Belabored Podcast #50: The Future of Work, with Saket Soni

Belabored Podcast #50: The Future of Work, with Saket Soni

For Belabored’s one-year anniversary, Michelle and Sarah talk to Saket Soni of the National Guestworker Alliance about how the conditions faced by guestworkers are spreading to more and more of the workforce. Plus: a victory for UPS workers in Queens and a labor uprising in China; the drug-testing of public employees; the fight for $15 in Seattle; and more.

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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.

News:

Scott v. AFSCME at the Supreme Court

“Compromise” floated on Seattle minimum wage

The 15 Now movement proposes a ballot measure

Michelle: Can China’s Workers Get Their Government to Follow its Own Labor Laws?

Workers rally to defense of labor activist Wu Guijun

Sarah: How 250 UPS Workers Fired for a Wildcat Strike Won Back Their Jobs

Conversation with Saket Soni

National Guestworker Alliance

Michelle: Court Okays Labor Department Rule: Guestworkers Must Earn Prevailing Wages

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


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