electrical Workers website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram  Nora's Twitter page  Kenyon Strike Fund: K-SWOC-UE Strike Fund - Spring 2022  Indiana Strike Fund: STRIKE UNTIL WE WIN FUND! Maria Carrasco, Inside Higher Ed, "Kenyon College Residential Advisers Go On Indefinite Strike" Hali Tauxe, Indiana Daily Student, "As Graduate Workers Contemplate Strike, Bloomington Campus Officials Announce Raises" Jeremy Hogan, The Bloomingtonian, "Gallery: Grad Workers Strike Tuesday, April 19, 2022" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    Maricela Aguilar Monroy

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 14, 2022 42:38


    Just over ten years ago, the landscape for workers' rights and organized labor in the state of Wisconsin changed dramatically with the passage of Act 10 under Republican Governor Scott Walker in 2011. Act 10 was a hammer blow to the labor movement that essentially stripped collective bargaining rights from public sector workers, made it much more difficult for workers to organize, and forced unions to take massive concessions on healthcare, retirement benefits, and much more. Soon after, in 2015, Walker signed legislation that turned Wisconsin into a “right to work” state, issuing another blow to unions in a state once heralded as a bellwether of the labor movement. But all hope is not lost. In the wake of this coordinated assault on workers and unions, many are using the tools available to them to build up their communities and rebuild working-class power in Wisconsin. This is precisely what we have been investigating in our special series of conversations with teachers, organizers, scholars, and activists in Wisconsin that Max, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) recorded in the summer of 2021 as part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine. In the latest installment in this series, we talk with Maricela Aguilar Monroy, an undocumented educator and organizer who has spent most of her life in Milwaukee and is working to strengthen the community that has provided a home for her so it can continue to provide a home for others.  Additional links/info below... Maricela's Twitter page YES! (Youth Empowered in the Struggle) Facebook page and Twitter page Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Ten Years after Act 10, Wisconsin Teachers Are Still Fighting to Rebuild from the Rubble" In These Times investigative series: The Wisconsin Idea The Jacobin Show, "The Democratic Coalition after Trump and the Fall of Wisconsin" Dan Kaufman, Norton Books, The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics Michael D. Yates, Monthly Review Press, Wisconsin Uprising: Labor Fights Back John Nichols, Bold Type Books, Uprising: How Scott Walker Betrayed Wisconsin and Inspired a New Politics of Protest Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Susan Simensky Bietila

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2022 179:58


    Holy cow, this is Working People's 200th episode! Thank you to everyone who has listened to and supported us over the past five seasons—and, of course, thank you to every guest who has ever come on the show to share their story. To commemorate our 200th regular-season episode, we have a special installment of our series of conversations with teachers, organizers, scholars, and activists in Wisconsin that Max, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) recorded in the summer of 2021 as part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine. In this episode, we talk with longtime artist, activist, and registered nurse Susan Simensky Bietila in Milwaukee. Hearkening back to the episodes we published in the first season of Working People, this is an extended conversation that traces the incredible, winding path that Sue has taken in life, from growing up in the projects in New York to drawing and collaging for The Guardian, the radical US newsweekly, during the height of the Vietnam War, to protesting at the Wisconsin State Capitol in 2011 during the Wisconsin Uprising.   Additional links/info below... Susan Simensky Bietila's website and art archives  Susan Simensky Bietila, "Wisconsin: Walk Like an Egyptian"  Susan Simensky Bietila's Facebook page Paul Buhle & Nicole Schulman (eds.), Verso, Wobblies!: A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World  Maximillian Alvarez, Current Affairs, "Can the Working Class Speak?" In These Times investigative series: The Wisconsin Idea The Jacobin Show, "The Democratic Coalition after Trump and the Fall of Wisconsin" Dan Kaufman, Norton Books, The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics Michael D. Yates, Monthly Review Press, Wisconsin Uprising: Labor Fights Back John Nichols, Bold Type Books, Uprising: How Scott Walker Betrayed Wisconsin and Inspired a New Politics of Protest Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Practice What You Preach, SPLC (w/ Lisa D. Wright & Katie Glenn)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 29, 2022 28:58


