Belabored Podcast #93: The Good, The Bad, and the Hopeful

Belabored Podcast #93: The Good, The Bad, and the Hopeful

A look back at year’s best and worst moments for labor, and what there is to look forward to in 2016, for workers from China to Chicago and everywhere in between.

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As 2015 draws to a close, there are plenty of things we won’t miss, but there were also several bright spots for the labor movement, from the Fight for $15’s wins to teachers’ victories, the possible end of two-tier wage structures to those ever-present port truckers and the spread of the movement for black lives. We discuss the best and worst moments of 2015, and what we’re looking forward to in 2016, for workers from China to Chicago and everywhere in between.

We also bring you our last news roundup of 2015, with updates on strikes at the port and sexual harassment actions, sex workers and a crackdown on labor activists, and some thoughts on racial justice fights from the past and how they inform the future in both our Argh picks.


Michelle: China’s latest crackdown on workers is unprecedented (The Nation)

Free Chinese Labour Activists (Facebook page)

Port Truck Drivers Win Nearly $7 million in Stolen Wages from Carson-Based Company (Long Beach Post)

Contract Drivers Strike Indefinitely Against Pacific 9 Transportation in LA (CBS)

Michelle: Trans sex workers are 25 times more likely to be HIV positive than the general population (The Nation)

Nothing About Us Without Us: Sex Work, Policy, Organizing, Rights (Best Practice Policy Project)

FitzGibbon Media and the problem of sexual harassment in the progressive movement (Vox)

The Most Shocking Thing About Trevor FitzGibbon’s Behavior Is How Common It Is (The Nation)


The Good

Sarah: End to Two-Tier

Belabored Podcast #88: Dismantling Two-Tier (Dissent)

Michelle: Fight for $15

Michelle: New York Fast Food Workers Win Their Fight for $15 (The Nation)

The Bad

Sarah: The Friedrichs vs. The California Teachers Association Case Looms

This Supreme Court Case Could Significantly Weaken Teachers Unions (Huffington Post)

Michelle: Asia Supply Chain Issues

Michelle: ‘When We Made Mistakes in Our Sewing, They Slapped Us’ (The Nation)

The Hopeful

Sarah: Chicago Teachers Vote to Strike Again

Sarah: Impending Teachers Strike in Chicago Adds Power to Nationwide Movements against Inequality and Racism (Truthout)

Michelle: Childcare and Homecare Workers in Fight for $15

Michelle: Day-Care Costs Can Drive a Family Into Poverty Before a Child Reaches Kindergarten (The Nation)

Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!

Michelle: Chris Webb, “Impatient for Justice” (Jacobin)

Sarah: Astra Taylor, “From Jail to Farm to Table” (New Yorker)