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Working People

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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.
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On Monday, July 15, on Day 1 of the Republican National Convention, Sean O’Brien, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, became the first Teamsters president ever to address the RNC. Invited by former president Trump, who is now officially the Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential election, O’Brien’s speech was no ordinary RNC filler. And to anyone watching, or anyone paying attention to the political reality in this country, this was no ordinary RNC either. O’brien’s very presence on the RNC stage, and the contents of his speech, which lasted for 17 minutes, have sparked a firestorm of intense reactions and furious debates within the labor movement and the Republican and Democratic parties alike. Everyone is talking about this speech and what it all means for workers, but workers themselves need to be driving that conversation. In this special episode, cohosted by Max and Mel Buer, we bring together a diverse panel of Teamster members from across the country to have a spirited, fair, and productive discussion about O'Brien's speech, the 2024 elections, and the future of the labor movement.   Speakers include: Amber Mathwig, a UPS warehouse worker and member of Teamsters Local 638 in Minnesota; Tony, a UPS worker, member of Teamsters Local 174 in Seattle, and a member of Teamsters Mobilize; Chantelle, a part-time UPS worker and member of Teamsters Local 177 in New Jersey; Rick Smith, a 35-year Teamster working in the freight industry and host of The Rick Smith Show; Zoey Moretti Niebuhr, a UPS worker, third-generation Teamster, member of Teamsters Local 391 in North Carolina, and president of Pride at Work—North Carolina; Jess Leigh, a UPS worker, shop steward for Teamsters Local 728 in Atlanta, and a member of the Teamsters LBGTQ Caucus and Teamsters Mobilize; Kat, a part-time UPS worker and shop steward for Teamsters Local 70 in Oakland; and Robert Conklin, a third-generation Teamster and member of Teamsters Local 665 in San Francisco. Additional links/info below… PBS NewsHour, "WATCH: Teamsters President Sean O'Brien speaks at Republican National Convention | 2024 RNC Night 1" Sean O'Brien post on X about Sen. Josh Hawley Ryan Bort, Rolling Stone, "Union Twitter account goes rogue after president speaks at RNC" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Everybody hates Sean" The Rick Smith Show website, Facebook page, Twitter/X page, and Instagram Teamsters Mobilize website, Facebook page, Twitter/X page, and Instagram Teamsters LGBTQ Caucus website Pride at Work—North Carolina Instagram  Maximillian Alvarez & Teddy Ostrow, The Real News Network, "UPS and Teamsters reach tentative agreement, but is a strike still possible?" Teddy Ostrow, The Upsurge / The Real News Network, "The UPS Teamsters contract has been ratified. What now?" 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song
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 buttoned up convention of union officials; this is a real grassroots gathering of people on the frontlines of struggle, talking openly, honestly, and strategically about their struggles, victories, and defeats, about what we can all learn from one another as fellow workers and fighters, and about how we can all contribute to growing the labor movement as fellow members of that movement. In this on-the-ground episode, cohosted by Max and Mel Buer, we speak with attendees at the RWU convention, Labor Notes, and participants in the Labor for Palestine protest that took place outside of Labor Notes on April 19.   Speakers include: Johnny Walker, a railroad worker and member of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers—Transportation Division (SMART-TD) Local 610 in Baltimore; Matt Weaver, who has worked on the railroad since 1994, is a member of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWED-IBT) Local 2624, where he also serves as legislative director for his state; Marcie Pedraza, an electrician at Ford Chicago Assembly Plant and member of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 551; Jacob Morrison, a member of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), president of the North Alabama Labor Council, and cohost of The Valley Labor Report; Leticia Zavala, legendary farm labor organizer working with farm workers in Mexico and the United States, and a member of El Futuro Es Nuestro (It’s Our Future), a farmworker caucus within the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC, AFL-CIO); Colin Smalley, president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 777 in Chicago; Berenice Navarrete-Perez, vice president of the Association of Legislative Employees (ALE); Annie Shields, former journalist and union organizer with the NewsGuild of New York; and Axel Persson, a locomotive engineer in France and general