207 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 • 204 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.

    Tevita 'Uhatafe

    Tevita 'Uhatafe

    If you were following the strikes and labor actions that were happening last year, then you may have noticed that a certain face kept popping up in photos and reports from picket lines all over the country, from the Kelloggs’, Nabisco, and John Deere strikes, to the Warrior Met Coal miners caravan to New York City. Who was this mysterious member of the Transport Workers Union making his way to states all around the US to show solidarity with workers in their different struggles? Well, it turns out that that guy is Tevita 'Uhatafe, a first-generation Tongan American, family man, rank-and-file member of the Transport Workers Union Local 513 in Dallas-Fort Worth, and Vice President of the Tarrant County AFL-CIO Central Labor Council. In this episode, we talk with Tevita about his life, about why family has always been so important to him, about working in the airline industry, coming to the organized labor movement, and about how doing the vital solidarity work he does is such a fundamental part of who he is as a person.
    Additional links/info below...
    Tevita's Twitter page Tevita's PayPal (let's get Tevita to Labor Notes!): @TUhatafe  Haeden Wright's Twitter page Braxton Wright's Twitter page Haeden and Braxton's PayPal (let's get them to Labor Notes too!): @haedenwright Tarrant County Central Labor Council website, Facebook page, and Twitter page Tevita recognized for his contribution to the labor movement for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "'Twerking-class heroes: LA strippers are fighting for a union"  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 (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
    Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    • 1 hr 39 min
    Starbucks "partners" becoming partners (w/ Arianna Ayala)

    Starbucks "partners" becoming partners (w/ Arianna Ayala)

    We'll be back with new interviews next week after Jules has settled in and recovered from moving cross country! Until then, with permission from The Real News Network, we are sharing the audio of Max's recent interview with Arianna Ayala, a Starbucks partner in New York City and worker-organizer with Starbucks Workers United.
    The rank-and-file effort to unionize Starbucks stores around the United States is one of the most head-spinningly historic worker-led movements in our generation. Since the Elmwood Avenue store in Buffalo, New York, made history by becoming the first location to unionize in December of 2021, hundreds of Starbucks locations have filed for union elections, and the overwhelming majority of stores that have already held elections voted in favor of unionizing. Even in the face of intense opposition from corporate executives and upper-level managers at one of the most powerful companies in the world, and working within the incredibly restrictive confines of US labor law, partners organizing with Starbucks Workers United keep racking up wins. In this interview for TRNN, Max sits down with Arianna Ayala, a Starbucks partner and member of the organizing committee at her store in New York City, which recently filed for a union election, to talk about her own experience working at Starbucks during the COVID-19 pandemic, why she and her fellow partners took that fateful step to organize, and why they, like Starbucks partners around the country, believe that a unionized workforce will make Starbucks a better company.
    Additional links/info below...
    Starbucks Workers United website, Twitter page, and Instagram Union Election Data: Current Starbucks Statistics Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "The Historic, Youthful, Rank-and-File Movement to Unionize Starbucks" Paul Blest, VICE News, "Lateness, Cursing, a Broken Sink: Starbucks Keeps Firing Pro-Union Employees" Alex N. Press, Jacobin, "The Starbucks Union Drive Is Spreading With Impressive Speed" Rani Molla, Vox, "How a Bunch of Starbucks Baristas Built a Labor Movement" Kate Rogers, CNBC, "Starbucks Hit with Sweeping Labor Complaint Including Over 200 Alleged Violations" 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 (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
    Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    • 39 min
    50 Years of Class War in Wisconsin (w/ Frank Emspak & Adrienne Pagac)