    The Southern Poverty Law Center is a historic civil rights organization that, for 50 years, has been advancing social justice through legal, educational, and advocacy efforts primarily in the Deep South. However, after overwhelmingly voting to unionize in 2019, staff at SPLC say the organization has been stalling negotiations over their first union contract and unfairly treating its lowest-paid and most marginalized workers. On Monday, March 28, SPLC Union members held an informational picket outside the org's headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama, "to protest management's forcing mostly Black women employees to return to the office while allowing the option of remote work for white and higher-paid employees." In this mini-cast, we talk with Katie Glenn, who has worked for SPLC for nearly three years and is a member of the SPLC Union bargaining committee, and Lisa D. Wright, who has worked at SPLC for over 20 years, was a member of the original organizing committee, and is also a steward and a member of the SPLC Union bargaining committee.  Additional links/info below... SPLC Union website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram  SPLC Union Press Release: SPLC Union Members Picket Over Management's Inequitable Office Reopening Plan  Kim Chandler, AP News, "Southern Poverty Law Center Employees Vote to Join Union" Sarah Jaffe, The Progressive, "Nonprofit Workers Join the Movement to Unionize" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Al Levie

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 24, 2022 57:17


    We are diving right back into our special series of conversations with teachers, organizers, scholars, and activists in Wisconsin that Max, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) recorded in the summer of 2021 as part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine. In this episode, recorded at the Racine Labor Center in Racine, Wisconsin, we talk to retired teacher and longtime organizer Al Levie about the long and coordinated assault on workers and unions that turned Wisconsin into a "right to work" state and that stripped public sector workers of their collective bargaining rights with the passage of Act 10 under Republic governor Scott Walker. But we also talk about Al's life as an organizer, the work he and his students have done to build power in Racine, and about the very real possibility of organizing and mobilizing interracial and intergenerational coalitions of people to fight for justice, equality, and dignity. Additional links/info below... Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Organize Students, Organize Everyone, and Fight Like Hell"  Yahoo! News, "Wis. Teacher Refuses Award From Paul Ryan During MLK Ceremony: ‘Lackey for the 1%'" Voces de la Frontera website Voces de la Frontera Action website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Working People, **John Fleissner (bonus episode)**  John Fleissner's Instagram  Order Defend Public Education Print from John Fleissner  In These Times investigative series: The Wisconsin Idea Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Do Better, Howard (w/ Dr. Aisha Bonner Cozad & Dr. Sean Pears)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 23, 2022 48:53


    Since full-time lecturers at Howard University originally voted to unionize, they have spent nearly four years bargaining with the university administration to get their first contract. Unless a deal is reached at the 11th hour, lecturers are set to go on strike on Wednesday, March 23, joining nearly 200 adjunct professors who are also fighting for their second contract with the university. Even if a deal is reached to avoid a strike, however, Howard has a long way to go to adequately address the long-running systemic problems that have brought non-tenure-track faculty to the point of hitting the picket line. In this mini-cast, we talk to Dr. Aisha Bonner Cozad, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Howard School of Social Work, and Dr. Sean Pears, a Lecturer in Howard's College of Arts & Sciences, about the looming strike at one of the most storied HBCUs in the country.  Additional links/info below... Dr. Bonner Cozad's LinkedIn page Dr. Pears's Twitter page Howard Teaching Faculty Union Twitter page and Instagram  Peter Lucas, Jacobin, "Howard University Faculty Are Ready to Strike" Rashad Grove, Ebony, "Howard University Faculty Threaten to Strike Over Working Conditions" Higher Ed Labor United statement: We Stand with Howard University Non-Tenure-Track Faculty and Adjuncts  Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    What the F*ck Happened to Wisconsin? (w/ Harvey J. Kaye & Jon Shelton)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 16, 2022 117:31