secretary of the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) Railway Workers Union in Trappes. Additional links/info below… Labor Notes website, Facebook page, and Twitter/X page Railroad Workers United website, Facebook page, and Twitter page El Futuro Es Nuestro – It's Our Future website and Facebook page Labor for Palestine website The Valley Labor Report YouTube channel, Facebook page, Twitter/X page, and Patreon Duncan Freeman, The Chief Leader: "At Labor Notes conference, a sense of mission and solidarity" Axel Persson, ML Today, "CGT leader speaks to Labor Notes conference" Martha Grevatt, Workers World, "Militant pro-Palestine demonstration during Labor Notes conference takes the street" 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song
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 improve safe staffing and, subsequently, nurse retention," a press release from National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) stated. "Nearly 20 percent of nurses at St. Agnes began employment at the hospital after January 1 of this year. Meanwhile, just over a third of nurses have more than four years of experience at the hospital... The Catholic hospital system is one of the largest in the country with 140 hospitals in 19 states and also one of the wealthiest, with cash reserves, an investment company, and a private equity operation worth billions of dollars—and, because of its nonprofit status, is exempt from paying federal taxes." In this on-the-ground episode, we take you to the NNOC/NNU picket line and speak with Nicki Horvat, an RN in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit at Ascension St. Agnes and member of the bargaining team, about what she and her coworkers are fighting for. Additional links/info below… National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United website, Facebook page, Twitter/X page, and Instagram NNOC/NNU Press Release: "Ascension Saint Agnes nurses demand hospital accept ‘Patients First,’ staffing enforcement policies" Angela Roberts, The Baltimore Sun, "Saint Agnes nurses rally for better pay, more patient protections" Gino Canella, The Real News Network, "An oral history of the 10-month St. Vincent Hospital strike" Gino Canella, The Real News Network, "Striking nurses hold the line against investor-owned healthcare giant" Robert Glatter, Peter Papadakos, & Yash Shah, Time Magazine, "American health care faces a staffing crisis and it’s affecting care" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Kaiser workers win big after largest healthcare strike in US history" 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song
“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 are shocking. Downtown Porto Alegre, the capital of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, is underwater... On May 2, a dam collapsed, unleashing an over 6-foot-high wave and worsening flooding in the area... Although the tragedy is a natural disaster, experts have pointed out that the lack of preparedness on the part of state and local officials may have contributed to the devastation. According to one report, Porto Alegre slashed funds for flooding prevention over the last three years and didn’t spend a cent on it in 2023.” In this episode, we talk with Mike about his reporting trip to Southern Brazil, the devastation he witnessed firsthand, and the conversations he had with poor and working-class people who have borne the worst impacts of the floods and who continue to bear the greatest costs of man-made climate chaos. Additional links/info below… Michael Fox, The Real News Network/NACLA, Under the Shadow (podcast series) Michael Fox Patreon page Michael Fox, NACLA, "“They’re making it up as they go”: Inside the response to Brazil’s deadly floods" Michael Fox, Al Jazeera, "‘The future is dark’: Brazilian businesses shattered by floods" Michael Fox, Truthout, "Climate refugees are occupying abandoned buildings in Southern Brazil" Bianca Graulau, The Real News Network, "The Puerto Ricans illegally occupying land to resist displacement" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "‘CSX has got to go!’ Industrially polluted South Baltimore residents want rail giant out of their community" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "South Baltimore residents on the toxic reality of living in a ‘sacrifice zone’" 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song  
