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The Working Life Podcast with Jonathan Tasini-logo

The Working Life Podcast with Jonathan Tasini

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Jonathan Tasini's ruminations on work, the economy, and politics.

Jonathan Tasini's ruminations on work, the economy, and politics.
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Jonathan Tasini's ruminations on work, the economy, and politics.






Episode 60: BP Killed Katherine's Dad, A Colonel Runs For Office on Progressive Ideas

Episode 60: It's been 13 years since Ray Rodriguez was killed in an explosion at a British Petroleum facility in Texas. Jonathan has a searing conversation with his daughter, Katherine, who keeps his memory alive by campaigning for safety and health in the workplace. Out in California, Colonel Dave Applegate is taking another shot at unseating the odious Darrell Issa in the 49th Congressional District—Jonathan has a chat with Dave as he campaigns in a key 2018 race, and promotes a...

Duration: 00:59:02

Episode 59: If A Pedophile, Why Not A Killer of Miners? And Other Tales of Workers Lives At Risk

Episode 59: Don Blankenship, the coal CEO robber baron, served a year in prison for his central role in a conspiracy that killed 29 miners in a massive 2010 mine explosion. Because workers' lives don't matter in our legal system, Blankenship could only be convicted of a misdemeanor violation, not manslaughter or murder. But, hey, when a party is willing to crown a pedophile, what's a few miners' deaths to stand in the way: Blankenship is running for the Republican nomination for US Senate...

Duration: 00:58:01

Episode 58: Women Taking Power, Tax Cut Truths & Fighting For Control of the CFPB

Episode 58: Women are leading the way in the political revolution. Jonathan talks with three fantastic women candidates: two who are running for seats in the state Senates in Oregon and New York, and one who is vying to become the chair of the Florida Democratic state party. Jonathan rolls out five tidbits on truths about the Republican tax plan robbery—truths you can use to debate just about anyone to expose the tax bill fraud. Jonathan also chats with Karl Frisch of Allied Progress about...

Duration: 01:08:40

Episode 57: Jumping Into A Big Race; Rethinking The Post Office

Episode 57: Leading off, Jonathan has a thought about how we should think about the estate tax—billionaires owe us that dough! Keeping up the podcast's regular reporting on real people running for office, longtime union organizer and first-time candidate Tanya Boone stops by to talk with Jonathan about her race for a Congressional seat in New York. And if you want to re-imagine what the Post Office can do for people, you will love Jonathan's chat with Mark Dimondstein, the president of the...

Duration: 00:59:34

Episode 56: Sexual Harassment Inside Unions Is Real; The Hidden $2.6 Trillion Corporate Cash Stash

Episode 56: No one would suggest unions have outsized predators like Harvey Weinstein. But, sexual harassment, driven by an entrenched male culture and power structure, has been a long-time problem inside labor. And, now, in dribs and drabs, people are speaking up. Jonathan talks about it with labor activist and former AFL-CIO official Ana Avendano. And you want to talk about real robbery? How about the $2.6 trillion corporations hide overseas to avoid paying taxes? That money is part of...

Duration: 00:58:00

Episode 55: Election Rigging 101—It's More Complicated; South Korea Is A Hard Place For Unions

Episode 55: Sure, there were shenanigans in the 2016 Democratic primary. But, we need to understand what is tough politics versus what is rotten in the system. Jonathan unwinds this a bit in an Election Rigging 101 (and, hey, nice election results last night). Jonathan also digs into the battle for labor rights in South Korea with two women leaders, Kristyne Peter and Mi-Kyung Ryu. Our Robber Baron of the week is Nike CEO Mark Parker.

Duration: 01:01:06

Episode 54: Stopping Murderers From Putting A Shirt On Your Back; Bernie In The House!

Episode 54: Just about every piece of clothing you put on is made with blood, sweat and tears of exploited labor. Jonathan revisits the April 2013 murder of 1,138 garment workers in Bangladesh with his two guests, two women global labor leaders: Christy Hoffman, the deputy secretary of the 20-million member UNI and Nazma Akter, who began working in a garment factory when she was 11 years old. We hear from Bernie Sanders who continues to bring the message of the political revolution to...

Duration: 01:07:58

Episode 53: Black Lives Matter—In St. Louis & Zimbabwe; Paul Wellstone Remembered

Episode 53: We start this week's podcast by remembering Paul Wellstone, the progressive firebrand who died exactly 15 years ago in a small plane crash while campaigning for re-election. Jonathan, then, brings us the voice of Bruce Franks, a powerful leader of the Black Lives Matter movement in St. Louis and across the nation. Jonathan also sits down with Paul Mutasa, the president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, who tells us the story of the struggle in Zimbabwe of workers...

Duration: 01:06:30

Episode 52: Taxes, Trade, DNC Silliness & A Progressive Winner…Happy Anniversary!

