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Class Matters is the podcast where we ask the question: "What Would Our Country Look Like If It Were Run By and For the Working Class?"
Nov 7, 2023
Ep 13: Medicare Advantage: What Unions & Retirees Need to Know
In Episode 13 of Class Matters, we’re talking with labor activists Marianne Pizzitola, Rose Roach, and Mark Dudzic about Medicare Advantage (Disadvantage?) health plans and what they mean for union retirees, for collective bargaining, and for the future of traditional Medicare. And we get the scoop on how retirees in New York City are fighting back against efforts to force them onto Advantage plans.
May 22, 2023
Ep 12: Power and Participation in Negotiations and Politics with Jane McAlevey
In Episode 12 of Class Matters, we’re talking with labor organizer Jane McAlevey about how to democratize union negotiations and build significant worker power by practicing transparent, big, and open negotiations. That’s the focus of McAlevey’s latest book, Rules to Win By: Power and Participation in Union Negotiations. McAlevey talks with Gordon Lafer and Adolph Reed Jr. about the impact of negotiations as political education, for building strong unions and for rebuilding democracy.
Jan 31, 2023
Ep 11: Labor on the Rise? A Conversation with UE’s Carl Rosen
With public approval of unions at its highest since 1965, organizing drives bringing in 200,000 new union members, union election petitions to the NLRB up 51 percent, 60 million workers who want a union, and low unemployment spurring strike actions and gains in wages and benefits, many have declared that labor is on the rise. Yet in 2022, the overall share of workers who are union members declined from 10.3 to 10.1 percent. And the Supreme Court stands ready to significantly curtail workers’ right to strike. Ep 11 takes a close look at the obstacles and opportunities for Labor as we head into 2023.
Nov 2, 2022
Ep 10: Millionaires Tax on the Ballot in Massachusetts
Can a union-backed "Millionaires Tax" win at the ballot box in Massachusetts? It would raise $2 billion/year for quality public education, for repair and maintenance of roads and bridges and for public transportation. In Episode Ten, Adolph Reed Jr. talks with union leaders Eve Weinbaum and Dean Robinson on state-wide organizing for the amendment and its potential as a model for an electoral strategy that appeals to and unites working people.
Sep 13, 2022
Ep 9: Inflation: What Workers Need to Know
Inflation and the fight against it is on the public agenda today in a way not seen since the 1970s. In Episode Nine, Professor Adolph Reed Jr. leads a discussion with Sam Gindin and Samir Sonti, on what inflation means for the working class, and why anti-inflation policies have often come at the expense of workers. We also look at how this round of inflation is different, how we should fight it and what inflation means for bargaining union contracts.
Aug 23, 2022
Ep 8: The Jim Crow South + Listener Qs - Part Two
In Part 2 of 2, Adolph Reed Jr discusses his new book, The South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives, with Toure Reed. The Reeds explore how tendencies to romanticize Jim Crow undercuts our ability to address the root causes of racial inequality today. They also tackle questions from our listeners about race and about the labor movement.
Aug 8, 2022
Ep 7: The Jim Crow South + Listener Questions
In Part 1 of 2, Adolph Reed Jr discusses his new book, The South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives, with Toure Reed. The Reeds explore how tendencies to romanticize Jim Crow undercuts our ability to address the root causes of racial inequality today. They also tackle questions from our listeners about race and about the labor movement.
Jul 15, 2022
Episode 6: Why the Supreme Court Matters to Working People
In Episode 6, we take a look at one of the recent Supreme Court rulings – West Virginia v. EPA. It turns out this case is about much more than climate change. As you will hear from Jenny Breen, Gordon Lafer, Adolph Reed Jr., and Samir Sonti, this ruling is the first time the Supreme Court has used the "major questions doctrine" in a majority opinion. That doctrine is an attempt to squash the ability of agencies like the EPA, OSHA or FDA, for example, to carry out legislation passed by Congress. We dive into the impact it could have on working people in the United States.
Jun 9, 2022
Ep 5: What's Ahead for Labor?
Adolph Reed Jr. talks with Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants/CWA and APWU President Mark Dimondstein about what's ahead for Labor in this moment that holds out both promise and peril. Worker organizing efforts are underway across the country including at Amazon and Starbucks. Public support for unions is a 57-year high – with polling at 68% in favor. And next week the AFL-CIO will be holding its first convention since 2017. We'll talk Organizing, Strikes, Working-Class Politics, Women + Labor and more!
Apr 23, 2022
What's Behind the Attack on Public Schools?
Adolph Reed Jr. talks with Chicago Teachers Union president Jesse Sharkey and Prof. Daniel Moak about what's behind renewed criticism of our public schools. Are our schools failing our students and communities? Or are these attacks fueled by efforts to privatize schools for private profit? And how are teachers' unions and parents working together to protect and expand public education?
Mar 31, 2022
Need for Healthcare Reform: View from the Union Hall
Richard Hooker of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 623, Katie Murphy of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, and Juan Ramirez of the United Teachers of Los Angeles talk about the need to reform our health care system to control skyrocketing costs, make employers pay their fair share, and take healthcare off the bargaining table.
Jan 29, 2022
All Things Postal + Independent Working-Class Politics
Adolph Reed Jr. speaks with Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, on the importance of the public Postal Service to our democracy. Reed and Dimondstein share their concerns about the country's move toward authoritarianism, the role of the labor movement, and the need for independent working-class politics.
Dec 19, 2021
Episode One: Have workers lost faith in government?
In Episode One of Class Matters, Adolph Reed Jr., Gordon Lafer, and Samir Sonti discuss the eroding trust in government among workers in the United States.