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Social Science

Working People

Working People

Working People: A podcast by, for, and about the working class today. 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 l...Show More

23:50 | Jul 26th

A section from our chat with Astra Taylor, writer, filmmaker, organizer, and co-founder of the Debt Collective. We talk about Astra's new documentary, What Is Democracy?, and her companion book, Democracy May Not Exist, But We'll Miss It When It's Go...Show More

27:24 | Aug 24th

The US Department of Labor has proposed changes to apprenticeship programs that could spell disaster for union workers in the building trades, giving businesses  the ability to create their own apprenticeship programs (IRAPs), underpay workers, and u...Show More
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22:18 | Aug 4th

We talk with Josh Holbrook, one of the Kentucky coal miners currently protesting coal companies Black Jewel, Black Hawk, and Revelation for stiffing him and his coworkers on backpay after going bankrupt. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive...Show More

1:09:18 | Jul 16th

We chat with two brilliant scholars, Lana Povitz and Eleni Schirmer, about food justice, social movements, what political engagement really means, and how to build solidarity. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

24:37 | Jul 12th

We chat with journalist Emily Guendelsberger about her new book, On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

1:11:18 | Jul 7th

We chat with journalist, media critic, and cohost of the Citations Needed podcast Adam Johnson about working in the service industry, how mainstream media serve the ruling class, and about developing the tools we need to cut through the bullshit. (Al...Show More

1:01:16 | Jun 30th

Last Monday, Representatives Ilhan Omar, Pramila Jayapal, and Senator Bernie Sanders unveiled the Student Debt Cancellation Act of 2019, which includes a plan to wipe out the $1.6 trillion in student debt held by 45 million Americans. In this this sp...Show More

49:29 | Jun 22nd

In this urgent special episode, we talk with Diana Marin, Supervising Attorney at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, and Professor Bill Lopez about what to do if ICE raids your workplace. We discuss what precautions individuals, families, and comm...Show More

43:16 | Jun 12th

We chat with Current Affairs Amusements and Managing Editor, Lyta Gold, about her latest viral tweet and about why upper-middle-class liberals get so mad when you talk about class. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

1:21:31 | Jun 7th

We wrap up Season Two by chatting with Erin Fristad. Erin is currently an adjunct professor at a community college and she works with combat veterans as an equine therapy specialist. She is also a writer and she worked in the commercial fishing indus...Show More

57:01 | Jun 3rd

Our friend David Parsons from The Nostalgia Trap podcast comes back on the show to talk about their exciting new video project, left media, and about the importance of telling history a different way. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

1:05:40 | Jun 1st

In Part II of our ORGANIZE! series on the Democratic Socialists of America, we talk to Michael, a restaurant worker and co-chair of the DSA New Orleans chapter. We talk about how working in restaurants has made her a better organizer, about the impor...Show More

1:12:25 | Jun 1st

To kick off our ORGANIZE! series, we’re talking to folks who have found a home and a cause worth fighting for in the Democratic Socialists of America. In Part I we talk to Jen from the DSA-Eugene chapter in Oregon. We talk about growing up poor and t...Show More

26:44 | May 27th

Friend of the show Kaytlin Bailey is back to tell us about the work she's doing at Decriminalize Sex Work and about the hysterical, disastrous push by legislators in Florida to further criminalize sex workers. (All music sourced from the Free Music A...Show More

32:01 | May 25th

Activist Arielle Cohen shares her abortion story and some words of wisdom to guide us through these dark times. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

1:00:45 | May 19th

We chat with Walter Vicente, a Guatemalan immigrant and textile worker in North Carolina. But Walter isn’t just a worker … he is also a proud co-owner at a worker co-op called Opportunity Threads, a cut-and-sew factory in Morganton, North Carolina. (...Show More

1:06:15 | May 14th

We are kicking off our new series: Workers' Book Club! To get things started, our host, Maximillian Alvarez, sat down to chat with author, historian, and independent scholar Keri Leigh Merritt about the recent volume she co-edited with Matthew Hild, ...Show More

36:38 | May 13th

We chat with John Tormey, writer and track laborer for the commuter rail in Massachusetts, about his essay for The Baffler, "Known Assailants," Boston accents, and the white working class. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

20:33 | May 7th

We chat with Alexandra Carbone, gig worker and organizer with Rideshare Drivers United, about the #StrikeUberLyft strike tomorrow and how you can show solidarity with workers. (Don't cross the picket line!) (All music sourced from the Free Music Arch...Show More