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 Baltimore Community Land Trust, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, and the Maryland Department of Environment confirmed the presence of coal dust in the air of the South Baltimore community of Curtis Bay, CSX has denied culpability and called the study “materially flawed.” Residents say they’re fed up with the company refusing to take responsibility for the coal dust, and with the city government for ignoring their cries for help for years, and they’re not going to stay quiet.    “We got to stand together for Curtis Bay, for South Baltimore,” one resident and youth leader, Carlos Sanchez, told the crowd. “We have to remove CSX for the health of our communities.” With other locals watching from their porches, sidewalks, and storefronts, the crowd marched from the Curtis Bay Rec Center all the way up to the gates of the CSX terminal. There, they signed and delivered a giant “Eviction Notice” to CSX, a company that recorded over $10 billion in gross profits last year. In this on-the-ground edition of Working People, Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Curtis Bay residents on the day of the march and takes you to the heart of the action.    Speakers in this episode (in order of appearance) include: Shashawnda Campbell of Baltimore Community Land Trust; David Jones, a resident who has lived in Curtis Bay for over 35 years; Angie Shaneyfelt, a resident who has lived in Curtis Bay for 17 years; Angela Smothers, a lifelong resident of Mt. Winans in South Baltimore; Carlos Sanchez, a youth leader born and raised in Lakeland, South Baltimore; Roma Gutierrez, a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, South Baltimore, and an environmental organizer and youth leader with South Baltimore Community Land Trust; an unnamed representative of Malaya Movement Baltimore; and Maria Urbina, a South Baltimore resident. Additional links/info below… Coal-Free Curtis Bay Facebook page and Instagram South Baltimore Community Land Trust website, Twitter/X page, Facebook page, and Instagram Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "South Baltimore residents on the toxic reality of living in a 'sacrifice zone'" Aman Azhar, InsideClimate News, “South Baltimore communities press city, state regulators for stricter pollution controls on coal export operations” Nicole Fabricant, University of California Press, Fighting to Breathe: Race, Toxicity, and the Rise of Youth Activism in Baltimore Nicole Fabricant, The Real News Network, “Opinion | CSX explosion in Curtis Bay should alarm Baltimore City and accelerate real change” Michael Middleton & Dr. Sacoby Wilson, Maryland Matters, “Commentary: Maryland deserves a better environmental justice bill” Chloe Ahmann, Baltimore Sun, “Curtis Bay residents deserve a coal-free future” Christine Condon & Dillon Mullan, Baltimore Sun, “Curtis Bay residents ask state to shut down South Baltimore CSX facility after study documents toll of coal dust” Maryland Department of Environment, "New scientific study confirms airborne coal dust in Curtis Bay community" Adam Willis, The Baltimore Banner, "A state-backed report found coal dust across Curtis Bay. CSX isn’t convinced"   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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song
Liz Oliva Fernández

Liz Oliva Fernández

2024-06-1101:23:27

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 politicians have resolved to strangle into oblivion for the past 60 years. In this episode, we speak with Liz Oliva Fernández from Cuba. Liz is an award-winning Cuban journalist with Belly of the Beast, an independent outlet covering Cuba and US-Cuba relations, and she is the presenter of two new documentaries, Hardliner on the Hudson and Uphill on the Hill. In addition to exposing the sinister interests behind, and the devastating real-world impacts of, the Cold War Cuban policy of Joe Biden’s administration, pushed by powerful hardliners like Senator Bob Menendez, former Chair of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the films also document Liz's experience as a Black journalist from the Global South coming to the US to confront the predominantly white politicians and interests waging economic war on her country. We talk about Liz's new films, and we talk about growing up in Cuba, becoming a journalist, and life for woking people in Cuba under the US-imposed blockade and designation of Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism . Additional links/info below… Belly of the Beast website, Facebook page, Instagram, and YouTube channel Belly of the Beast, Hardliner on the Hudson Belly of the Beast, Uphill on the Hill Andrew Buncombe, The Guardian, “Two Cuban documentaries show effects of US sanctions on island nation" Ju-Hyun Park, The Real News Network, "Cuba's protests and the long crisis of US intervention" 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…   Jules Taylor, “Working People” Theme Song
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 deeply affected, and the road to recovery will be long. As questions linger about the root causes of the Key Bridge collapse and what sort of future Baltimore can salvage for itself, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez and Marc Steiner, host of The Marc Steiner Show, team up to speak with John Blom, a veteran longshoreman who worked in the Port of Baltimore for over 30 years, to get a workers’ history of the port and its meaning to the city it nurtured. Additional links/info below… Kari Lydersen, In These Times, “Making waves: Baltimore longshoremen fight for democracy within union“ Dominick Phillippe-August, WMAR, “Nearly 140,000 jobs could be impacted by Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse” Dan Belson, Baltimore Sun, “Largest channel so far opens for 24/7 vessel traffic into Port of Baltimore after Key Bridge collapse” Michael Sainato, The Guardian, “Maryland lawmakers draft emergency bill to help Baltimore port workers” 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…   Jules Taylor, “Working People” Theme Song  