    We continue our series on the struggles of teachers and public sector unions in the state of Wisconsin today. As part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea,” Max, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) traveled to Wisconsin in the summer of 2021. From Madison to Appleton, they spoke to a range of educators, organizers, scholars, and activists who are fighting to rebuild worker power after the devastating passage of Act 10 in 2011 under Republican Governor Scott Walker, and nearly 50 years after cops, townspeople, and a union-busting school board broke the infamous Hortonville teachers' strike in 1974. In this interview, recorded in the town of Hortonville, Max sits down with scholars Harvey J. Kaye and Jon Shelton to discuss the historical significance of Act 10, the Wisconsin Uprising, and the Hortonville strike that set the stage for them decades earlier, and to examine how these crucial events fit into the larger historical trajectory of the labor movement and progressive politics in Wisconsin.  Harvey J. Kaye is Professor Emeritus of Democracy & Justice Studies and the Director of the Center for History and Social Change at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay; he is also the author of many books, including Thomas Paine and the Promise of America and Take Hold of Our History: Make America Radical Again. Jon Shelton is Associate Professor and Chair of Democracy and Justice studies at UW Green Bay, and he is the author of Teacher Strike! Public Education and the Making of a New American Political Order. Additional links/info below... Harvey's Twitter page Jon's Twitter page American Federation of Teachers—Wisconsin website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times investigative series: The Wisconsin Idea Harvey J. Kaye, Macmillan, Thomas Paine and the Promise of America  Harvey J. Kaye, Zero Books, Take Hold of Our History: Make America Radical Again  Working People, **Harvey J. Kaye (bonus episode)**  Jon Shelton, University of Illinois Press, Teacher Strike! Public Education and the Making of a New American Political Order Eleni Schirmer, Gender and Education, "When Solidarity Doesn't Quite Strike: The 1974 Hortonville, Wisconsin Teachers' Strike and the Rise of Neoliberalism" The Jacobin Show, "The Democratic Coalition after Trump and the Fall of Wisconsin" Dan Kaufman, Norton Books, The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics  Michael D. Yates, Monthly Review Press, Wisconsin Uprising: Labor Fights Back  John Nichols, Bold Type Books, Uprising: How Scott Walker Betrayed Wisconsin and Inspired a New Politics of Protest  Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Amanda & Jeff Frenkel

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 9, 2022 74:04


    We're back, baby! We're kicking off Season 5 of Working People with a multi-part series on teachers and public sector unions in the state of Wisconsin. As part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine for “The Wisconsin Idea,” Max, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) traveled to Wisconsin in the summer of 2021 to investigate two intertwining stories that have played a crucial role in the rightwing shift and the decades-long attack on workers and unions in a state that used to be a bellwether of the labor movement and progressive politics in America. One of those stories has to do with the passing of Act 10 in 2011 under Republican governor Scott Walker, which was a hammer blow to public sector unions around the state that stripped them of their collective bargaining rights and put a chokehold on unions' ability to function—a chokehold that was tightened in 2015 when Wisconsin became the 25th "right to work" state. The other story is the story of a historic teachers' strike that took place in 1974 in the small, rural town of Hortonville. With a population of just around 1,500 people at the time, Hortonville became the site of one of the most contentious and consequential teachers' strikes in Wisconsin's history. And, in many ways, the sort of cultural hostilities, clashing economic pressures, and vicious union-busting that played out in Hortonville set the stage for a statewide showdown over Act 10 nearly 40 years later. The Hortonville strike itself ripped the community in two—over 80 striking educational staff members in the district were fired by an intransigent school board, and the legacy of the broken strike left a deep scar on the town and the school district for many years. Over the course of this series, we'll be talking to teachers and organizers in Wisconsin to see how, nearly 50 years after the Hortonville strike and a decade after Act 10 and the historic protests against it at the state capitol, they are still fighting to recover and build worker power. In this interview, Max talks with Amanda and Jeff Frenkel, two K-12 teachers in Hortonville and union organizers with the American Federation of Teachers, about the challenges they and their coworkers are facing today, and about the ways they are working to rebuild the union and serve their community.  Additional links/info below... American Federation of Teachers—Wisconsin website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "The Fight to Organize Teachers in Small-Town Wisconsin" Eleni Schirmer, Gender and Education, "When Solidarity Doesn't Quite Strike: The 1974 Hortonville, Wisconsin Teachers' Strike and the Rise of Neoliberalism" In These Times investigative series: The Wisconsin Idea  Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Justice for Evan (w/ Jana Murphy)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 8, 2022 65:45


    With permission from The Real News Network, we're publishing the audio of Max's most recent TRNN interview with Jana Murphy of the Justice for Evan coalition. In September 2021, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez spoke with the family of Evan Seyfried about a lawsuit they filed against grocery giant Kroger, which alleges that Evan was bullied, harassed, and sabotaged by store managers Shannon Frazee and Joseph Pigg to the point that he suffered a “transient episodic break” and took his own life. It's been one year since Evan committed suicide, and while the Seyfrieds struggle to pick up the pieces, family friends, community members, and volunteers have come together to honor Evan's life, demand accountability for his death, and address the scourge of workplace bullying. In this interview, Alvarez speaks with Jana Murphy, an organizer of the Justice for Evan coalition and a close friend of the Seyfried family, about the fight to hold Kroger accountable and the national day of action planned for Wednesday, March 9. Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino Additional links/info below... Watch the video version of this interview on The Real News Network YouTube channel Justice for Evan protest (March 9) information  Justice for Evan Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram National Workplace Bullying Coalition website, Facebook page, and Twitter page #NotMe App Working People, "Evan Seyfried (w/ Ken, Linda, & Eric Seyfried)" “Lawsuit: Kroger Manager Drove Employee To Suicide” (PDF) Julian Mark, The Washington Post, “Former Kroger Grocery Store Employee's Suicide Was a Result of ‘Torturous Conditions,' Lawsuit Says“ Jessica Schmidt, Fox News 19, “Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed against Kroger, Company Employees after Former Manager Took His Own Life“ Alex N. Press, Jacobin, “At Kroger and Amazon, Capital Is Going on the Offensive“ Anonymous, VICE, “They Call Me a Hero Because I Work at Kroger, So Why Do I Feel Disposable?“ Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    New York Is a Union Town (w/ Chaz Rynkiewicz)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 3, 2022 32:37


