Belabored: Shutting Down the Ports, with Steve Gerrard and Liverpool Dockworkers

Belabored: Shutting Down the Ports, with Steve Gerrard and Liverpool Dockworkers

British dockworkers join the podcast to talk about ongoing strikes in Liverpool and Felixstowe.

The Port of Felixstowe in Suffolk, UK without a cargo ship in port following last month's strike, August 29, 2022. (Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)

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Summer is over, but strike season is continuing in Great Britain, under not only a new prime minister but a new monarch. This week’s episode combines our ongoing coverage of British worker unrest with our intermittent series on logistics workers, as we discuss port strikes with Steve Gerrard, national coordinator for Unite the Union, and worker leaders from the port of Liverpool: John Lynch, Tommy Jennings, Ryan Healey, and Des Prescott. We discuss working through the COVID-19 pandemic, the combined port strikes at Felixstowe and Liverpool, the Tory plan to create “freeports” to lower labor standards in port areas, and the ongoing cost of living crisis. 

We also hear from Hugh Sawyer of Railroad Workers United about the narrowly averted (for now) railroad workers’ strike, and Adam Rizzo of the Philadelphia Museum of Art workers, on today’s one-day strike. And we check in on the historic collective bargaining agreement signed by the U.S. women’s soccer team, and the 15,000 nurses on strike in Minnesota. For Argh, we consider the legal status of franchisees and independent contractors, and the people still working while their coworkers are quitting. 

Thank you for listening to our 255th episode! If you like the show, you can support us on Patreon with a monthly contribution, at the level that best suits you.

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Barry Svrluga, The USWNT won Tuesday night, then celebrated a much greater victory, Washington Post

Workers at storied Philadelphia Museum of Art authorize a strike, AFSCME

Taylor Dafoe, Union Workers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Are Going on a One-Day ‘Warning’ StrikeArtnet News

Josh Eidelson and Augusta Saraiva, Rail-Strike Deadline Carries Economic and Political Risks for Biden, Bloomberg

Jim Tankersley, Railroad Unions and Companies Reach a Tentative Deal to Avoid a Strike, New York Times

Chris Isidore and Adrienne Broaddus, Massive health care strike: 15,000 Minnesota nurses walk off the job, CNN Business 


Fresh strike dates announced in Felixstowe dispute as workers reject imposed pay deal, Unite

Liverpool docks braced for disruption after MDHC port operatives overwhelming strike vote, Unite

Margherita Bruno, Liverpool port strike goes ahead as parties fail to reach agreementPort Technology

Workers at two big British ports to strike later this month, CNN

Paul Seddon, Freeports: What are they and will they help the economy? BBC News 

Dominic McGrath, Liz Truss promises ‘full-fat freeports’ with vow to cut red-tape for business, Independent 

Argh, I wish I’d written that!

Sarah: Brian Callaci and Sandeep Vaheesan, Uber Drivers and McDonald’s Franchise Owners Have a Common Enemy, Slate

Michelle: Emily Stewart, Work sucks when you’re the only one left, Vox

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