    50 Years of Class War in Wisconsin (w/ Frank Emspak & Adrienne Pagac)

    This is the final installment in our special series of conversations with teachers, organizers, scholars, and activists in Wisconsin that Max, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) recorded in the summer of 2021 as part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine. To round out the series, we drive straight into the heart of darkness with an in-depth discussion with veteran educators and organizers Frank Emspak and Adrienne Pagac about the passage of Act 10 in Wisconsin under Republican Governor Scott Walker, the statewide protests against it, and the devastation that it has left in Wisconsin for the past 11 years. Frank is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School for Workers and a labor activist based in Madison, Wisconsin. He is a regular contributor to WORT Labor Radio, Progressive Magazine, and a range of other media outlets. Adrienne is a scholar, organizer, and former co-president of the Teaching Assistants Association.
    The statewide protests against Act 10, known as the Wisconsin Uprising, comprised one of the largest sustained collective actions in the history of the United States, and anyone who was there in 2011 will attest to the collective spirit of resistance and solidarity that the uprising embodied, and the lasting impact it left on all who participated. But the protests were ultimately unsuccessful in beating back Act 10, and the short and long term effects of its passage have been a disaster for working people and organized labor. How did this coordinated assault on labor come to pass in Wisconsin? And what lessons can the rest of us around the country learn from the 50-year war on workers that has changed the state of Wisconsin for generations?
    Additional links/info below...
    Frank's Twitter page Adrienne's Twitter page Frank Emspak, Red Madison, "Commemorating the Wisconsin Uprising" Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "'You've got to shut it down': Lessons from Wisconsin's 2011 Worker Uprising" In These Times investigative series: The Wisconsin Idea The Jacobin Show, "The Democratic Coalition after Trump and the Fall of Wisconsin" Dan Kaufman, Norton Books, The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics Michael D. Yates, Monthly Review Press, Wisconsin Uprising: Labor Fights Back John Nichols, Bold Type Books, Uprising: How Scott Walker Betrayed Wisconsin and Inspired a New Politics of Protest 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 (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
    Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    • 1 hr 39 min
    Amazon Labor Union

    Amazon Labor Union

    On Sunday, April 24, the independent Amazon Labor Union held a rally outside the JFK8 fulfillment center on Staten Island, New York, where, just one month ago, workers shocked the world by becoming the first Amazon workforce in the US to successfully vote to unionize. With supporters from organized labor and the surrounding community showing up in full force, along with high-profile appearances from Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, worker-organizers with the ALU showed their support for their coworkers at the LDJ5 sorting center, another facility in the same complex that is voting in their own union election this week. If LDJ5 becomes the second Amazon facility to unionize, it will prove that what happened at JFK8 was not a fluke, but the beginning of a historic movement to unionize the second largest private employer in the US and one of the most powerful corporations in the world.  In this special episode, we put together a compilation of speeches from the rally along with interviews Max conducted on the ground with Amazon workers and other special guests. Speakers/interviewees include: Christian Smalls, president of the Amazon Labor Union; Derrick Palmer, vice president of organizing for the Amazon Labor Union; Jordan Flowers, cofounder of the Congress of Essential Workers and the Amazon Labor Union; Senator Bernie Sanders; Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Karen Ponce, interim secretary of the Amazon Labor Union; Julian Mitchell-Israel, LDJ5 Amazon worker, field organizer for the Amazon Labor Union; Maddie Wesley, LDJ5 Amazon worker, treasurer of the Amazon Labor Union; Kshama Sawant, (socialist) Seattle City Council Member; Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO; Charles Jenkins, elected officer of the Transport Worker Union Local 100 and president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) NY Chapter; Brittany Ramos DeBarros, candidate for Congress in New York's 11th District; Luis Feliz Leon, staff writer and organizer for Labor Notes; Michelle Valentin Nieves, worker-organizer with the Amazon Labor Union.
    Additional links/info below...
    Amazon Labor Union website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram The Amazon Labor Union Solidarity Fund Chris Smalls' Twitter page Derrick Palmer's Twitter page Jordan Flowers' Twitter page The Congress of Essential Workers website and Twitter page Julian Mitchell-Israel's Twitter page Kshama Sawant's Twitter page Sara Nelson's Twitter page The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists' website and Twitter page Brittany Ramos DeBarros's Twitter page  Luis Feliz Leon's Labor Notes author page and Twitter page Michelle Valentin Nieves's Twitter page Bernie Sanders's Twitter page Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Twitter page 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 (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
    Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    • 1 hr 39 min
    Kenyon Student Workers & Indiana Graduate Workers on Strike (w/ Molly Orr, Nora Weber, & Anne Kavalerchik)

    Kenyon Student Workers & Indiana Graduate Workers on Strike (w/ Molly Orr, Nora Weber, & Anne Kavalerchik)

