301 episodes

Working People: A podcast by, for, and about the working class today (now in partnership with In These Times magazine and The Real News Network).

Working People is a podcast about working-class lives in 21st-century America. In every episode, you'll hear interviews with workers from around the country, from all walks of life. We'll talk about their life stories, their jobs, politics, and families, their joys and hopes and frustrations. Overall, Working People aims to share and celebrate the diverse stories of working-class people, to remind ourselves that our stories matter, and to build a sense of shared struggle and solidarity between workers around the country.

Working People Working People

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 249 Ratings

Working People: A podcast by, for, and about the working class today (now in partnership with In These Times magazine and The Real News Network).

Working People is a podcast about working-class lives in 21st-century America. In every episode, you'll hear interviews with workers from around the country, from all walks of life. We'll talk about their life stories, their jobs, politics, and families, their joys and hopes and frustrations. Overall, Working People aims to share and celebrate the diverse stories of working-class people, to remind ourselves that our stories matter, and to build a sense of shared struggle and solidarity between workers around the country.

    "South Baltimore is a sacrifice zone" (w/ David Jones, Angela Smothers, Carlos Sanchez, & Tiffany Thompson)

    "South Baltimore is a sacrifice zone" (w/ David Jones, Angela Smothers, Carlos Sanchez, & Tiffany Thompson)

    “South Baltimore is a sacrifice zone,” Michael Middleton and Dr. Sacoby Wilson wrote in a guest commentary published in Maryland Matters this February. “The six communities that make up South Baltimore—Cherry Hill, Westport, Mt. Winans, Lakeland, Brooklyn, and Curtis Bay—rank in the top 3% of the state for environmental burden using a Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) screening tool. Curtis Bay, the highest in the state, is Maryland’s poster child for environmental injustice. Industrial areas near Curtis Bay house oil tanks, a wastewater treatment plant, chemical plants, landfills, the country’s largest medical waste incinerator, and more. Heavy diesel trucks frequent residential streets. The Wagner’s Point and Fairfield communities that were once Curtis Bay’s neighbors to the east are gone. Those residents accepted buyouts to leave between the 1980s and 2011 after a series of chemical spills and accidents.” In this episode, we continue our “Sacrificed” series by focusing on communities in South Baltimore and a story that quite literally hits close to home, less than half an hour from where Max lives. We speak with a panel of residents of South Baltimore about how they have seen their communities change over the years, what it feels like to be “sacrificed” by industry and their government, how they and their neighbors are fighting for change, fighting for justice, and what others in Baltimore and beyond can do to help. Panelists include: David Jones, who has lived in Curtis Bay for over 35 years; Angela Smothers, a lifelong resident of Mt. Winans; Carlos Sanchez, a youth leader born and raised in Lakeland; and Tiffany Thompson, who was born and raised in Cherry Hill and has lived in Curtis Bay for the past three years. 
     
    Additional links/info below…
    Coal-Free Curtis Bay Facebook page
    Nicole Fabricant, University of California Press, Fighting to Breathe: Race, Toxicity, and the Rise of Youth Activism in Baltimore
    Nicole Fabricant, The Real News Network, “Opinion | CSX explosion in Curtis Bay should alarm Baltimore City and accelerate real change”
    Michael Middleton & Dr. Sacoby Wilson, Maryland Matters, “Commentary: Maryland deserves a better environmental justice bill”
    Chloe Ahmann, Baltimore Sun, “Curtis Bay residents deserve a coal-free future”
    Christine Condon & Dillon Mullan, Baltimore Sun, “Curtis Bay residents ask state to shut down South Baltimore CSX facility after study documents toll of coal dust”
    Aman Azhar, InsideClimate News, “On a ‘Toxic Tour’ of Curtis Bay in South Baltimore, Visiting Academics and Activists See a Hidden Part of the City”
    Christian Olaniran, Adam Thompson, Caroline Foreback, CBS News, “Residents meet after air quality study reveals presence of coal dust in Curtis Bay”
    Permanent links below...
    Working People Patreon page
    Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show!
    Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    Featured Music...
    Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Vina Colley

