Today’s the last day of what’s come to be known as Striketober, as tens of thousands of American workers walked out – or threatened to walk out – across the country. Whether these strikes have been caused by the labor shortage, the pandemic, or people just fed up with working crappy jobs for low pay, no benefits and few if any job protections – or all of the above – it’s clear that workers have reached a historic breaking point. Back in May we featured an excerpt from the April 6 symposium celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Strike!”, Jeremy Brecher’s classic labor history. On today’s show we bring you the man himself, Jeremy Brecher, at that same symposium, talking not only about how his book came to be, but why labor history itself matters. It’s not only a delightful talk, but inspirational, too, as Jeremy shares his thoughts about the future of our history of worker struggle. Part Two of today’s show is on the Necropolis Strike, from the new podcast Strike! Podcasts like this are very much a part of carrying Jeremy’s work forward; Strike! host Sarah Gram does an impressive deep dive into the first recorded strike in human history and manages to not only explore it in fascinating detail but to connect it back to today’s struggles.
And, on Labor History in 2:00, ghosts and goblins are going door to door to gather up candy. But did you know that some of that candy is made by union workers?