    With Laborers Local 79 leading the charge, union demolition workers, construction workers, carpenters, bricklayers, and more have rallied multiple times in the past month outside the Chelsea Terminal Warehouse in New York City to protest the mishandling of workers' pensions and the exploitation, union busting, wage theft, and hazardous conditions workers have experienced at the job site. As Dean Moses writes in The Villager, "Many of the Laborers are immigrant demolition workers, also called los demolicionsitas, and construction workers who say that they have been deprived of healthcare throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to face intimidation and threats for trying to unionize Terminal Warehouse. Protesters named several culprits—three being New Line Structures, ECD NY and Alba Services—which, they alleged, have a history of wage theft and permitting hazardous working conditions. There were also allegations of gender discrimination." We talk to Chaz Rynkiewicz, Vice President and Director of Organizing for Laborers Local 79.    Additional links/info below... Laborers Local 79 website, Facebook page, and Twitter page  Laborers Local 79 Twitter thread about the #Alba3  Dean Moses, The Villager, "Hundreds of Union Employees Protest Alleged Exploitative Working Conditions at Chelsea Terminal Warehouse" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    "Can the Working Class Speak?" (w/ Billy Saas, Sophia Badame, & Sophie Harris)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 23, 2022 135:25


    Late last year, Max had the honor of getting to speak to a class at Tulane University called "Introduction to Podcasting and Social Justice" taught by Dr. Billy Saas, cohost and producer of the podcast Money on the Left, as well as the cofounder and codirector of the Money on the Left Editorial Collective. The students in the class talked to Max about how and why he started Working People, how the show has grown over the years, and they also had a deep conversation about the political importance of podcasting as a medium. In the first half of this episode, you'll hear Max's conversation with the "Introduction to Podcasting and Social Justice" class, which was recorded and edited by the students. Then, in the second half of the episode, you'll hear Max's follow-up conversation with Dr. Saas and two students from the class, Sophia Badame and Sophie Harris, about how the class evolved over the semester, the final projects they worked on, and how the next generation of podcasters are working to explore and expand  the medium.  Additional links/info below... Billy's faculty page and Twitter page Money on the Left website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Maximillian Alvarez, The Chronicle Review (The Chronicle of Higher Education), "The Podcast University (An Interview with Zachary Davis)" Maximillian Alvarez, Current Affairs, "Can the Working Class Speak?"   Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Railroad Worker Strike Blocked by US Court (w/ Jeff Kurtz)

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 2, 2022 47:36


    We're gearing up for Season 5 of the show and will be back very soon! In the meantime, if you're looking for more important coverage of worker struggles from Max, go check out the interviews he's doing for The Real News Network. With permission from TRNN, we're publishing the audio of his most recent interview with retired railroad worker and union officer Jeff Kurtz.    A crucial labor battle is currently unfolding between railroad workers and BNSF Railway, the largest freight railroad network in North America. Earlier in January, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD), which together represent roughly 17,000 railroad workers, initiated steps to prepare for a strike that would have begun on the Feb. 1. This would comprise the largest railway strike in recent memory, and the unions have cited as the main point of contention a new BNSF scheduling and availability policy that workers say will separate them from their families and make it next to impossible to live and reasonably plan their lives. BLET National President Dennis Pierce and SMART-TD President Jeremy Ferguson called BNSF's so-called “Hi-Viz” policy “the worst and most egregious attendance policy ever adopted by any rail carrier.” However, on Tuesday, Jan. 25, a US District Court judge granted BNSF a temporary restraining order blocking the two unions from striking, saying that a strike would cause the rail company “substantial, immediate and irreparable harm.” In this interview, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with retired railroad worker and union leader Jeff Kurtz about BNSF's “Hi-Viz” policy and why workers in the railroad industry are prepared to strike. Jeff Kurtz was a railway engineer and union member for 40 years. He served as a union officer most of his career, including eight years as president of BLET Local 391 and chairman of the BLET Iowa State Legislative Board, where he oversaw safety and legislative matters for the union in the state for four railroads for 10 years. He retired in 2014 and served as state representative for one term in the Iowa House after winning the 2018 election in his House district. He now works in a volunteer capacity with Railroad Workers United and the local labor chapter of the Iowa Federation of Labor. Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino Additional links/info below... Watch the video version of this interview on The Real News Network YouTube channel Railroad Workers United website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Just desserts: Striking bakery workers in CA demand respect" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Teachers Are not the Enemy (w/ Ana & Quetzalli Castro)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 7, 2022 75:13


