Dispatch from Labor Notes & Railroad Workers United Conferences (Chicago, 2024)
Working People
by Working People
1w ago
Two months ago, from April 17-21, workers and labor organizers of all stripes convened in Chicago for the bi-annual Labor Notes conference, which overlapped with the Railroad Workers United convention. As the registration website rightly noted, “Labor Notes Conferences are the biggest gatherings of grassroots labor activists, union reformers, and all-around troublemakers out there." This is not a buttoned up convention of union officials; this is a real grassroots gathering of people on the frontlines of struggle, talking openly, honestly, and strategically about their struggles, victories, an ..read more
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"Safe Staffing Now!": Baltimore Nurses at Largest Catholic Health Network in US Fight On for First Contract (w/ Nicki Horvat)
Working People
by Working People
2w ago
On the morning of Thursday, June 20, unionized nurses at Ascension St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore held a rally outside the hospital to raise awareness of their efforts to secure a first contract and to show management that they’re not backing down from their core demands for safe staffing and an operational model that puts patients and patient care first. "St. Agnes nurses are calling on Ascension to accept their proposals to improve safe staffing and, subsequently, nurse retention," a press release from National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) stated. "Nearly 20 ..read more
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In Brazil, the Climate Crisis Is Already Turning Working People into Climate Refugees (w/ Michael Fox)
Working People
by Working People
3w ago
“Southern Brazil is facing its worst climate tragedy ever," Latin-America-based journalist Mike Fox wrote from Brazil for the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) in early May. "Unprecedented floods have impacted 1.4 million people and forced more than 160,000 people from their homes... The images are shocking. Downtown Porto Alegre, the capital of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, is underwater... On May 2, a dam collapsed, unleashing an over 6-foot-high wave and worsening flooding in the area... Although the tragedy is a natural disaster, experts have pointed out that the ..read more
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"CSX has got to go!" Industrially Polluted South Baltimore Residents March to "Evict" Rail Giant from Their Community
Working People
by Working People
1M ago
On June 10, in the working-class community of Curtis Bay in South Baltimore, over 50 residents, activists, and supporters from around the city marched through the streets of Curtis Bay to hold CSX Transportation accountable for polluting their community, homes, and bodies with toxic coal dust. Even after an expansive scientific study co-sponsored by the Community of Curtis Bay Association, the South Baltimore Community Land Trust, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, and the Maryland Department of Environment confirmed the presence of coal dust in the air of the South Baltimor ..read more
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Liz Oliva Fernández
Working People
by Working People
1M ago
For the past six years on this show, we've talked to working people from across the United States, from virtually every walk of life, about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles. But today, we’re going to talk about what it’s like to live and work in a country that has been designated a political enemy of US empire, a country that sits only 90 miles away from the US, a country that American politicians have resolved to strangle into oblivion for the past 60 years. In this episode, we speak with Liz Oliva Fernández from Cuba. Liz is an award-winning Cuban journalist with Belly of the Be ..read more
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A Veteran Longshoreman's View of the Baltimore Bridge Disaster (w/ John Blom & Marc Steiner)
Working People
by Working People
2M ago
Nearly two months have passed since the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, and the city is still reeling from the disaster. The bridge collapse immediately rendered the Port of Baltimore inoperable, threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs, and billions in wages, business revenue, and state taxes. While channels into the port have begun to open back up slowly, workers on the waterfront have been deeply affected, and the road to recovery will be long. As questions linger about the root causes of the Key Bridge collapse and what sort of future Baltimore can salvage for itsel ..read more
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"South Baltimore is a sacrifice zone" (w/ David Jones, Angela Smothers, Carlos Sanchez, & Tiffany Thompson)
Working People
by Working People
2M ago
“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, l ..read more
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Vina Colley
Working People
by Working People
3M ago
"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 h ..read more
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Working People Deserve Bread and Roses—and Musicals (w/ Gene Bruskin)
Working People
by Working People
3M ago
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 i ..read more
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Justice for East Palestine Residents & Workers Conference in East Palestine
Working People
by Working People
3M ago
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 ..read more
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