Working People

Working People

Working People: A podcast by, for, and about the working class today (now in partnership with In These Times magazine and The Real News Network). 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, politics, and families, their joys and hopes and frustrations. Overall, Working People aims to share and celebrate the diverse stories of working-class people, to remind ourselves that our stories matter, and to build a sense of shared struggle and solidarity between workers around the country.

Episodes

July 28, 2021 43 min

From workers dying from lack of adequate safety measures and PPE to states viciously cutting off extended unemployment benefits to force people back to unsafe, poverty-wage work, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it horrifyingly clear just how little value the lives and wellbeing of working people have in an economic system where all  that matters is the bottom line. But it doesn't have to be this way. We can organize our economy ...

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On Wednesday, July 21, across California, rideshare drivers with Rideshare Drivers United are going on a one-day strike against the exploitative practices of tech giants Uber and Lyft (which have only gotten worse since the passage of Prop 22 in November), and to demand Congress pass the PRO Act. We talk with Ahmad Ibrahim Moss, a rideshare driver in San Francisco, about how drivers' pay, conditions, and work experience has cha...

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July 15, 2021 87 min

Hundreds of workers at the Frito Lay manufacturing and distribution plant in Topeka, Kansas, have been on strike since July 5th. Workers at Frito Lay have endured years of disrespect and many at the plant have seen their wages stagnate and fall behind other employers in the area. On top of that, workers have been caught in a horrible cycle that was greatly exacerbated by COVID 19: While more people were staying home during the pand...

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July 8, 2021 101 min

In this episode, we sit down with Kate from New Jersey. At the moment, Kate is working primarily as a caretaker for her parents, and we talk a bit about that work and what it means to care for our elders. Up until the pandemic, though, Kate was a massage therapist who loved her job. We discuss how Kate got into working as a massage therapist, all that the job entails, and we talk about the gross and unfair treatment Kate and her co...

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July 5, 2021 124 min

When faced with unlawful intimidation and interrogation from management at Trader Joe's, Alex P and his coworkers stood together and stood up for their rights in the workplace, eventually securing a crucial victory with the National Labor Relations Board. In this deep and wide-ranging conversation, we talk with Alex about his life and work—and so much more. We talk about growing up with strict immigrant parents, graduating from...

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We cover a lot of important worker struggles on this show, but it's important to cover worker victories as well—and workers in South Dakota just landed a huge victory! After suffering one of the worst COVID workplace outbreaks in the country last year, leading to four deaths and over 1,000 infections, workers at the Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls refused to back down on demands for better pay and for a 15-minut...

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June 23, 2021 94 min

Earlier this month, No Evil Foods, a vegan meat company founded in North Carolina, notified its staff that they were closing their Asheville production plant and moving to a co-manufacturing facility in Illinois. After sticking it out and working through the COVID-19 pandemic, employees were suddenly notified that they would now be unemployed and would be receiving no severance. In this urgent episode, Jon Reynolds and Meagan Sulli...

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We will be back to our regular Working People schedule next week. Until then, to tide y'all over, and to celebrate his book recently receiving Honorable Mention for the Merle Curti Intellectual History Award, we're unlocking our bonus episode conversation with historian Nate Holdren. We talk with Nate about his latest book, Injury Impoverished: Workplace Accidents, Capitalism, and Law in the Progressive Era, and about what ...

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June 3, 2021 111 min

Max is traveling for The Real News Network, so Working People producer Jules Taylor hosts this episode as he interviews his stepfather about his career as a death investigator and paramedic.  In a way, Ric feels like he was meant to work around death as he grew up across the street from a cemetery, and his first job was helping the grave digger before he was 10 years old.  He would go on to work as the Chief Medical Investigator fo...

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Right now, working people in other parts of the world are being crushed by a relentless onslaught of murderous violence and dispossession, economic degradation, and inhumane exploitation—they are fighting for their lives, and they are asking for our help. In Palestine, against the ceaseless violence of occupation, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing, Palestinians are rising up to resist their own erasure; in Colombia, millions have tak...

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Over the past couple years, the Vermont State AFL-CIO and its membership have embraced a more democratic, rank-and-file strategy, building up bonds of solidarity with community organizations, and bringing much-needed energy into a labor council that was on the verge of dying. Instead of commending and encouraging these efforts, however, the AFL-CIO national and AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka are monitoring, investigating, and thr...

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In this special episode, we talk with three veterans about how the military and the class system (in the U.S. and around the world) go hand in hand. How does the military market itself to the poor and marginalized (and why is that marketing so effective)? How does our broken economy ensure a constant stream of recruits who will be sent to fight endless imperialist wars just so they can pay for college or finally be accepted as a wo...

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Happy May Day, everyone! All power to the international working class! Celebrate this most glorious of holidays by refusing to work and listening to this special crossover episode on the history and spirit of May Day from our friends at the Srsly Wrong podcast, which our host Max participated in.

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Spring is here – a time to feast, dance around the maypole, and organize the working class to achieve a more just society for everyon...

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In this important episode, we interview worker-organizers with the Federation of General Workers Myanmar about the brutal military coup that has been unfolding in their country since February 1 of this year, and we talk about working people's brave and dangerous efforts to stand up and fight back. Please help us spread the word, and stand in solidarity with the working people of Myanmar.

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Additional links/info below...

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    April 22, 2021 53 min

    In this pre-pandemic Working People recording that we thought was lost to history, we talk to filmmaker Dominique Rémy about her important full-length documentary on maternal morbidity and mortality rates in Black and Indigenous communities in the U.S. 

     

    Additional links/info below...

  • Dominique's Twitter page
  • Maternal Mortality Documentary Film Fund (please donate!)
  • Linda Villarosa, New York Times, "Why America’s Black Mot...
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    April 14, 2021 44 min

    On top of the typical stresses, intense work, and long hours common to the profession, nurses working at smaller hospitals in more remote parts of the country face many unique challenges. With fewer staff and 24-7 services, facilities like the two Lehigh Valley Health Network hospitals in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, rely on nurses, nursing assistants, and other staff to perform many jobs simultaneously with little rest. But wh...

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    Last Thursday, around 1,100 coal miners at Warrior Met Coal in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, went on strike. According to the union, the United Mine Workers of America, a tentative bargaining agreement has now been reached with the company, but workers must still vote on whether or not to ratify it. In order to cover this important strike and spread these workers' stories, we've teamed up with our brothers-in-arms Jacob Morri...

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    March 31, 2021 80 min

    COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the world of higher education: forced campus re-openings have pushed many directly into harm's way; colleges and universities have suffered massive budget shortfalls; some institutions have closed permanently; the academic job market has been blown up; etc. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, "the U.S. Labor Department has estimated that American academic institutions have shed a n...

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    In the middle of a deadly pandemic that has shaken the world of higher education to its core, graduate workers at Columbia University are heading into their third week on strike, braving both physical and digital picket lines. We talk with three grad workers and members of GWC-UAW Local 2110 and the Columbia Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (C-AWDU) caucus about the strike, the workers' demands, and what listeners can do...

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    March 24, 2021 72 min

    We sit down and chat with (former) Philly sanitation worker and Instagram sensation Terrill Haigler—or, as listeners may know him, "Ya Fav Trashman." Terrill's incredible and inspiring story took an interesting turn during the COVID-19 pandemic when he was working for the Philly sanitation department and started an Instagram account where he would post updates from the job and answer residents’ questions about trash pic...

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