    Here we are again... With the Omicron variant spreading like wildfire, COVID-19 cases around the country have shattered previous highs. The federal government has essentially given up on trying to fight the virus and a familiar ghoulish chorus of media pundits and wealthy business executives are berating working people to suck it up and put themselves in harm's way for the sake of the economy. What's worse, workers who are standing up for themselves are being viciously vilified and scapegoated for the systemic failures that have put us in this mess.  Perhaps no group is facing more backlash right now than educators. Earlier this week, nearly 3/4 of the membership of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) voted to return to virtual work until a deal to implement necessary safety measures is reached with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) or until the city's positivity rate falls below 10 percent. In response, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the CPS administration have locked educators out of their virtual classrooms, replaying their actions from last year when COVID cases were surging and teachers were locked out of their employee accounts and had their pay docked if they refused to return from teaching remotely. In this urgent, unscheduled mini-cast, we talk about the lockout with Ana, a CPS teacher and CTU member, and Quetzalli Castro, a CPS teacher and a delegate and organizer within the CTU.   Additional links/info below... Chicago Teachers Union website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Petition: "We need safe working and learning conditions in CPS!"  CTU informational posters: "Our Students, Parents & Communities Deserve Safety" Working People, "Mini-cast: #SafeReturnOrNoReturn (w/ Paula Ladin & Mariana Ruiz)" Quinn Meyer, Block Club Chicago, "Chicago Teachers Say They Want To Return To Classrooms, But They Need Better COVID-19 Safety Measures" Monica Eng, Axios Chicago, "Chicago Public Schools Cancel Thursday Classes" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    (Unlocked) BONUS EPISODE - Kickin' Ass for the Working Class (w/ Puja Datta, Margaret McLaughlin, & Diana Hussein)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 2022 69:54


    Due to COVID awfulness, we're counting our 6-hour livestream fundraiser for striking Kellogg's workers as the official finale of Season Four of Working People (woo!). Thank you all for listening to and supporting our work over the past year.  We're getting some much-needed rest and gearing up for Season Five. In the meantime, we're ringing in the new year by unlocking this special bonus episode—enjoy! And happy 2022! All power to the workers! 2021 was an energizing year for a labor movement that has had its back against the wall for a long time. From record numbers of American workers voluntarily quitting their jobs to publicly supported strikes and unionization drives in different sectors of the economy, more and more working people are taking action and standing up for themselves. But this is just the beginning—there's still a lot of work to do, and 2022 will provide a crucial test for the labor movement and its supporters. In this special panel episode of Working People, originally published in November as a bonus episode for patrons, we talk to three full-time union organizers—Puja Datta (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), Margaret McLaughlin (United University Professions), and Diana Hussein (UNITE HERE)—about what Striketober and 2021 in general have meant for the labor movement. We also talk about the day-to-day work of being a union organizer, where the labor movement goes from here, and what you can do to build working-class power. Additional links/info below... Puja's Twitter page Margaret's Twitter page Diana's Twitter page Luis Feliz Leon & Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Beneath Striketober Fanfare, the Lower Frequencies of Class Struggle Need to Be Heard" Marc Steiner, The Real News Network, “Can Today's Labor Militancy Become a Transformative Political Force?“ Labor Notes, Secrets of a Successful Organizer AFL-CIO, "Know Your Workplace Rights" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    "Keep the Fire Burning" Livestream

