When this podcast launched in April of 2013, with Sarah Jaffe and Josh Eidelson, it was the first of its kind—a left podcast that covered the ups and downs of the labor movement. Emerging in the wake of Occupy Wall Street, it set out to explore the intersection of work, politics, race, gender, and culture from a fresh perspective, and 200 episodes later, we’re still here, reflecting on the world of work in the midst of yet another wave of social upheaval. To round out our 200th epiversary, we are revisiting the topic of the first episode, the Chicago Teachers Union. Our first ever guest was CTU President Karen Lewis. This time, we speak to CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates about how the union continues to be a model for grassroots labor organizing in public education, and what it’s like to be an educator and an organizer in a city facing a global pandemic as well as a nationwide uprising against police brutality.
In other news, we look at the big Supreme Court ruling on LGBTQ rights at work, with Dale Melchert; dockworkers shutting down West Coast ports for Juneteenth; a new study on hazard pay and COVID-19 risks on the job, with Larry Mishel; and the dangers of protesting as an essential worker. With recommended reading on corporate exploitation of Black Lives Matter and how the coronavirus ravaged meatpacking plants.
We are happy to announce that this 200th episode also marks our first foray into the world of Patreon! You can sign up to support us with a monthly contribution, at the level that best suits you.
A majority of workers are fearful of coronavirus infections at work, especially Black, Hispanic, and low- and middle-income workers: Those facing risks are not proportionately receiving extra compensation
Conversation: Stacy Davis Gates, Vice President, Chicago Teachers Union
Michelle: Toni Gilpin, Corporations Now Love ‘Black Lives’—But What About Their Own Black Workers?, LaborNotes
Sarah: Michael Grabell, Claire Perlman and Bernice Yeung, Emails Reveal Chaos as Meatpacking Companies Fought Health Agencies Over COVID-19 Outbreaks in Their Plants, ProPublica