    Vina Colley

    "Vina Colley was Erin Brockovich before Erin Brockovich," Kevin Williams wrote in a 2020 Belt Magazine article titled, "The Poisonous Legacy of Portsmouth’s Gaseous Diffusion Plant." Williams continues, "Colley has become an unlikely citizen-scientist, spending a lifetime researching and documenting PORTS and its sins... Colley was hired as an electrician at the facility in 1980 and worked there for three years. 'I was exposed to everything. We were cleaning off radioactive equipment that we did not know was radioactive. They never told us,' Colley told me. Then, she said, her hair started falling out, she developed rashes, and 'I got really sick and went to the hospital, not knowing that it was my job causing me all these problems. I had big tumors.' In the four decades since, she’s faced a range of health problems, including chronic bronchitis, tumors, and pulmonary edema." In this episode, we sit down with Colley herself to talk about growing up in Ohio during America's Cold War atomic age, her experience working as an electrician at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, and her decades-long fight to hold the plant and the government accountable for what they've done to her, her coworkers, and her community, and to get them the compensation they deserve.
    Additional links/info below…
    Vina's Facebook page
    DOL Energy Advisory Board Information: Comments for the Record, "My name is Vina Colley and I am a sick worker from the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion plant in Piketon, Ohio..."
    Kevin Williams, Belt Magazine, "The Poisonous Legacy of Portsmouth’s Gaseous Diffusion Plant"
    Erin Gottsacker, The Ohio Newsroom, "Piketon stopped enriching uranium twenty years ago. Now the nuclear industry is coming back"
    Scioto Valley Guardian, "Residents in Pike County closer to justice and compensation for radioactive contaminants"
    Sen. Sherrod Brown, Press Release: "Brown secures commitment to work to add Pike, Scioto county residents to radiation exposure compensation program"
    Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "East Palestine residents demand fully-funded healthcare"
    Permanent links below...
    Working People Patreon page
    Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show!
    Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    Featured Music...
    Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song

    • 1 hr 47 min
    Working People Deserve Bread and Roses—and Musicals (w/ Gene Bruskin)

    Working People Deserve Bread and Roses—and Musicals (w/ Gene Bruskin)

    Gene Bruskin was born to a Jewish working-class family in South Philadelphia and has been a life-long social justice activist, union organizer, poet, and playwright. Since retiring from the labor movement, Gene wrote his first play in 2016, a musical comedy for and about work and workers called Pray For the Dead: A Musical Tale of Morgues, Moguls and Mutiny. In this mini-cast we talk to Bruskin about his life in the the labor movement, the role of art and imagination in revolutionary politics, and about Bruskin's new musical, The Return of John Brown, which is premiering this month in Baltimore, Washington, DC, and the John Brown Raid Headquarters in Maryland. "In a staged reading of this new musical, John Brown, who in 1859 became the first person in the nation executed for treason, climbs out of his grave where he was hanged, into the present, only to be rearrested and threatened with another hanging."
    Additional links/info below…
    The Return of John Brown (musical,) website
    Cosmopod, "Gene Bruskin: A Life in the Labor Movement"
    Christina L. Perez, Labor Notes, "Labor Musical Brings Morgue Workers' Struggle to Life"
    Permanent links below...
    Working People Patreon page
    Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show!
    Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    Featured Music...
    Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song

    • 38 min
    Justice for East Palestine Residents & Workers Conference in East Palestine

    Justice for East Palestine Residents & Workers Conference in East Palestine

    On March 23, 2024, a coalition of around 80 people convened at the East Palestine Country Club at the first gathering called by the newly formed Justice for East Palestine Residents & Workers Coalition. Those in attendance included: East Palestine residents; railroad workers; residents of other “sacrifice zones" in Ohio, Maryland, California, and West Virginia; concerned citizens living near other rail lines; labor activists and labor union representatives; representatives of environmental justice organizations; (striking) journalists; socialists, Trump voters, non-voters, etc.; and more. As journalist Steve Mellon reported, "The newly formed coalition, dubbed Justice for East Palestine Residents & Workers, determined they will travel to Washington, D.C., on Oct. 8 to further their demand that the federal government step in and make sure those affected by the derailment are provided with fully funded health care. They plan to involve union members, including those who represent workers at railroad companies, as well as environmentalists and members of other communities damaged by chemical contamination. The coalition also determined to schedule a second conference in Iowa — the cause has been embraced by union organizers there; several traveled by bus to East Palestine to attend Saturday’s event — and to seek a meeting with the president of the AFL-CIO. Organizers want the federation of unions representing more than 12 million workers to support the coalition’s demand.”
     