34:15 | May 7th

We talk to disability and health activist Stefanie Mezigian about ride-sharing company Lyft's violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and how this is connected to the #StrikeUberLyft strike scheduled for May 8th. (Don't cross the picket lin...Show More

34:14 | May 6th

We chat with writer and podcaster Luke Savage about his recent Jacobin piece on how the media and politicians alike either reduce the working class to a few simplistic stereotypes or erase us entirely. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

1:12:59 | May 3rd

We talk to Drew Edmonds, a Burgerville worker in Portland, Oregon, and an organizer with the Burgerville Workers Union. We talk about the fight Drew and his coworkers led to form the nation’s first federally recognized fast food union (followed by wo...Show More

34:42 | May 1st

We chat with writer, organizer, witch, and educator Raechel Anne Jolie about the spirit of May Day--a day of international worker solidarity. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

1:12:58 | Apr 26th

We chat with Jennifer Gates, a Grocery Steward at Ralphs in Southern California and a member of UFCW 770. We talk about how she came to work at Ralphs, the relationships she's built over the years, and about the role that grocery stores play in the c...Show More

1:31:57 | Apr 24th

We talk with Reese Piper, a professional stripper, writer, and journalist. We talk about Reese’s life, about being different, going off to college, and we talk about her long path to realizing that she was autistic, and about how she came to terms wi...Show More

33:03 | Apr 22nd

We chat with Mexico-City-based journalist Martha Pskowski about her reporting on the maquila worker strikes just south of the U.S.-Mexico border, and about why we should all be paying attention to the recent developments in Mexican labor politics. (A...Show More

40:31 | Apr 17th

We chat with Dave G, cohost of the Mandatory OT podcast, member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and longtime State Tested Nursing Assistant (STNA) in the Ohio Valley. We talk about what it's like to work as an STNA, the low pay, the ram...Show More

19:48 | Apr 13th

At 1:00pm on Thursday, April 11, over 31,000 Stop & Shop workers across New England walked off the job. The strike is going on at this very moment and gaining public support, even as Stop & Shop bosses try to ice out and undercut workers. We talk to ...Show More

1:15:17 | Apr 12th

We chat with Dr. Laura Bucci, labor scholar, writer, and Assistant Professor of Political Science at St. Joseph's University. We talk about Laura's research, the white working class, and the complex consequences of the decline of labor unions in the ...Show More

34:03 | Apr 10th

We chat with Christina Clark and John Deitcher from Endorphin Films about their viral short documentary, Dish Pigs, which tracks the lives and jobs of three professional dishwashers in Montreal. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

28:34 | Apr 8th

We chat with Professor Miriam Posner about her recent articles in The New Yorker and LOGIC magazine on the global supply chain software that shapes workers' lives. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

1:23:23 | Apr 6th

We talk with Lucy Lloyd, a self-taught Apple product repair and support technician living in Sedan, Minnesota, a town with a population of less than fifty people. We talk about growing up in a small town, setting up her repair business in the corner ...Show More

39:16 | Apr 3rd

We chat with Tarence Ray, writer and 1/3 of the Trillbilly Workers Party, about his recent article in The Baffler about what liberal pundits like Paul Krugman get wrong about rural America. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

27:06 | Apr 1st

We chat with with author and scholar Nate Kalman-Lamb about his extensive work on the labor politics of professional sports, and about his and Dirk Hayhurst's recent Jacobin piece on the exploitation of professional baseball players. (All music sourc...Show More

2:29:29 | Mar 28th

In this special compilation episode, we talk to eight working-class scholars about loving, leaving, and being left behind by academia. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

1:56:24 | Mar 24th

A special Alvarez family sequel to the very first episode of Working People. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

34:38 | Mar 19th

While all eyes have been on the high-profile #CollegeAdmissionScam, hardly anyone noticed that an entire network of private and for-profit universities was shut down this month. Faculty and staff have been abruptly fired and tens of thousands of stud...Show More

39:47 | Mar 18th

We brought friend of the show Lauren Schandevel back on to vent about and break down last week's college admissions scandal. Lauren (whom we interviewed back in Season 1) is a brilliant, working-class student at the University of Michigan and she has...Show More

1:27:16 | Mar 15th

We chat with  Katelyn O’Brien, a trans woman, comic book nerd, and a pipefitter working for a shipbuilding company in Virginia. We talk all about Katelyn's dangerous job and about the struggles LGBT workers face in the workplace—from everyday harassm...Show More

27:15 | Mar 11th

We talk with labor writer and activist Joe Allen about his recent Jacobin article on the death of FedEx freight driver William L. Murphy. (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