“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 in the state, is Maryland’s poster child for environmental injustice. Industrial areas near Curtis Bay house oil tanks, a wastewater treatment plant, chemical plants, landfills, the country’s largest medical waste incinerator, and more. Heavy diesel trucks frequent residential streets. The Wagner’s Point and Fairfield communities that were once Curtis Bay’s neighbors to the east are gone. Those residents accepted buyouts to leave between the 1980s and 2011 after a series of chemical spills and accidents.” In this episode, we continue our “Sacrificed” series by focusing on communities in South Baltimore and a story that quite literally hits close to home, less than half an hour from where Max lives. We speak with a panel of residents of South Baltimore about how they have seen their communities change over the years, what it feels like to be “sacrificed” by industry and their government, how they and their neighbors are fighting for change, fighting for justice, and what others in Baltimore and beyond can do to help. Panelists include: David Jones, who has lived in Curtis Bay for over 35 years; Angela Smothers, a lifelong resident of Mt. Winans; Carlos Sanchez, a youth leader born and raised in Lakeland; and Tiffany Thompson, who was born and raised in Cherry Hill and has lived in Curtis Bay for the past three years.    Additional links/info below… Coal-Free Curtis Bay Facebook page Nicole Fabricant, University of California Press, Fighting to Breathe: Race, Toxicity, and the Rise of Youth Activism in Baltimore Nicole Fabricant, The Real News Network, “Opinion | CSX explosion in Curtis Bay should alarm Baltimore City and accelerate real change” Michael Middleton & Dr. Sacoby Wilson, Maryland Matters, “Commentary: Maryland deserves a better environmental justice bill” Chloe Ahmann, Baltimore Sun, “Curtis Bay residents deserve a coal-free future” Christine Condon & Dillon Mullan, Baltimore Sun, “Curtis Bay residents ask state to shut down South Baltimore CSX facility after study documents toll of coal dust” Aman Azhar, InsideClimate News, “On a ‘Toxic Tour’ of Curtis Bay in South Baltimore, Visiting Academics and Activists See a Hidden Part of the City” Christian Olaniran, Adam Thompson, Caroline Foreback, CBS News, “Residents meet after air quality study reveals presence of coal dust in Curtis Bay” 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song
Vina Colley

Vina Colley

2024-04-2401:47:13

"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 three years. 'I was exposed to everything. We were cleaning off radioactive equipment that we did not know was radioactive. They never told us,' Colley told me. Then, she said, her hair started falling out, she developed rashes, and 'I got really sick and went to the hospital, not knowing that it was my job causing me all these problems. I had big tumors.' In the four decades since, she’s faced a range of health problems, including chronic bronchitis, tumors, and pulmonary edema." In this episode, we sit down with Colley herself to talk about growing up in Ohio during America's Cold War atomic age, her experience working as an electrician at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, and her decades-long fight to hold the plant and the government accountable for what they've done to her, her coworkers, and her community, and to get them the compensation they deserve. Additional links/info below… Vina's Facebook page DOL Energy Advisory Board Information: Comments for the Record, "My name is Vina Colley and I am a sick worker from the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion plant in Piketon, Ohio..." Kevin Williams, Belt Magazine, "The Poisonous Legacy of Portsmouth’s Gaseous Diffusion Plant" Erin Gottsacker, The Ohio Newsroom, "Piketon stopped enriching uranium twenty years ago. Now the nuclear industry is coming back" Scioto Valley Guardian, "Residents in Pike County closer to justice and compensation for radioactive contaminants" Sen. Sherrod Brown, Press Release: "Brown secures commitment to work to add Pike, Scioto county residents to radiation exposure compensation program" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "East Palestine residents demand fully-funded healthcare" 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song
