Where worker's stories are front and center, this is On the Picket Line.Everyday, workers across the globe are rising up to defend their humanity and fight for their dignity on the job. As the class struggle advances, the stories of workers are front and center here. Tune in for your weekly labor news, analysis and history. This is On the Picket Line with Monica Cruz.
Nursing Home Workers Win Big
This week, nursing home workers narrowly avoided a statewide strike and won historic pay raises in Pennsylvania. A stunning 13,000+ nursing home residents and workers died from the coronavirus in the state. Meanwhile, workers endured poverty wages, staff shortages, and terrible conditions, which have all been plaguing the homes for decades. Hear from Kim Jackson, a 20 year-long licensed practical nurse who was set to go on strike this week at a nursing home in Pennsylvania.
PLUS: Striking coal miners from the Warrior Met Mines in Alabama take their picket line to the front door of the company’s biggest investor, again. The UMWA members have entered their fourth month on strike and have been subjected to escalating violence at the picket line, including multiple vehicular assaults. Host Monica Cruz joins them at their massive rally this morning at the headquarters of BlackRock investment services in Manhattan.
Workers Demand the PRO Act
Today, thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers are on strike across the country demanding fair pay and calling for the PRO Act. Host Monica Cruz speaks with Daniel and Esterphanie, Uber drivers and organizers with Rideshare Workers United. And while Congress stalls on passing the act, AFL-CIO members are participating in a National PRO Act Week of Action this week. PLUS Democrats and big unions are advocating for a bill that would repeal a law banning public sector worker strikes in that state. Hear from Beth Kontos, President of the American Federation of Teachers, Massachusetts.
Workers Strike Over "Suicide" Shifts
Workers at a Frito-Lay facility in Topeka, Kansas are on strike after being forced to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for stagnant wages. Workers report being forced to continue working after a coworker died on the production line and management made them move the body to another room. On top of these despicable conditions, those working at the plant for decades are offered measly pay raises while being expected to ramp up production as management stalls on hiring more workers. Host Monica Cruz speaks with Mark McCarter, a worker and shop steward who has been working at the facility for 37 years.
Teamsters Take On Amazon
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has thrown down the gauntlet in the fight to unionize Amazon. Delegates to the Teamsters’ 30th International Convention voted to approve a resolution calling for an all-encompassing campaign to mobilize and organize Amazon workers across the US. The resolution does not go into any specifics as to how this campaign will function but generally calls for a “unified approach” to helping Amazon workers achieve a union contract and commits all members to take on this endeavor. What will this campaign look like? And what are the stakes for workers in this fight? Host Monica Cruz speaks with Randy Korgan, the Teamsters National Director for Amazon.
Striking Alabama Miners Bring Fight to Wall Street
Striking mine workers at the Warrior Met Mines in Alabama took their picket line to the New York City office of BlackRock this week. The multi-trillion dollar investment management service is the biggest investor in the Mines, where 1,1000 coal miners have been on strike since April. The workers have preserved despite multiple vehicular attacks, arrests, and intimidation. Host Monica Cruz joins the strikers at the picket line in midtown Manhattan. PLUS striking workers in Italy continue on after a truck drives through a picket line, killing a union leader.
The Workers Left Unprotected
OSHA finally issued guidelines to set stronger workplace protections as the pandemic continues… but only employers in the healthcare industry will be required to adhere to them. PLUS as the effects of climate change worsen, workers who toil outdoors are being left to face the deadly deadly heat waves we see from coast-to-coast. Host Monica Cruz speaks with Baldemar Velasquez, founder and president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee and Tina Gonzalez, the daytime union representative at the Smithfield meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Incredible show, vital listening
Monica breaks down the most important stories in labor, an under-reported area but so necessary to follow. A real on the ground perspective and a must listen!!