1:23:05 | Mar 7th

In this BONUS EPISODE, as part of our multi-episode series on the GM Layoffs, we talk with writer, activist, and intellectual Sam Gindin. We talk about the history of the auto worker unions in Canada, and we talk about how the GM layoffs fit into the...Show More

26:59 | Mar 4th

We talk with Naomi Burton and Nick Hayes, the young socialist brains behind Means Media, the Detroit-based leftist media cooperative that produced the viral campaign video for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and is about to launch a "Netflix for the left." ...Show More

1:20:17 | Mar 1st

We get down home with our friends Tom and Tarence from the Trillbilly Workers Party, a fun, hilarious, and insightful lefty podcast from Eastern Kentucky that everyone should listen to (and subscribe to on Patreon). (All music sourced from the Free M...Show More

1:19:41 | Feb 28th

We chat with Rick Sturgill, a retired coal miner and electrician from Letcher County, Kentucky. Rick has a lot of sobering things to say about working in coal and about the far-reaching effects the coal industry has had on cities and towns in Appalac...Show More

33:20 | Feb 25th

We talk with Katy Slininger about her latest piece for Popula magazine, "Alienated Labor," in which she explains--in heartbreaking detail--why it became impossible for her to continue working for the postal service once she got pregnant. (All music s...Show More

37:17 | Feb 20th

We talk with Jared Sacks and Buka Okoye, two members of the Columbia grad union (GWC-UAW Local 2110 Graduate Workers of Columbia) about graduate student-workers' fight for more transparent, democratic representation. (All music sourced from the Free ...Show More

1:27:52 | Feb 20th

We talk with Evan Montgomery, a third-generation grain farmer and classical musician in the North Dakota side of the Red River Valley. We talk about the "harvest from hell" and the struggles facing family farmers in the age of climate change and gian...Show More

26:53 | Feb 13th

Carl Slone is a coal miner who lives in Whitesburg, Kentucky, a town of about 1,200 people. He's never protested before. But when he saw a local establishment publicly shaming poor people in his community, he decided to do something about it. (All mu...Show More

24:58 | Feb 12th

We talk with DSA member and Jacobin staff writer Meagan Day about her recent article "The 'Skills Gap' Was a Lie." (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

41:53 | Feb 8th

Faculty have been on strike at Wright State University for over two weeks now, and things are coming to a head. In this special episode, we check in with Doctor Noeleen McIlvenna, a professor of early American history at Wright State and Executive Co...Show More

25:46 | Feb 6th

We talk to journalist Ross Barkan about his recent article in Gothamist, "Amazon's NYC Campus, Donald Trump's Rise, & NY's Prison Boom All Share A Common Ancestor." (All music sourced from the Free Music Archive)

1:23:00 | Jan 31st

Represented by UNITE HERE Local 11, hotel workers in Southern California have been taking bold and necessary actions to secure a contract that addresses serious concerns over wages & workplace safety. We sat down with Glynndana Shevlin (Season 1, Ep ...Show More

2:32:45 | Jan 22nd

Working People is back for Season Two! In this #RedForEd special, we talk to Trevor, Jesenia, and Danielle, three teachers and members of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) who are currently joining their brothers and sisters in a historic strike acr...Show More

2:59:00 | Dec 15th, 2018

In the fourth and final part of our series on the GM layoffs, we speak with activists, workers, scholars, and writers to get a range of perspectives on the GM layoffs, the plight of workers in the U.S. and beyond, and what we need to do--all of us--t...Show More

1:48:41 | Dec 12th, 2018

In Part III of our series on the GM layoffs, we talk to Cory Weir and Rebecca Keetch, two workers at the award-winning GM plant in Oshawa, Ontario. We talk about the pivotal role Oshawa has played in Canadian labor history and about what workers ther...Show More

2:32:32 | Dec 6th, 2018

In Part II of our series on the GM layoffs, we talk to Lilly and Sean, Tier 2 and Tier 3 workers at the GM plant in Hamtramck, and we talk to Beau, a salaried worker at the GM Metal Center in Pontiac, about the announced closure of the historic Hamtr...Show More

2:10:02 | Dec 5th, 2018

2018: On the Monday after Thanksgiving, General Motors workers in the U.S. and Canada learned of the company's announcement that it would be idling five plants and cutting around 14,000 jobs. In this urgent, multi-episode series, we will be talking t...Show More