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 his life in the the labor movement, the role of art and imagination in revolutionary politics, and about Bruskin's new musical, The Return of John Brown, which is premiering this month in Baltimore, Washington, DC, and the John Brown Raid Headquarters in Maryland. "In a staged reading of this new musical, John Brown, who in 1859 became the first person in the nation executed for treason, climbs out of his grave where he was hanged, into the present, only to be rearrested and threatened with another hanging." Additional links/info below… The Return of John Brown (musical,) website Cosmopod, "Gene Bruskin: A Life in the Labor Movement" Christina L. Perez, Labor Notes, "Labor Musical Brings Morgue Workers' Struggle to Life" 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song
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 lines; labor activists and labor union representatives; representatives of environmental justice organizations; (striking) journalists; socialists, Trump voters, non-voters, etc.; and more. As journalist Steve Mellon reported, "The newly formed coalition, dubbed Justice for East Palestine Residents & Workers, determined they will travel to Washington, D.C., on Oct. 8 to further their demand that the federal government step in and make sure those affected by the derailment are provided with fully funded health care. They plan to involve union members, including those who represent workers at railroad companies, as well as environmentalists and members of other communities damaged by chemical contamination. The coalition also determined to schedule a second conference in Iowa — the cause has been embraced by union organizers there; several traveled by bus to East Palestine to attend Saturday’s event — and to seek a meeting with the president of the AFL-CIO. Organizers want the federation of unions representing more than 12 million workers to support the coalition’s demand.”   In this extended episode, you will hear a compilation of speakers from the March 23 conference in East Palestine. Speakers include: Lauri Harmon, East Palestine resident; Chris Albright, East Palestine resident; Jami Rae Wallace, East Palestine resident, president of East Palestine Unity Council; Christina Siceloff, East Palestine resident; Rob Two-Hawks, East Palestine resident; Daren Gamble, East Palestine resident; John Palmer, longtime organizer and officer with the Teamsters, but not speaking on behalf of the Teamsters; Andrew Sandberg, International Association of Machinists (IAM); George Waksmunski, United Electrical Workers (UE); Chris Silvera,  Teamsters Local 808 Executive Secretary; Steve Mellon, journalist for the Pittsburgh Union Progress, on strike at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for 18 months; Vina Colley, Portsmouth-Piketon Residents for Environmental Safety & Security; Steve Zeltzer, WorkWeek; David Pfister, Food & Water Watch; Nicole Fabricant, activist, academic, and author of Fighting to Breathe: Race, Toxicity, and the Rise of Youth Activism in Baltimore; Hilary Flint, Clean Air Action; Penny Logsdon, Lee County, Iowa, Labor Chapter; Jeff Kurtz, Lee County, Iowa, Labor Chapter; Carrie Duncan, Lee County, Iowa, Labor Chapter; Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network; Mike Stout, Musician.   Additional links/info below… Justice for East Palestine Residents & Workers website Mike Stout, "Stand Up for East Palestine" music video Steve Zeltzer, The Labor Video Project YouTube channel Steve Mellon, Pittsburgh Union Progress, "‘If I don’t talk no one’s going to know’: Stories of pain from East Palestine move coalition members to action" 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song Jules Taylor, "E.P. Theme for W.P."
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 weekly union talk show, hosts Jacob Morrison and Adam Keller speak with Max about The Real News Network's coverage of the bridge collapse, the connections between Baltimore and East Palestine, and about the conspiracists and "anti-woke" grifters who are trying to capitalize on this tragedy for their own gain. Additional links/info below… Baltimore Immigrant Community Fund Key Bridge Emergency Response The Valley Labor Report YouTube channel, Facebook page, Twitter/X page, and Patreon The Valley Labor Report, "The Toll of Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse in Baltimore on Working People - TVLR 3/30/24" Democracy Now!, "Baltimore Key Bridge Collapses, Killing Six Immigrant Workers Who Had No Access to Emergency Warnings" America's Workforce Radio, "Union Solidarity Is the Key to Getting East Palestine Residents Help" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Missing, Presumed Dead Workers from Key Bridge Weren’t Informed of Mayday Call" Maximillian Alvarez, The Nation, "Echoes of East Palestine in the Key Bridge Collapse" Breaking Points, "Construction Workers ABANDONED in Baltimore Bridge Collapse" 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song Jules Taylor, "TVLR Theme Song / Florence Reece Remix"