    In this extended episode, you will hear a compilation of speakers from the March 23 conference in East Palestine. Speakers include: Lauri Harmon, East Palestine resident; Chris Albright, East Palestine resident; Jami Rae Wallace, East Palestine resident, president of East Palestine Unity Council; Christina Siceloff, East Palestine resident; Rob Two-Hawks, East Palestine resident; Daren Gamble, East Palestine resident; John Palmer, longtime organizer and officer with the Teamsters, but not speaking on behalf of the Teamsters; Andrew Sandberg, International Association of Machinists (IAM); George Waksmunski, United Electrical Workers (UE); Chris Silvera,  Teamsters Local 808 Executive Secretary; Steve Mellon, journalist for the Pittsburgh Union Progress, on strike at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for 18 months; Vina Colley, Portsmouth-Piketon Residents for Environmental Safety & Security; Steve Zeltzer, WorkWeek; David Pfister, Food & Water Watch; Nicole Fabricant, activist, academic, and author of Fighting to Breathe: Race, Toxicity, and the Rise of Youth Activism in Baltimore; Hilary Flint, Clean Air Action; Penny Logsdon, Lee County, Iowa, Labor Chapter; Jeff Kurtz, Lee County, Iowa, Labor Chapter; Carrie Duncan, Lee County, Iowa, Labor Chapter; Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network; Mike Stout, Musician.
     
    Additional links/info below…
    Justice for East Palestine Residents & Workers website
    Mike Stout, "Stand Up for East Palestine" music video
    Steve Zeltzer, The Labor Video Project YouTube channel
    Steve Mellon, Pittsburgh Union Progress, "‘If I don’t talk no one’s going to know’: Stories of pain from East Palestine move coalition members to action"
    Permanent links below...
    Working People Patreon page
    Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show!
    Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    Featured Music...
    Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song
    Jules Taylor, "E.P. Theme for W.P."

    • 3 hr 6 min
    From Baltimore to East Palestine, This Is Unacceptable (w/ The Valley Labor Report & Maximillian Alvarez)

    From Baltimore to East Palestine, This Is Unacceptable (w/ The Valley Labor Report & Maximillian Alvarez)

    24 hours after Max returned to Baltimore from East Palestine, Ohio, the shipping vessel Dali slammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge, collapsing it into the Patapsco River. The catastrophic collision and collapse of the bridge claimed the lives of six immigrant, non-union construction workers who were working the night shift at the time, filling potholes on the bridge. In this interview on The Valley Labor Report, Alabama's only weekly union talk show, hosts Jacob Morrison and Adam Keller speak with Max about The Real News Network's coverage of the bridge collapse, the connections between Baltimore and East Palestine, and about the conspiracists and "anti-woke" grifters who are trying to capitalize on this tragedy for their own gain.
    Additional links/info below…
    Baltimore Immigrant Community Fund Key Bridge Emergency Response
    The Valley Labor Report YouTube channel, Facebook page, Twitter/X page, and Patreon
    The Valley Labor Report, "The Toll of Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse in Baltimore on Working People - TVLR 3/30/24"
    Democracy Now!, "Baltimore Key Bridge Collapses, Killing Six Immigrant Workers Who Had No Access to Emergency Warnings"
    America's Workforce Radio, "Union Solidarity Is the Key to Getting East Palestine Residents Help"
    Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Missing, Presumed Dead Workers from Key Bridge Weren’t Informed of Mayday Call"
    Maximillian Alvarez, The Nation, "Echoes of East Palestine in the Key Bridge Collapse"
    Breaking Points, "Construction Workers ABANDONED in Baltimore Bridge Collapse"
    Permanent links below...
    Working People Patreon page
    Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show!
    Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page
    Featured Music...
    Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song
    Jules Taylor, "TVLR Theme Song / Florence Reece Remix"

    • 58 min
    Labor, Community, & Environmental Organizations Are Mobilizing to Get East Palestine Healthcare (w/ Justice for East Palestine Residents & Workers)

    Labor, Community, & Environmental Organizations Are Mobilizing to Get East Palestine Healthcare (w/ Justice for East Palestine Residents & Workers)

