Belabored Podcast #164: Scott Walker’s Gone, Now What? With Eleni Schirmer

Belabored Podcast #164: Scott Walker’s Gone, Now What? With Eleni Schirmer

Bye Scott Walker.

(Gage Skidmore / Flickr)
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On election night, the labor movement had a few things to be thankful for, but perhaps none bigger than the loss, finally, of Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO’s only comment was “Scott Walker was a national disgrace.” Walker’s Act 10 stripped collective bargaining rights from public workers and though it kicked off massive protests that laid the groundwork for the change in US politics over the last eight years, it remains in effect in Wisconsin, along with a later move to so-called “Right-to-Work” status for the private sector. We talk to Eleni Schirmer, former co-president of the Teaching Assistants Association at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and an education policy PhD candidate there, about what it was like to see Walker go, and what the people who’ve fought him can do next. 

We also check in on election results from around the country, and talk a little about Amazon’s decision to locate its new headquarters near Washington, D.C. and in New York City. For Argh, we think about a working class politics that goes beyond borders, and how to tell Amazon “no thanks, but no thanks.” 

This week’s show was supported by our monthly sustaining members. If you think our work is worth supporting as we soldier on through Trumplandia, please consider becoming a member today. If you’re interested in advertising on the show, please email And as always, if you have any questions, comments, or tips, email us at


Minimum Wage, Health Care, and Local Democracy Big Winners Across Country on Election Day. (National Employment Law Project)

Michelle: Hate was Not a Winning Ticket (Dissent)

Over 700 union members win public office in midterms (People’s World)

Fighting for Stacey Abrams and Empowerment in Georgia (New York Times)

Mass. Voters Say ‘No’ To Nurse Staffing Ballot Question (WBUR)

Michelle: More Nurses Means Better Care—So Why Did This Ballot Measure Fail? (The Nation)

Here Are The Most Outrageous Incentives Cities Offered Amazon In Their HQ2 Bids (Buzzfeed)

Sarah: Nationalize Amazon (The Outline)


Eleni Schirmer


Scott Walker Lost!!! (Splinter)

Eleni Schirmer & Michael Billeaux: What’s Next After Right-To-Work? (Jacobin)

Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!

Michelle: Hamilton Nolan, Dear Amazon, New York doesn’t want you. Go find another city to destroy (Guardian)

Sarah: The Border Crossing Us (Viewpoint)

tote | University of California Press Lima