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 24, 2021 361:34


    After nearly 3 months, the strike at cereal giant Kellogg's, which involved 1,400 workers at four different plants, has come to an end. On Tuesday, December 21, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers' International Union (BCTGM) announced that its members at Kellogg's had voted to ratify the latest contract offer. We want to send all our love and solidarity to everyone who held strong on the picket line and congratulate them on their new contract. We also want to thank everyone who watched and participated in the 6-hour livestream fundraiser for striking workers that we cohosted last week with Mel Buer and the Morning Riot podcast (produced by the great David Story of The Valley Labor Report). All in all, we ended up raising just shy of $16,000 for Kellogg's workers and their families! That money is being divided equally and sent to the members of the BCTGM locals in Omaha, Nebraska, Battle Creek, Michigan, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Memphis, Tennessee. Even though the strike has ended, workers have racked up many costs since walking off the job in October, and every dollar we raised will go to helping them get through the holidays and get back on their feet.  In case you were unable to watch the livestream, we are uploading all six hours of audio here for listeners. The strike may be over, but this was an incredibly special, entertaining, and solidarity-filled event that brought together powerful voices from the Kellogg's picket lines as well as special guests including: Marianne Williamson, Alex Winter, Randy Bryce, Breht O'Shea of Revolutionary Left Radio and Guerrilla History, Kim Kohlhaas of AFT-Wisconsin, Haeden Wright of the UMWA Auxiliary in Alabama, Caroline Smith of Student Workers of Columbia, Tevita Uhatafe of the Transport Workers Union, Steven Monacelli of Protean Magazine, Bryan Conlan of Strikewave, Dwight Rhinosoros of Eat the Rich, David Griscom of Left Reckoning, Jacob Morrison of The Valley Labor Report, and Professor Jon Shelton. Thank you again to all who participated and donated, and congratulations to Kellogg's workers on their new contract. Solidarity forever!  Additional links/info below... Morning Riot Twitter page Marianne Williamson's Twitter page Alex Winter's Twitter page Randy Bryce's Twitter page Revolutionary Left Radio Twitter page Guerrilla History Twitter page Tevita Uhatafe's Twitter page Kim Kohlhaas's Twitter page AFT-Wisconsin's Twitter page Caroline Smith's Twitter page Student Workers of Columbia Twitter page and hardship fund for striking workers  Haeden Wright's Twitter page PayPal for UMWA Auxiliary strike pantry for Warrior Met Coal workers Steven Monacelli's Twitter page Protean Magazine Twitter page  Bryan Conlan's Twitter page Strikewave Twitter page Dwight Rhinosoros's Twitter page Eat the Rich Twitter page David Griscom's Twitter page Left Reckoning Twitter page Jacob Morrison's Twitter page The Valley Labor Report Twitter page Jon Shelton's Twitter page Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Hospitality Workers at Colonial Williamsburg Need Help (w/ Agatha Hilt, Willie Brown, & John Boardman)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2021 28:44


    Hospitality workers around the country have faced some of the worst layoffs in any industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. UNITE HERE, a labor union representing over 300,000 workers, most of whom are in the hospitality, food service, and restaurant industries, reported that 98% of its members were out of work last year. At the five hotel properties in Virginia's historic Colonial Williamsburg, however, workers who did get their jobs back are being chronically overworked and underpaid, resulting in injuries on the job and little to no ability to have a life outside of work. What's worse, according to a press release from UNITE HERE LOCAL 25, the union representing hospitality workers at Colonial Williamsburg, management with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation “has skipped seven bargaining sessions since August” and “has refused to meaningfully engage with workers' demands to end forced overtime. Currently, Local 25 members in Colonial Williamsburg routinely work six- and seven-day weeks in the hotels and 10- and 12-hour days in the taverns, a practice workers are demanding an end to in the next contract.” In this mini-cast, we speak with Agatha Hilt, Willie Brown, and John Boardman of UNITE HERE Local 25 about what workers are going through and the status of the current contract fight. Agatha Hilt is a housekeeper at the Williamsburg Lodge and has worked there for the last 11 years, Willie Brown is a houseman at the Williamsburg Lodge and has worked at Colonial Williamsburg for seven years, and John Boardman is the executive secretary-treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 25. Additional links/info below... Watch the video version of this interview at The Real News Network  UNITE HERE Local 25 website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Molly Feser & Dominic Catacora, Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, "“Enough is Enough”: Colonial Williamsburg Hospitality Workers to Rally for Fair Wages, Better Working Conditions During Grand Illumination" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Working-Class Politics: Paul Prescod