    Right now, a majority of residential advisers at Kenyon College, organized with the Kenyon Student Worker Organizing Committee, are on an indefinite strike over unfair labor practices. At the same time, over 1,750 graduate student workers at Indiana University with the Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition are on strike, demanding that the university administration formally recognize their union, pay graduate workers a livable wage, and eliminate costly student fees. In this extended mini-cast, we talk about these important struggles with three worker-organizers across the two campuses: Molly Orr, a sophomore at Kenyon College who works at the Kenyon Farm and the Writing Center; Nora Weber, a fourth-year PhD candidate in Sociology at Indiana University;  and Anne Kavalerchik, a third-year PhD candidate in Sociology and Informatics at Indiana University.
    Additional links/info below...
    Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition—United Electrical Workers website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram  Kenyon Student Worker Organizing Committee—United Electrical Workers website, Facebook page, Twitter page, and Instagram  Nora's Twitter page  Kenyon Strike Fund: K-SWOC-UE Strike Fund - Spring 2022  Indiana Strike Fund: STRIKE UNTIL WE WIN FUND! Maria Carrasco, Inside Higher Ed, "Kenyon College Residential Advisers Go On Indefinite Strike" Hali Tauxe, Indiana Daily Student, "As Graduate Workers Contemplate Strike, Bloomington Campus Officials Announce Raises" Jeremy Hogan, The Bloomingtonian, "Gallery: Grad Workers Strike Tuesday, April 19, 2022" 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 (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
    Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song

    • 43 min
    Maricela Aguilar Monroy

    Maricela Aguilar Monroy

    Just over ten years ago, the landscape for workers’ rights and organized labor in the state of Wisconsin changed dramatically with the passage of Act 10 under Republican Governor Scott Walker in 2011. Act 10 was a hammer blow to the labor movement that essentially stripped collective bargaining rights from public sector workers, made it much more difficult for workers to organize, and forced unions to take massive concessions on healthcare, retirement benefits, and much more. Soon after, in 2015, Walker signed legislation that turned Wisconsin into a “right to work” state, issuing another blow to unions in a state once heralded as a bellwether of the labor movement. But all hope is not lost. In the wake of this coordinated assault on workers and unions, many are using the tools available to them to build up their communities and rebuild working-class power in Wisconsin. This is precisely what we have been investigating in our special series of conversations with teachers, organizers, scholars, and activists in Wisconsin that Max, Cameron Granadino (TRNN), and Hannah Faris (In These Times) recorded in the summer of 2021 as part of a special collaboration between The Real News Network and In These Times magazine. In the latest installment in this series, we talk with Maricela Aguilar Monroy, an undocumented educator and organizer who has spent most of her life in Milwaukee and is working to strengthen the community that has provided a home for her so it can continue to provide a home for others. 
    Additional links/info below...
    Maricela's Twitter page
    YES! (Youth Empowered in the Struggle) Facebook page and Twitter page
    Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network, "Ten Years after Act 10, Wisconsin Teachers Are Still Fighting to Rebuild from the Rubble"
    In These Times investigative series: The Wisconsin Idea
    The Jacobin Show, "The Democratic Coalition after Trump and the Fall of Wisconsin"
    Dan Kaufman, Norton Books, The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics
    Michael D. Yates, Monthly Review Press, Wisconsin Uprising: Labor Fights Back
    John Nichols, Bold Type Books, Uprising: How Scott Walker Betrayed Wisconsin and Inspired a New Politics of Protest
    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 (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)
    Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song"

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
204 Ratings

204 Ratings

Miss Categorized ,

Gathering oral primary sources for the future while trying to ensure humanity gets to have one

Sometimes it’s hard to express how profoundly smart this podcast’s host is. I don’t want to tarnish him with the “g word” because it’s been hollowed out by over and improper use and cheapened to the point of worthlessness. But honestly his intelligence seems way larger than belonging to any one individual. It emanates largely, I’m guessing, from his deep study of both history and literature. He has one foot in the now informed by the past, and the other in the future which will be shaped by what we value in the present. Max Alvarez values the dignity of working people.

I’ve probably listened to about 80% of the output over five seasons, and am the richer for it, not just as a journalist but as a human. It’s both fun and frustrating waiting for the rest of the world to catch up with him (and his seriously-brilliant-in-his-own-right producer, Jules). But I have no doubt they will.

Oh, and he’s not perfect. Which is great because his listeners aren’t required to be either.

Arlie K ,

Much needed!

The discussions happening on the Working People podcast are absolutely vital! I'm super grateful for this platform as a place to listen to and learn from the people who are fighting to change the system every day. I truly cannot recommend this show enough... it's a must-listen!

Dski Works ,

Essential podcast.

We don’t have enough labor-centric shows/podcasts featuring news, analysis, and discussion.

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