    This Saturday, March 23, unionists and labor leaders, environmental justice groups, community organizers, community members from other “sacrifice zones,” and supporters from around the country are coming to East Palestine to join residents as part of the newly formed Justice for East Palestine Residents and Workers coalition. The coalition has come together in recent months and mobilized around the core objective of pressuring President Biden to invoke the Stafford Act and issue a major disaster declaration for East Palestine. If Biden does this, organizers say, it will immediately unlock a whole suite of federal resources that residents desperately need and have been demanding for a year, and it will also immediately guarantee every resident emergency healthcare. For residents like Chris Albright—a former pipeline worker and LIUNA member who has been disabled by the toxic fallout from the derailment, is now experiencing severe heart failure, can’t work, and has subsequently lost his health benefits—this is a matter of life and death, and we are racing against the clock.
     
    This episode is a compilation of voices from across the growing Justice for East Palestine Residents and Workers coalition. Speeches in the first half are from a panel cohosted by Steve Zeltzer and Penny Logsdon and recorded by the Labor Video Project on Feb. 3, 2024, the one-year anniversary of the derailment; speeches in the second half are from another panel cohosted by Steve Zeltzer and Penny Logsdon and recorded by the Labor Video Project on March 9, 2024. Speakers include: Steve Zeltzer (Labortech); Penny Logsdon (Lee County Labor Chapter); Chris Albright (East Palestine resident, LIUNA member); Jami Wallace (East Palestine Unity Council); Steve Mellon (Pittsburgh Union Progress); Jeff Kurtz (Lee County Labor Chapter); Maximillian Alvarez (The Real News Network); Mike Stout (protest musician); Charlie Wishman (Iowa AFL-CIO); John Palmer (Teamsters, San Antonio); Bob Anspach (BLET-IBT 391); Vina Colley (Portsmouth Pikeston Residents for Environmental Justice). 
     
    From the Justice for East Palestine Residents and Workers organizing committee: "We will be hosting a National Conference for the people of East Palestine along with supporters in Ohio and throughout the country to build this campaign for healthcare on Saturday, March 23, 2024, where we will bring community members, labor, environmentalist and allies together in our urgent campaign. This Conference will be held from 12-5pm ET at the East Palestine Park.  To contact the Justice for East Palestine Residents and Workers organizing committee, reach out to 
    Steve Zeltzer: labormedia[at]gmail[dot]com
    Penny Logsdon: onecent7921[at]gmail[dot]com
    In solidarity."
    Additional links/info below…
    Steve Mellon, Pittsburgh Union Progress, "‘Where are you, President Biden?’ Union organizers, residents demand health care for East Palestine" Maximillian Alvarez, Breaking Points, "East Palestine DEMANDS Biden Visit More Than 'PHOTO OP'" Permanent links below...
    Working People Patreon page Leave us a voicemail and we might play it on the show! Labor Radio / Podcast Network website, Facebook page, and Twitter page In These Times website, Facebook page, and Twitter page The Real News Network website, YouTube channel, podcast feeds, Facebook page, and Twitter page Featured Music...
    Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song

    • 1 hr 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
249 Ratings

249 Ratings

fantographicsprwss ,

I look forward to each one

I love how Max gives everyone a voice. The small imperfections in the long discussions put me at ease and inspire trust. The Oil and Gas episode was spot-on accurate in the portrayal of the culture. I loved the Dollar General ones among others. This is important work. Thank you.

Lorin P ,

Hmmm

I started listening to this pod wanting to know more about the railroad and the interworkind of it. But, after listening to a few episodes it’s clear this is just another political podcast only willing to shed light on one side of the issue.

Union brother1 ,

Solidarity

Solidarity is what we need in these times and this pod has it in spades!

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Stuff You Should Know
iHeartPodcasts
Fail Better with David Duchovny
Lemonada Media
This American Life
This American Life
Shawn Ryan Show
Shawn Ryan | Cumulus Podcast Network
Blame it on the Fame: Milli Vanilli
Wondery
The Ezra Klein Show
New York Times Opinion

You Might Also Like

Citations Needed
Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson
Revolutionary Left Radio
Revolutionary Left Radio
Jacobin Radio
Jacobin
Guerrilla History
Guerrilla History
Trillbilly Worker's Party
Trillbilly Worker's Party
The Dig
Daniel Denvir