In the latest escalation of the low-wage workers’ movement, fast food workers went out on strike this week in hundreds of cities around the globe. Sarah and Michelle speak with Tsedeye Gebreselassie of the National Employment Law Project about the importance of local victories in this global struggle, and why workers must lead the way. Plus: miners’ deaths abroad and at home, teachers’ ongoing resistance to high-stakes testing, Thomas Piketty, and more.
Ellen Bravo sits down with Belabored to discuss new challenges and milestones in the movement for gender justice and why the basic, structural struggles for women’s economic empowerment are still far from over. Plus: the port truck drivers’ latest labor action; struggles led by sherpas, cabbies, and banking sector workers; divisions in NYC charter schools; and Donald Sterling.
Dissent would like to inform our beloved podcast listeners that from now on, in order to ensure the best quality production and richer coverage, Belabored will air biweekly rather than weekly. The next episode will air on Friday, May 2, followed …
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.
In New Labor in New York, editors Ruth Milkman and Ed Ott of the City University of New York analyze thirteen worker centers and labor groups focused on the new “precariat”: traditionally non-union sectors like street vendors, domestic workers, struggling freelance “creatives,” and restaurant workers. This week on Belabored, we speak to Milkman about what these case studies tell us about the future of labor.
Is the era of the student athlete over? This week on Belabored, Lee Adler joins us to discuss the groundbreaking NLRB decision that Northwestern University’s football players are employees and thus eligible to form a union. Plus: a growing campaign to opt out of standardized testing, the difference between unemployment and retirement, the struggle against Amazon in Europe, and more.
This week on Belabored, we speak to activists with the Retail Action Project and Women Employed about the impact of unfair scheduling on the lives of retail workers. We also discuss the Supreme Court drama over employer-sponsored health insurance and reproductive rights, “the end of jobs,” labor protections for unpaid interns, Wall Street’s attack on Los Angeles, TaskRabbit, and more.
This week, Belabored talks to political scientist Adolph Reed about his recent article in Harper’s magazine, examining the broad prospects for today’s left, the need to focus on inequality, why the labor movement matters, and why Democrats relying on big money donors is like keeping a Komodo dragon in your bedroom. Plus: a strike in Vermont, a lawsuit at McDonald’s, a modest proposal for executive salaries, and more.
This week, Belabored examines the history and ongoing impact of the 2012 Chicago teachers’ strike with Micah Uetricht, author of Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity. Plus: uprisings by UPS workers in New York and IBM workers in China; labor abuses by the Pentagon overseas; the White House’s plans to expand overtime pay; and more.
This week, Belabored talks to Melissa Gira Grant, whose new book Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work dismantles the myths surrounding sex work and challenges us to think about sex work in the same framework in which we put other kinds of labor. At the heart is the question: should workers have to love their work in order to be able to demand rights and protections on the job?
Belabored talks to San Francisco-based journalist Julia Carrie Wong about Silicon Valley gentrification and with Jobs with Justice organizer Kung Feng about the response of community and labor groups to the tech sector’s growing presence. Plus, gender inequities in house work, the exploitation of temp workers, and updates on labor struggles across the country.
In news: United Auto Workers’ defeat in Chattanooga, Tennessee, port truckers and wage theft, minor league ballplayers suing over wage violations, the U.S. government’s reliance on sweatshops, the strike by University of Illinois faculty, and why the Congressional Budget Office is wrong about the minimum wage. And Portland teacher Elizabeth Thiel on militant teacher unionism in Oregon.
Could banking at the post office be a boon to low-income communities and a major challenge to Wall Street? Sarah and Michelle discuss with Dave Dayen. Plus the latest news on teachers and nurses organizing for workplace rights, how Wal-Mart’s anti-labor actions may be undermining its bottom line, a legal victory for immigrant guestworkers, and the crowdsourced sweatshop.
Joanne Barkan has spent years researching and writing about the ideology of billionaire ed reformers. She joins Michelle and Sarah to talk about her work. And in labor news, London’s public transit workers go on strike; Tennessee may yet see a unionized auto plant; NFL cheerleaders rise up against wage theft; and workers rise up against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
Special guest Heather McGhee of Demos responds to the President’s address with policy solutions that could alleviate income inequality and joblessness. Meanwhile, working people take action against inequality at the grassroots level.