2822 – What It Takes To Fight The Boss And Win & Ohio's 11th Race Heats Up w/ Daisy Pitkin & Brianna Wu

Emma hosts Daisy Pitkin, organizer at Workers United, to discuss her recent book On The Line: A Story Of Class, Solidarity, and Two Women’s Epic Fight to Build A Union. Then Emma is joined by Brianna Wu, executive director of The Rebellion PAC, to discuss the upcoming primary in Ohio’s 11th Congressional District between Nina Turner and Shontel Brown. Daisy begins by discussing the tone of her work, as it focuses on what it *feels* like to build worker solidarity, rather than what happens along the road to success, diving into how this work was birthed well after the labor efforts, as she reflected on her connections with those that built the union alongside her. Next, she brings Emma back to the early 20th Century as they discuss the story of the Uprising of the 20,000, a mass strike amongst young women working in the New York shirtwaist industry – the biggest general strike by women in American history – and their incredible success in bringing over 500 employers to the table, winning better working conditions, wages, and much more, before they dive into the other side of the story, as Pitkin dives into the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, resulting in 146 (easily preventable) deaths, as the picture of early 1900 organizing paints the clear benefits of winning the union fight, and the devastating consequences of employers coming out on top. Then, Daisy brings us back to her experiences working with Arizona industrial laundry workers in the early 2000s, as she walks through the myriad dangers at the factories, from laborers like Alma in the soil-sort department working with bare hands to parse through used hospital garments, to others that had to climb through intensely heated machinery to avoid production delays. She then gets into the story of her and Alma’s undercover work in setting out to create a web of solidarity, looking to their blitz method of contacting and discussing unions with almost all 220 workers at the factory in 48 hours, setting up a meeting, and unpacking the commitment all 220 of them wanted to make together, before getting into the fight that followed – from the 200+ mandatory anti-union meetings in the three weeks that followed, to the illegal firing of Alma and three other leaders. After tying together the story of this effort with the following year-long fight against the illegal union-busting practices, and the incredible ruling that pushed a bargaining order on the employer, Emma and Daisy wrap up the interview with a discussion on what today’s labor moment can learn from these stories, why we should be optimistic, and the beauty of the bottom-up tidal wave that is the current labor movement. Emma also touches on President of Deference Joe Biden continuing to go along with whatever right-wing extremist judgment comes through, the continued devastation in Mariupol, and the catastrophe that has been Pete Buttigieg’s reign as the Secretary of Transportation.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Brianna Wu as they unpack her work in The Rebellion PAC, what she has learned from her own campaigns for Congress, the battle for Ohio’s 11th district, and the fight for policies that actually connect with constituents, especially those that aren’t fully invested in the political machine. Emma also covers Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow’s impassioned rejection of the Right’s aggressive targeting of queer youth, and the role religion can play in lifting up the most marginalized in society. Bill O’Reilly says “fuck it! Let’s fly it live!” Ted Cruz talks Mickey Mouse f*cking Pluto, Mariana from Minneapolis discusses individuals and combating environmental change, especially in building the world you want to see, and Jesse Watters gives us the horrifying tale of how he got a first date with one of his producers. Michele Bachmann shames Islamic supremacy, since Christians are truly superior and we get some updates on Richmond Starbucks’ unionization success; plus, your calls and IMs!

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