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 core objective of pressuring President Biden to invoke the Stafford Act and issue a major disaster declaration for East Palestine. If Biden does this, organizers say, it will immediately unlock a whole suite of federal resources that residents desperately need and have been demanding for a year, and it will also immediately guarantee every resident emergency healthcare. For residents like Chris Albright—a former pipeline worker and LIUNA member who has been disabled by the toxic fallout from the derailment, is now experiencing severe heart failure, can’t work, and has subsequently lost his health benefits—this is a matter of life and death, and we are racing against the clock.   This episode is a compilation of voices from across the growing Justice for East Palestine Residents and Workers coalition. Speeches in the first half are from a panel cohosted by Steve Zeltzer and Penny Logsdon and recorded by the Labor Video Project on Feb. 3, 2024, the one-year anniversary of the derailment; speeches in the second half are from another panel cohosted by Steve Zeltzer and Penny Logsdon and recorded by the Labor Video Project on March 9, 2024. Speakers include: Steve Zeltzer (Labortech); Penny Logsdon (Lee County Labor Chapter); Chris Albright (East Palestine resident, LIUNA member); Jami Wallace (East Palestine Unity Council); Steve Mellon (Pittsburgh Union Progress); Jeff Kurtz (Lee County Labor Chapter); Maximillian Alvarez (The Real News Network); Mike Stout (protest musician); Charlie Wishman (Iowa AFL-CIO); John Palmer (Teamsters, San Antonio); Bob Anspach (BLET-IBT 391); Vina Colley (Portsmouth Pikeston Residents for Environmental Justice).    From the Justice for East Palestine Residents and Workers organizing committee: "We will be hosting a National Conference for the people of East Palestine along with supporters in Ohio and throughout the country to build this campaign for healthcare on Saturday, March 23, 2024, where we will bring community members, labor, environmentalist and allies together in our urgent campaign. This Conference will be held from 12-5pm ET at the East Palestine Park.  To contact the Justice for East Palestine Residents and Workers organizing committee, reach out to  Steve Zeltzer: labormedia[at]gmail[dot]com Penny Logsdon: onecent7921[at]gmail[dot]com In solidarity." Additional links/info below… Steve Mellon, Pittsburgh Union Progress, "‘Where are you, President Biden?’ Union organizers, residents demand health care for East Palestine" Maximillian Alvarez, Breaking Points, "East Palestine DEMANDS Biden Visit More Than 'PHOTO OP'" 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song
Brett Cross, Uzi's Dad

Brett Cross, Uzi's Dad

2024-03-0501:21:08

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 Elementary, in Uvalde, Texas. “This is not a fucking joke,” she said, “there’s a shooter at the boys’ school.” We talk to Brett about his life before, about living in a small town, working and making your own fun, we talk about some of the family memories he cherishes most. We remember Brett and Nikki's son Uziyah "Uzi" Garcia, we talk about the day Uzi was taken from them, along with 18 of his classmates and two of his teachers, and we talk about the unimaginable fight for justice and real change that Brett and Nikki have been fighting ever since.    C/W: This episode discusses school shootings and the murdering of children.  Additional links/info below… Brett's Twitter/X page  Sneha Dey, Erin Douglas, Andrew Zhang, Brooke Park, & Jessica Priest, The Texas Tribune / ProPublica, "21 Lives Lost: Uvalde Victims Were a Cross-Section of a Small, Mostly Latino Town in South Texas" Edgar Sandoval, The New York Times, "A Year After the Uvalde Massacre: Did Anything Change?" Gus Bova, Texas Observer, "The Uvalde Parents Won't Back Down"  Elissa Jorgensen, American Statesman, "'There Are no Good Days': Uziyah's Family Won't Stop Fighting Until Gun Laws Change" Danielle Campoamor, Today, "A Father's Fury: Uvalde Dad Brett Cross Is Mad as Hell and Wants You to Know It" Kayla Padilla, Texas Public Radio, "Arrested Uvalde Father Says Police More Upset With Him Using Expletive Than Children Dying" Yvette Benavides, David Martin Davies, & Julián Aguilar, Texas Public Radio, "'We Did It!' — Uvalde's Entire School Police Department Suspended Following Activism from Families" Lomi Kriel, Alejandro Serrano, & Lexi Churchill, The Texas Tribune / ProPublica, "'Cascading Failures': Justice Department Blasts Law Enforcement’s Botched Response to Uvalde School Shooting" John Woodrow Cox, Steven Rich, Linda Chong, Lucas Trevor, John Muyskens, & Monica Ulmanu, The Washington Post, "More Than 360,000 Students Have Experienced Gun Violence at School Since Columbine" 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song Jules Taylor, "John L. Handcox Remix" Follow Jules on Twitter and Facebook
