Better wages, not government subsidies, are key to defeating poverty

Are the poor to blame for their conditions and struggles? Should government benefits subsidize the low wages of working class people at places like fast food restaurants or nursing homes? Should the middle class bear the financial burden of paying for these benefits or should the wealthy and corporations pay higher taxes?

Sherry Linkon, Contributor to Working Class Perspectives, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss these issues. She also discussed a new Showtime series, American Rust, and the portrayal of the American Rustbelt in movies and television. Continue reading

Why the PATCO strike changed unions in America and how they can make a comeback

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) strike. On Aug. 5, 1981, President Reagan fired 11,000 striking air traffic controllers who refused to return from the picket line after the President issued an ultimatum.

The move to fire the air traffic controllers and ban them from working in the industry changed the face of unionization in America. Company owners took it as a sign that they too could break strikes with impunity, severely curtailing the effectiveness of strikes as a tool to fight for workers’ rights.

Joe McCartin, a professor and labor history expert at Georgetown University, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the strike, how it impacted the working class and why legislation such as the PRO Act could give unions back their muster. Continue reading

Workers are left behind as wages stagnate and prices rise

All jobs are not all equal. Some positions have more rights than others, including the ability to negotiate for better wages and benefits, while others have less support and may be forced to accept what they are offered.

This has led more workers to explore ways to solidify their workplace rights. Working Class Perspectives contributor Leo Jennings described what a working class bill of rights could look like when he appeared on the AWF Union Podcast. Continue reading

Organizers learn from Amazon union organizing efforts

Union organizing picked up in recent years, especially as workers felt mistreated an underappreciated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The momentum has not stopped, as some key drives have resulted in wins for organized labor.

Working Class Perspectives contributor Wade Rathke joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the recent organizing drive at Amazon in Alabama. He touched on what could have been done differently and legislation that could have helped. Continue reading

explaining the difference between working class and middle class

The lines between middle class and working class have become blurred as the terms are used interchangeably in media and in politics. The difference between the two exists and needs to be defined.

Working Class Perspectives contributing writer Christopher Martin dissected the two terms and explained why the difference is important on America’s Work Force Union Podcast. He also explained what is like to teach journalism as the profession becomes increasingly dangerous. Continue reading

Alabama Amazon organizing drive gains support from both parties, for different reasons

Political leanings shift for demographics over time, despite major party values remaining the same for over half a century. Former President Donald Trump accelerated the shift by having a large draw to middle class and working class Americans.

Contributing writer to Working Class Perspectives, John Russo joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss why this political shift has occurred. He also discussed what is happening with Amazon workers in Alabama. Continue reading

Texans try to pick up the pieces after brutal winter weather

Texans are facing a world of hardship now that their deregulated power sector was knocked out by a winter storm. They have been left to fend for themselves and pick up the pieces.

Ken Estey, a professor at Brooklyn College discussed the current situation in Texas, the related class issues, cost of repairs and what is being done to help Texans recover and more on America’s Work Force Union Podcast. Continue reading

President Trump exploited the working class, who propelled him to victory in 2016

The rise of President Trump was a culmination of causes, but those in the working class who saw Hillary Clinton as elitist may have been one of the strongest draws for the President.

University of Northern Iowa Professor of Digital Journalism and contributor to Working Class Perspectives Christopher Martin discussed why the working class is so drawn to President Trump and how journalism will recover as a profession on America’s Work Force Union Podcast. Continue reading

Winning the union vote will be difficult this go-around for Trump

Co-Editor of Working Class Perspectives John Russo predicted President Trump will lose the state of Ohio and receive less of the union vote in addition to talking about legislation aimed at protecting home healthcare workers on America’s Work Force Union Podcast. Continue reading

Labor Movement historian on how to revive the Labor Movement

Working Class Perspectives Executive Director Joseph McCartin discussed election matters regarding the United States Postal Service and how union sentiment has evolved over time on the Sept. 25 episode of America’s Work Force Union Podcast. Continue reading