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September 24, 2020 63 min

Baratunde wonders what today’s labor movement looks like and how workers are responding to the unprecedented consolidation of corporate power across all industries from tech to agriculture to retail. He learns how our economy and our democracy are impacted by these extremes. Saru Jayaraman speaks to the Davida and Goliath power dynamics in the restaurant industry, the origins of the $2.13 per hour minimum wage for tipped workers, and the progress of One Fair Wage. Michelle Miller of reimagines how we can be agents of our economy instead of objects in the economy. 

Show Notes + Links

We are grateful to Saru Jayaraman and Michelle Miller for joining us for this episode. 

Follow @sarujayaraman and @michelleimiller on Twitter and their organizations and

You can find this episode, a transcript, show notes and the full set of actions at

Please show your support for the show in the form of a review and rating. It makes a huge difference with the algorithmic overlords!



Reflect on your role as a worker in the context of the larger economy and ask these questions:

  • Is the value I create for people in my community, society, or the environment through my work accurately reflected in how I’m compensated?
  • What are the impacts on society and our collective well-being when corporations consolidate power through the court system and our elected officials?
  • As a worker, do you feel represented and protected by your HR department? Why or why not? 
  • If you experienced your employer violating your rights or others, are you familiar with what resources are at your disposal and generally how the law works in order to appropriately deal with the situation?


    As a consumer, ask questions about worker’s pay and healthcare at the restaurants you frequent to let management know you care. Enough people asked for organics, and alternative milks, which led to change! 

    Download the ROC National Diners Guide to find places to dine that support and protect their workers. Encourage your own local restaurants to join the platform. The app is available for iOS and android. 

    Support Organizing Efforts.

  • Join as a worker or ally member of Restaurant Opportunities Coalition United in the fight for worker protections for restaurant workers. 
  • Donate or volunteer with One Fair Wage COVID Relief Fund
  • Apply or donate to the NEW! Solidarity Fund
  • Start a consumer-driven campaign on SpendRise using the demands outlined by One Fair Wage as one example. 

  • If you take any of these actions, share that with us - Mention Making Work in the subject line. And brag online about your citizening on social media using #howtocitizen. 

    We love feedback from our listeners -

    Visit Baratunde's website to sign up for his newsletter to learn about upcoming guests, live tapings, and more. Follow him on Instagram or join his Patreon. You can even text him, like right now at 202-894-8844.

    How To Citizen with Baratunde is a production of I iHeart Radio Podcasts. executive produced by Miles Gray, Nick Stumpf, Elizabeth Stewart, and Baratunde Thurston. Produced by Joelle Smith, edited by Justin Smith. Powered by you.

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