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 55:50


    Election season is coming up, so you know what that means... we're re-launching our series "Working-Class Politics"! In this ongoing series, we talk to working-class people running for elected office at all levels—in their unions, in local, state, and national government, etc.—as well as candidates fighting with and for the working class. In the latest installment, we talk to Paul Prescod (aka "Labor Paul"), a socialist, high school teacher, and member of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. Listeners may know Prescod as the cohost of The Jacobin Show, but he is now running for Pennsylvania State Senate in its 8th district, pledging to make organizing around working-class issues and legislating universal programs his top priorities. We talk to Prescod about the importance of building working-class coalitions, earning the trust of organized labor, and what it will take to serve the needs of working people in his district.  Kellogg's livestream fundraiser links/info below... Working People YouTube channel Kellogg's Strike Fund Livestream Fundraiser Additional links/info below... Paul's campaign website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Paul's Jacobin author page  Peter Lucas, Jacobin, "Teacher and Pennsylvania State Senate Candidate Paul Prescod: “The Rich Need to Start Paying”" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Foul Ball (w/ Alex Bazeley & Bobby Wagner)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2021 51:42


    Ending 26 years of "labor peace," Major League Baseball is in the midst of a lockout. With league owners failing to address the core contract issues raised by the Major League Baseball Players Association, the previous collective bargaining agreement expired at the beginning of this month. In an open letter to baseball fans, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stated, "Despite the league's best efforts to make a deal with the Players Association, we were unable to extend our 26 year-long history of labor peace and come to an agreement with the MLBPA before the current CBA expired. Therefore, we have been forced to commence a lockout of Major League players, effective at 12:01am ET on December 2." Has the league made its "best efforts" to bargain in good faith? Were wealthy team owners really "forced to commence a lockout"? We smell BS... In this episode, we're joined by Alex Bazeley and Bobby Wagner, hosts of the podcast Tipping Pitches, to break down the labor politics in today's MLB and what the lockout means for players and fans alike.  Additional links/info below... Tipping Pitches website, Twitter page, and fan shop Alex's Twitter page Bobby's Twitter page  Dayn Perry, CBS Sports, "MLB lockout: Fact-Checking Commissioner Rob Manfred's Open Letter to Baseball Fans" James Wagner, The New York Times, "M.L.B.'s Lockout: What Is It? How Does It Work? What's Next?" Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Dirk Hayhurst, Jacobin, "'Inside the Game, You Are Still a Commodity'" Working People, "Mini-cast: Suicide Squeeze (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb)" Kellogg's strike links/info below... Working People YouTube channel  Look for updates on the Dec. 17 livestream/fundraiser on the Working People Twitter page and Morning Riot Twitter page  Maximilian Alvarez, The Real News Network, “Breakfast of champions: Kellogg's cereal workers strike for employees who have been left behind” Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "How companies like Kellogg's are weaponizing the courts to break strikes" Mel Buer, The Real News Network, “Kellogg's strike: Cereal plant workers fight to raise the floor for all employees as sales soar” Mel Buer, The Real News Network, “Kellogg's strikers hold the line and prepare for winter” Sahid Fawaz, Labor 411, "Five Ways To Support The Kellogg Strike" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Starbucks Workers United (w/ Brian Murray & Jordan Chariton)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 9, 2021 51:22


    Starbucks is the world's largest coffeehouse chain and one of the most recognizable consumer brands in existence. In the US alone, Starbucks has nearly 9,000 corporate-owned stores, and not a single one of them is unionized ... but that may be about to change. After leading an organizing campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic and facing tireless efforts by the company to delay, deflate, and defeat union elections with the National Labor Relations Board, workers at three Starbucks locations in Buffalo, New York, have submitted their ballots, which are being counted as we speak. In this mini-cast, we talk with Brian Murray, one of the Buffalo workers and organizers with SBWorkers United, and journalist Jordan Chariton, who recently traveled to Buffalo to speak with Starbucks workers and report on their fight for Status Coup.   Additional links/info below... SBWorkers United website, Twitter page, and Instagram  GoFundMe: Starbucks Retaliates Against Whistleblower  Jordan's Twitter page  Status Coup website, Twitter page, and YouTube channel  Sean Collins, Strikewave, ""It's about having a democratic voice in Starbucks." Interview with Brian Murray of SBWorkersUnited" Noam Scheiber, The New York Times, "As Starbucks Workers Seek a Union, Company Officials Converge on Stores" Ahiza García-Hodges, NBC News, "Former Starbucks CEO Uses Holocaust Analogy to Describe Coffee Company's Mission" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    Columbia Is Still a Bully (w/ Joanna Lee, Tamara Hache, & Caroline Smith)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 37:38


