UpFront

Labor Day Special: Updates from Oakland city workers, Kaiser healthcare workers, Kentucky coal miners and women on birth strike; plus Cesar Chavez from the Pacifica Radio Archives

0:08 – This Labor Day, we feature several ongoing labor struggles across the US, starting with Oakland city workers. We’re joined in-studio by Felipe Cuevas, thCity of Oakland Chapter President of SEIU 1021 (@seiu1021) representing more than 60,000 public service workers across Northern CA. 

0:25 – With more than 80,000 Kaiser Permanente workers set to strike nationwide in early October in the largest walkout in more than two decades, thousands of them – along with patients, clergy, elected leaders and community allies – are protesting at 10 a.m. today at Mosswood Park, 3612 Webster St., against what they say are the healthcare giant’s unfair labor practices and shift from prioritizing patients and the community to profits and enriching top executives. 

0:29 – Song: Joe Hill by Paul Robeson

0:34 – From the Pacifica Radio Archives 65th Anniversary Special: Sixty Five Years, Sixty Five Voices, we bring you a 1966 speech by Cesar Chavez about the Delano Grape Strike.

0:55 – Blackjewel miners blockade update: For three weeks coal miners have blocked both lanes of the Kingdom Come Parkway in Harlan County, Ky. The protest began with just five men blocking a full train of coal but has grown into a 24 hour encampment along the railroad tracks next to the highway. Blackjewel, the two-year-old company where the miners worked declared bankruptcy in the middle of an afternoon shift – laying everyone off immediately. Miners received no pay for their last week on the job and then learned that the checks from the previous two weeks had bounced. Miners have vowed to stay, until they’re paid. 

0:59 – Song: Mountain Song by Holly Near

1:08 – We continue our Labor Day Coverage with Oakland City Workers From IFPTE Local 21 about the challenges they’re facing with wages, contracts and conditions. We speak with Julian Ware, an IT worker for the City of Oakland, and Kristen Schumacher is a research specialist with IFPTE Local 21.

1:28 – Song: More Than A Paycheck by Sweet Honey and the Rock.

1:34 – Author Interview: Jenny Brown is a national Women’s Liberation organizer and former editor of Labor Notes, a media and organizing project centered on the union movement. She’s the author of Without Apology: The Abortion Struggle Now and her new book is Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women’s Work.

1:57 – Song: Which Side Are You On? by Pete Seeger

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