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 they were happening: the 2023 Teamsters contract fight at UPS, and the UAW's 2023 stand-up strike at the Big Three automakers. Even though The Upsurge has closed shop and Teddy Ostrow, Ruby Walsh, and the gang are moving on to new projects, we sat down with Teddy to take a moment to celebrate what they accomplished and talk about what we've learned from the last year in worker struggle.  Additional links/info below… The Upsurge podcast  Teddy Ostrow Twitter/X profile Teddy Ostrow, The Real News Network, "New York's Tenant Unions Are Playing the Long Game" Mel Buer & Teddy Ostrow, The Real News Network, "The UAW Won Big in 2023—And They’re Not Done Yet" 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
"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: "On February 13th, a fellow rail worker was killed on the job in North Carolina. Brother Randall M. Howell, 41, of Allied Federation Lodge 563, died following a road crossing incident in Roanoke Rapids, N.C." Why are railroad workers all over the country dying on the job? And what can be done to stop these needless deaths? We talk with four railroad workers and members of Railroad Workers United (RWU).  Panelists include: Nick Wurst, a freight conductor in Massachusetts, legislative rep for his union local, and currently serving on the RWU international steering committee; Matt Weaver, a member of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division-International Brotherhood of Teamsters  (BMWED-IBT) for nearly 30 years, legislative director for his union in Ohio, and a founding member of RWU: Mark Burrows, a retired locomotive engineer with 37 years in the industry, and the editor of "The Highball," RWU's quarterly newsletter: and Ross Grooters, RWU co-chair, member of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), also serving on the BLET-IBT Iowa state legislative board, with over 20 years in the industry.  Additional links/info below… Railroad Workers United website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Ross's Twitter page Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "They Were Just Another East Palestine Family—Until Norfolk Southern Set Off a Bomb in Their Lives" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "East Palestine Residents Still Need Help—the Labor Movement Should Be an Ally" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "He Tried to Raise the Alarm about Railroad Safety. Then He Got Fired" Mike L, The Real News Network, "A Carman's Perspective on the East Palestine Derailment and the Railroad Industry as a Whole" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "US Freight Workers Say It's Time to Nationalize the Railroads" Maximillian Alvarez, Breaking Points, "Rail Worker EXPOSES Ohio Disaster COVERUP" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "“This Was Preventable”: Railroad Workers Explain How Wall St Caused the East Palestine Derailment" Working People, "East Palestine, Ohio: A Hell of Wall Street's Making (w/ Matt Weaver)" Kari Lydersen, In These Times, "The Case for Nationalizing 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song Jules Taylor, "John L. Handcox Remix" Jules Taylor, "Her Water" 
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 workers say have been disrespectful and insufficient offers from the university administration, TRU-UE members held practice pickets on campus to show the administration what's in store if more progress is not made at the bargaining table soon. In this on-the-ground episode, we take you straight to the picket line to hear from worker-organizers about what they're fighting for and what they're asking supporters to do to help.  Additional links/info below… Teachers and Researchers United (TRU-UE) website, Facebook page, Twitter/X page, and Instagram  Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Now or never: Grad Student-Workers at Johns Hopkins Mobilize Ahead of Union Election" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "These Workers Are Making Baltimore a Union Town Again" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Johns Hopkins University Graduate Students Are Organizing for a Living Wage" Ryan Quinn, Inside Higher Ed, "Johns Hopkins Grad Students Successfully 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song Jules Taylor, "John L. Handcox Remix" 
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 way to run our economy, and that there are other ways we can treat work and workers. At a recent event hosted by the Baltimore Museum of Industry titled "Work Matters: Building a Worker-Owned Co-op," Max moderated a panel including workers and representatives from Common Ground Bakery Café, Taharka Bros Ice Cream, A Few Cool Hardware Stores, and the Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy (BRED). He talked to them about how they came to work at these different co-ops, how their businesses transitioned to more cooperative models, and they dig into the nitty gritty of what working at a co-op looks like, what it takes for workers to democratically run a business, and the real challenges, limitations, and rewards that come with this kind of work. Panelists include: Vince Green (Taharka Bros Ice Cream); David Evans (A Few Cool Hardware Stores); Craig Smith (A Few Cool Hardware Stores); Sierra Allen (Common Ground Bakery Café); Christa Daring (BRED).  