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When it comes to talking about the way worked has changed in America, we tend to hear a lot about factors like technology, outsourcing, and workers’ “choice” to become “free agents.” Saket Soni, executive director of the National Guestworker Alliance and the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, has a different view, and for Belabored’s one-year anniversary, he sits down with Michelle and Sarah to talk about the real issues: worker power, an incomplete social safety net, and the exclusion of entire categories of people from labor protections. As the conditions of the guestworkers packing seafood for Walmart or packing candy for Hershey’s become the norm for more and more of the workforce, Soni and other organizers are urgently working to turn the situation around.
We also look at the victory for UPS workers in Queens and a labor uprising in China; the drug-testing of public employees; the struggle for a $15 an hour minimum wage in Seattle; and more.
Conversation with Saket Soni
Michelle: A New Door for Guestworkers?
Josh Eidelson: Guest Workers as Bellwether
Sarah: The End of Jobs
Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!
Michelle: Dean Baker, “Education is Not the Answer,” Jacobin
Sarah: Rebecca McCray, “A Disturbing Trend in Agriculture: Prisoner-Picked Vegetables,” TakePart