2:01:44 | Nov 22nd, 2018

In this episode, we talk to Em, an Alaskan Native who is now living and working in Jackson, Wyoming. We talk about growing up in Alaska, about cheerleading and boyfriends. We talk about all the jobs Em has had, from serving customers at a Cold Stone ...Show More

1:53:34 | Nov 13th, 2018

In this episode, we round off our special series on sex work by talking to Kai, a sex worker and DJ in Atlanta. We talk about different kinds of sex work, how sex workers take care of themselves and each other, and about the disastrous implications t...Show More

1:37:00 | Nov 9th, 2018

In Part II of our bonus episode in this special Working People series on sex work, we chat to Alex Andrews, an organizer, former sex worker, and co-founder of SWOP Behind Bars. We talk to Alex about what led her to get involved with SWOP and about th...Show More

1:37:22 | Nov 4th, 2018

In Part I of our two-part bonus episode on sex work, we chat to Kaytlin Bailey, comedian, writer, activist, sex worker, and host of The Oldest Profession, a funny and unapologetic podcast about the lives of sex workers throughout history. We talk abo...Show More

1:49:14 | Oct 30th, 2018

In this episode, we begin our special 2-week series on sex work by talking to Ceyenne Doroshow, performer, activist, author, organizer, public figure in the trans and sex workers rights’ movements, and the Founder and Executive Director of G.L.I.T.S....Show More

1:55:49 | Oct 18th, 2018

In Part I of our two-part BONUS EPISODE on labor, class, and higher education, we chat to Trevor Griffey, writer, historian, and Labor Studies lecturer at the UCLA and California State University, Dominguez Hills. Trevor breaks down the insidious, de...Show More

2:11:04 | Oct 18th, 2018

In this episode, we talk to John Buckley, an English lecturer at the University of Michigan. John is a member of the lecturer’s union at UM, the Lecturers’ Employee Organization (LEO), and was on the bargaining team throughout the effort to negotiate...Show More

2:36:14 | Oct 9th, 2018

In this episode, which is a little longer than our typical episodes, we talk to Vickie Shannon Allen, a native Texan and a warehouse worker at an Amazon fulfillment center, where she sustained an injury on the job. Vickie’s struggle with Amazon to ge...Show More

1:59:14 | Sep 21st, 2018

In our first BONUS EPISODE of the season, we chat to Rob Larson, writer and professor of economics at Tacoma Community College, and take a deep dive into his new book, Capitalism vs. Freedom: The Toll Road to Serfdom. We also talk about Eugene Debs a...Show More

1:55:05 | Sep 10th, 2018

In this episode, we chat with Sara, a DACA recipient and telemarketer in Las Vegas. Sara is not the kind of person you can put in any one box. We talk about growing up feeling "in between," about working in fast food and running a cleaning service, a...Show More

1:42:09 | Sep 3rd, 2018

In this special Labor Day episode, we talk to LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota, and one of the founders of the resistance camps where the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (#NoDA...Show More

1:39:31 | Aug 27th, 2018

In this episode, we talk to Tom Madden, a native Missourian, a professional plumber, and member of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Local 562. We talk about growing up in a strict household, wild times in high school, and about the complex, vital w...Show More

1:47:41 | Aug 20th, 2018

In this episode, we talk to Angela Prigge, a hospitality worker in Hawaii who also serves on the executive board of her union, UNITE HERE Local 5. We discuss how Angela witnessed firsthand the major changes to Hawaii’s economy, as the tourist and hos...Show More

1:44:24 | Aug 13th, 2018

In this episode, we talk to Lauren Schandevel, a senior at the University of Michigan and founder of "Being Not Rich at UM," an open-source guide for low-income students like herself who are trying to navigate college life. We talk about Lauren’s exp...Show More

1:58:22 | Aug 6th, 2018

In this episode, we talk to Adrienne, a teacher in Michigan, single mother of three, and a grievance officer in her local union. We talk about many facets of Adrienne's remarkable life, including growing up in cooperative housing in Lansing, and the ...Show More

1:40:17 | Aug 6th, 2018

In this episode, I have the pleasure of talking with Glynndana Shevlin, a Disney Resort worker, a member of UNITE HERE Local 11, and an incredibly lovely person. We talk about her life, her time working at Disney, and the struggles she and her co-wor...Show More

1:50:34 | Aug 6th, 2018

In this inaugural episode of Working People, I talk to Jesus Alvarez: a Mexican immigrant who became a US citizen in 1980; a shy kid who met his wife, Regina, while working at a Sizzler; a life-long Republican voter; a family man; a realtor who, like...Show More