Additional links/info below… Baltimore Museum of Industry website, Facebook page, and Instagram  Jaisal Noor, The Real News Network, "Worker Co-ops vs. COVID"  Jaisal Noor, The Real News Network, "Taharka Bros: Ice Cream with a Side of Worker Ownership" Working People, "Your Job Doesn't Have to Suck (w/ Jaisal Noor)" Lisa Elaine Held, The Washington Post, "Amid Food-Industry Upheaval, Baltimore Businesses Are Handing Workers the Keys" Rebekah Kirkman, The Real News Network, "After Beloved Baltimore Coffee Shop Abruptly Closed, Workers Reopen as Co-op" 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song Jules Taylor, "Working People Live Show" Theme Song Jules Taylor, "John L. Handcox I Live On Remix"  Follow Jules Taylor on Twitter and Facebook
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. By the time you hear this, workers at the Redmond Homegrown location will have been on strike for over 100 days. We talk with Sydney Lankford and Perry, two members of the Homegrown workers union who are currently on strike.   Additional links/info below… Homegrown workers union Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter/X page Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches Contact Us page PETITION: Tell Homegrown to #Bring Syd Back!  STRIKE FUND: Support Striking Homegrown Workers! #BringSydBack  Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) website  Renata Geraldo, Seattle Times, "Seattle’s Homegrown Cafe Workers Vote to Unionize" KIRO 7, "Workers at Redmond’s Homegrown Sandwich Shop Strike Over ‘Unfair’ Firing of Union Leader" 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song Jules Taylor, "Homegrown outro music"
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 proportion could happen again tomorrow, because we have done little to substantively address the issues that caused it.    While the media and most of the country have forgotten about them, for the people still living in and around East Palestine, life will never be what it was on Feb 2, 2023. "At the one year mark," warns Christa, a resident who has lived in the area her whole life, "I want everybody across the country and across the world to know that this could happen to you... We were an invisible town, an invisible region, and we liked it that way. None of us ever wanted to be on the news... We were very happy being invisible, and then they poisoned our town, and it has changed everything forever."    To commemorate the anniversary of the East Palestine disaster, we begin Season 7 of Working People with this special compilation episode featuring firsthand testimonies of five East Palestine residents: Christa, Chris Albright, Jessica Albright, Stella Gamble, and Daren Gamble.    Additional links/info below… Jami Wallace, The Inquirer, "One Year Ago, a Train Derailment Upended My Town. I’ll Spend the Rest of My Life Worrying" Last Week Tonight, "Freight Trains: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)" Emily Baumgaertner, The New York Times, "One Family’s Toxic Train Wreck Ordeal: Illness, Exile and Debt" Working People, "12-HR LIVESTREAM: Let’s help East Palestine families have a good Christmas!" Savage Joy Marie Mann, "EAST PALESTINE OHIO MUTUAL AID FUNDRAISER" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "They Were Just Another East Palestine Family—Until Norfolk Southern Set Off a Bomb in Their Lives" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "The US Government Has Abandoned East Palestine" Maximillian Alvarez, "East Palestine Residents Still Need Help—the Labor Movement Should Be an Ally" Savage Joy Marie Mann, "My Full Recording of Meeting with Mark Durno of the East Palestine EPA" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "East Palestine Residents Still Need Help—the Labor Movement Should Be an Ally" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "East Palestine, 100 Days Later" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "East Palestine Residents Have Been Left Behind—and They're Running Out of Water" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "East Palestine, Ohio: A Hell of Wall Street's Making" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "'This Was Preventable': Railroad Workers Explain How Wall St. Caused the East Palestine Derailment" Maximillian Alvarez, Breaking Points, "Rail Worker EXPOSES Ohio Disaster COVERUP" Mike L., The Real News Network, "A Carman's Perspective on the East Palestine Derailment and the Railroad Industry as a Whole" Al Jazeera English, "What’s Behind Train Derailments in the US? | Fault Lines Documentary" 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... Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song Dark and Synthy music for this episode also by Jules Taylor
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Comments (1)

Will Shogren

I could do without some of the jingoism but this guy is still fantastic.

Jan 1st
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