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 8, 2024 89 mins

Two months ago, from April 17-21, workers and labor organizers of all stripes convened in Chicago for the bi-annual Labor Notes conference, which overlapped with the Railroad Workers United convention. As the registration website rightly noted, “Labor Notes Conferences are the biggest gatherings of grassroots labor activists, union reformers, and all-around troublemakers out there." This is not a butto...

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    On the morning of Thursday, June 20, unionized nurses at Ascension St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore held a rally outside the hospital to raise awareness of their efforts to secure a first contract and to show management that they’re not backing down from their core demands for safe staffing and an operational model that puts patients and patient care first. "St. Agnes nurses are calling on Ascension to accept their proposals to impr...

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    “Southern Brazil is facing its worst climate tragedy ever," Latin-America-based journalist Mike Fox wrote from Brazil for the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) in early May. "Unprecedented floods have impacted 1.4 million people and forced more than 160,000 people from their homes... The images a...

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    On June 10, in the working-class community of Curtis Bay in South Baltimore, over 50 residents, activists, and supporters from around the city marched through the streets of Curtis Bay to hold CSX Transportation accountable for polluting their community, homes, and bodies with toxic coal dust. Even after an expansive scientific study co-sponsored by the Community of Curtis Bay Association, the South Ba...

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    June 11, 2024 83 mins

    For the past six years on this show, we've talked to working people from across the United States, from virtually every walk of life, about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles. But today, we’re going to talk about what it’s like to live and work in a country that has been designated a political enemy of US empire, a country that sits only 90 miles away from the US, a country that American politici...

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    Nearly two months have passed since the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, and the city is still reeling from the disaster. The bridge collapse immediately rendered the Port of Baltimore inoperable, threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs, and billions in wages, business revenue, and state taxes. While channels into the port have begun to open back up slowly, workers on the waterfront have been de...

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    “South Baltimore is a sacrifice zone,” Michael Middleton and Dr. Sacoby Wilson wrote in a guest commentary published in Maryland Matters this February. “The six communities that make up South Baltimore—Cherry Hill, Westport, Mt. Winans, Lakeland, Brooklyn, and Curtis Bay—rank in the top 3% of the state for environmental burden using a Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) screening tool. Curtis Bay, the highest ...

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    April 24, 2024 107 mins

    "Vina Colley was Erin Brockovich before Erin Brockovich," Kevin Williams wrote in a 2020 Belt Magazine article titled, "The Poisonous Legacy of Portsmouth’s Gaseous Diffusion Plant." Williams continues, "Colley has become an unlikely citizen-scientist, spending a lifetime researching and documenting PORTS and its sins... Colley was hired as an electrician at the facility in 1980 and worked there for th...

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    Gene Bruskin was born to a Jewish working-class family in South Philadelphia and has been a life-long social justice activist, union organizer, poet, and playwright. Since retiring from the labor movement, Gene wrote his first play in 2016, a musical comedy for and about work and workers called Pray For the Dead: A Musical Tale of Morgues, Moguls and Mutiny. In this mini-cast we talk to Bruskin about h...

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    On March 23, 2024, a coalition of around 80 people convened at the East Palestine Country Club at the first gathering called by the newly formed Justice for East Palestine Residents & Workers Coalition. Those in attendance included: East Palestine residents; railroad workers; residents of other “sacrifice zones" in Ohio, Maryland, California, and West Virginia; concerned citizens living near other rail...

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    24 hours after Max returned to Baltimore from East Palestine, Ohio, the shipping vessel Dali slammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge, collapsing it into the Patapsco River. The catastrophic collision and collapse of the bridge claimed the lives of six immigrant, non-union construction workers who were working the night shift at the time, filling potholes on the bridge. In this interview on The Valley Labor Report, Alabama's only ...

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    This Saturday, March 23, unionists and labor leaders, environmental justice groups, community organizers, community members from other “sacrifice zones,” and supporters from around the country are coming to East Palestine to join residents as part of the newly formed Justice for East Palestine Residents and Workers coalition. The coalition has come together in recent months and mobilized around the cor...

  • March 5, 2024 81 mins

    Brett Cross is a small-town kid who grew up in Western Texas, among the oil fields, near Odessa. He worked in the oil fields, worked his way up to doing pipeline work, eventually moving to green energy work. He even became a foreman, working hard to provide for his family. And Brett was at work when he got the call from his wife Nikki that changed their lives forever. It was May 24, 2022,  Nikki was at their sons’ school, Robb Elem...

  • This is an excerpt from our most recent bonus episode featuring Teddy Ostrow.  To access the entire conversation, and numerous bonus episodes we have released throughout seven seasons of Working People, please visit our Patreon to unlock this content. 

    The Upsurge was an invaluable show that documented two of the most pivotal labor union struggles in recent years as...

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    "Last Wednesday, a fellow rail worker was gravely injured on the job and lost his life," a Feb 6 email from Railroad Workers United reads. "Our brother Chris Wilson, who worked for Norfolk Southern, was critically injured in its Decatur rail yard Wednesday and died Thursday at Huntsville Hospital." Another email from Feb. 9 reads, "On January 15th, a fellow rail worker was killed on the job in Ohio." Then, on Feb 17, another email:...

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    One year ago, graduate student-workers at Johns Hopkins University overwhelmingly voted to unionize under the banner of Teachers and Researchers United (TRU-UE), which is affiliated with United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers. While workers had much to celebrate with their historic union election victory, bargaining a first contract with the university administration has been another story. On February 20, fed up with what w...

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    Baltimore has become what many consider to be ground zero in the emerging “solidarity economy” and the formation of  worker-owned, cooperatively run businesses. There’s something important going on here, and there’s a lot that we can all learn from our fellow workers who are in the cooperative space—people who are living, breathing proof that there’s another way to run a business, that there's another ...

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    Workers at Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches in the Seattle area voted overwhelmingly to unionize with UNITE HERE LOCAL 8 in late 2022, and they have been fighting for a first contract ever since. In fact,  workers from two Homegrown stores have been on strike since late last fall in protest of the unfair termination of union leader Sydney Lankford, who was fired after speaking up at a union delegation....

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    Feb. 3, 2024, marks the one-year anniversary of the Norfolk Southern train derailment that changed life forever for the residents of East Palestine, Ohio, and the surrounding area. The derailment of 38 rail cars and the subsequent “controlled release” and burnoff of toxic vinyl chloride was one of the most catastrophic industrial accidents in our country’s history—and a catastrophe of equal or greater ...

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    From October 4-6 of this year, the US experienced the largest healthcare worker strike in our history, when over 75,000 workers with the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions went on a three-day strike against the healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente. Then, on October 13, after warning that more strikes could be coming if a deal wasn’t reached at the bargaining table, healthcare workers scored a major victory and reached a tentative ...

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