    Back in the spring, we spoke with three graduate student workers at Columbia University who were on strike with other members of the Student Workers of Columbia union, UAW Local 2110. After rank-and-file members rejected the tentative agreement between the university and the bargaining committee, negotiations continued, but Columbia has still failed to meet key demands, including better wages, dental and vision healthcare coverage, and third-party arbitration for cases involving harassment and discrimination. Now, Student Workers of Columbia are back on strike and have been on the picket line since November 3. In this mini-cast, we talk with three graduate student workers, Joanna Lee, Tamara Hache, and Caroline Smith, about the strike and how academic workers are an essential part of the labor movement.  Additional links/info below... Student Workers of Columbia, UAW Local 2110 website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Hardship Fund for Columbia Student Workers #CUonStrike  Working People, "Mini-cast: Columbia Is a Bully (w/ Joanna Lee, Harlan Chambers, & Cameron Foltz)" Joanna's Twitter page Tamara's Twitter page Caroline's Twitter page Ashley Wong, The New York Times, "Why Columbia Student Workers Are Back On Strike" Rachel Himes, Jacobin, "Why Columbia Graduate Workers Like Me Are on Strike" Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"  

    Fiction is a beautiful weapon in the class war - we should use it

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 111:49


    What role does fiction have to play in the class struggle? Should the left be making a stronger case for the political importance of reading literature? In this special Working People episode, which has been months in the making, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez talks with writer and editor Sarah Lazare about her novel Testimony, which she co-authored with her late father, Peter Lazare. Testimony is a leftist crime thriller that takes place in Springfield, Illinois, at the height of the “war on terror” panic in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. It is also a deeply moving story about trust, commitment to everyday people, and fighting the corrupt, self-serving, and nefarious forces that weaponize fear for their own gain. As the back cover of the book describes, “Testimony isn't about One Great Man taking on the system, but about one okay, flawed person working with a rag-tag team of other okay, flawed people to combat a system of cynicism and greed much bigger than them.” In this deep and wide-ranging conversation, Alvarez talks with Lazare about the book itself, about her father and the long process of getting the book ready for publication, and about the important role genre fiction has to play in our collective fight for a better world. This episode also features segments of dramatic readings from Testimony performed by Alvarez, Lazare, and friends of the show Adam Johnson (Citations Needed) and Mel Buer (Morning Riot). And a special thanks to Working People producer Jules Taylor for all his hard work editing the episode! Additional links/info below…   Sarah's In These Times author page and Twitter page Sarah Lazare & Peter Lazare, Strong Arm Press, Testimony Strong Arm Press, Book Launch Event: “Why the Left Should Engage Fiction: A Conversation With Radical Thriller and Mystery Writers“ Mel Buer Twitter page and Patreon Morning Riot podcast Twitter page Adam Johnson Twitter page and Substack Citations Needed Twitter page and Patreon Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive at freemusicarchive.org): Jules Taylor, “Working People Theme Song”

    **A Pivotal Moment for the Teamsters (w/ Indigo Olivier)**

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 58:53


    The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is having a pivotal leadership election right now, and the results will set the future course for one of the most storied unions in existence. This election officially marks the end of the Hoffa era as James P. Hoffa, son of Jimmy Hoffa, is retiring as Teamsters General President. Members have cast their votes for who they want to head the union in the new era, and the ballots are being counted as we speak. We will be bringing you a rank-and-file breakdown of the election in the coming weeks, but for now we are releasing one of our recent bonus episodes on the public feed so listeners can have some context and understand the importance of this election. In this episode, we talk with journalist Indigo Olivier about the Teamsters leadership election and the 46th annual Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) convention, which was held in Chicago on October 1-3. Olivier is a 2020–2021 fellow with In These Times' Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting and her writing has been featured at outlets like Jacobin, In These Times, and The Nation. She is also a member of NYC-DSA. Additional links/info below... Indigo's Twitter page Indigo's author page at In These Times Indigo Olivier, Jacobin, "Teamster Rank-and-File Reformers Are Making a Bid for Union Leadership" Working People, "The Teamsters Have Entered the Chat (w/ Joe Allen)" Ryan Haney, Labor Notes, "Teamster Insurgents Plan for a Win—And What Comes After" Andy Sernatinger, In These Times, "Hoffa's House Divided: The 2021 Teamster Election, Explained" International Brotherhood of Teamsters Election Results  Permanent links below... Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org) Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"