Episode 52: We've got great stuff on tap for our one-year anniversary episode. Jonathan starts off by asking members of the Democratic National Committee "What are you thinking?" with a bizarre loyalty resolution aimed at Bernie Sanders. Then, he focuses our attention on the right answer to economic growth—raising wages, not cutting taxes. From there, Jonathan checks in with trade warrior Lori Wallach for a look at the inside fight—the wild lies and the truth—over a possible new framework...

Duration: 01:09:15

Episode 51: No, We Are Not The Most Taxed Nation In The World

Episode 51: That guy in the Oval Office can't stop making up fibs. Yesterday, he repeated a lie: "We're the highest taxed nation in the world". Not even close. Which inspired Jonathan to look at lies about the economy. Thea Lee, the incoming president of the Economic Policy Institute, stops by to talk the truth about trade, taxes and health care. Jonathan, then, chats with Mark Weisbrot, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, about the truth about which country...

Duration: 00:50:06

Episode 50: A Canadian Doctor Walks Into A Bar…And Schools Us on Single-Payer

Episode 50: If Danielle Martin tells you that single-payer is more popular in Canada than ice hockey and the Royal Mounted Police, trust us, it's worth believing this doctor from the North—Bernie Sanders does, inviting her to stand with him when he recently unveiled his single-payer, "Medicare for All" plan. Martin is a clear, smart advocate for single-payer health care and she joins Jonathan for an in-depth conversation that answers everything you ever will be asked, and wanted to know,...

Duration: 01:01:12

Episode 49: Chains of Work—The Scourge of Global Child Labor and Slavery

Episode 49: Today, 152 million children—children—are in forced labor around the world, along with 40 million people who are simply slaves. Don’t turn your head away! Because we need to know about this—and understand the movement afoot to end this moral stain on the planet. After participating in a United Nations summit, Jonathan speaks to two leading global advocates who are combating modern slavery. What you will hear is stunning, sad and, also, spirit-moving. We can make a difference.

Duration: 00:58:37

Episode 48: Shaking Up The Labor World In North Carolina and Beyond

Episode 48: It's just a smidgen but every time you get a chance to hear about the shake-ups needed in our beloved labor movement, it's worth saying "yeah, baby". And, sisters and brothers, we have a double-barreled shot for you today. Jonathan chats first with MaryBe McMillan, the new president of the North Carolina AFL-CIO, about organizing in the south. And, then, a special guest who gives almost no interviews to media, friendly or not, comes by: Richard Bensinger, the founder of the...

Duration: 01:16:28

Episode 47: Real Health Care Takes A Big Step Forward

Episode 47: It's not going to happen tomorrow or even next year. But, the day when insurance companies are no longer bankrupting people every single day because of outrageous premiums is drawing closer. Today, Bernie Sanders will unveil a "Medicare For All" bill that rockets the conversation about universal health care to a new level. And he won't be standing alone: more than a dozen Democratic Senators have endorsed the bill, with the pressure building on others to do the same. Jonathan...

Duration: 00:58:04

Episode 46: The Secret War Against Unions—And It's About To Get Worse

Episode 46: No surprise. The traditional media will never tell people about the multi-billion dollar anti-union industry which corporations use to intimidate any workers who try to organize a union. So, Jonathan explores the anti-union industry in several segments of this week's podcast. We look at the steps Donald Trump is about to take to let these assassins of worker rights go deeper into the shadows. The Robber Baron of the week, appropriately is Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta....

Duration: 00:48:47

Episode 45: The Bad Seeds Taking Root In Iowa and California

Remember the election for the Democratic California state party chair? It has stayed sleazy. Jonathan circles back with progressive chair candidate Kimberly Ellis to hear the latest—sexism, racism and just plain bully tactics are still the order of the day. Then, just two weeks after Jonathan talked about a big-time corporate fleecing of taxpayers in Wisconsin, it's happening again—in Iowa. The culprit: Apple. Yup, Jonathan shows the seamy side of lovable Apple, which, despite its billions...

Duration: 00:49:57

Episode 44: Mansions of fear, Mansions of Pain

Episode 44: Having chicken tonight? Go right ahead, but pause for a few minutes to listen to Jonathan's look at the brutal working conditions faced by poultry plant workers—and the entirely insane idea being pushed by industry lobbyists to make those birds whizz by even faster on the factory assembly line. Jonathan, then, takes us half way around the world to chat with youth union organizer Jane Njoki about the monumental challenge of finding decent work for the hundreds of millions of...

Duration: 00:58:16

Episode 43: The FoxConn Scam—This Is How Taxpayers Get Ripped Off Every Day

Episode 43: Here's how the elites reach deep into your pocket to rob you. By now, we know how fraud is a business model for Wall Street and other elites. But, it's legalized fraud that hurts us most—rip-offs that are perfectly legal in today's system. Jonathan devotes the entire podcast this week to the big-time scam that is at the heart of the multi-billion FoxConn deal unveiled recently. And, for the first time in the podcast's history (woohoo!), our Robber Baron of the week is a repeat...

Duration: 00:34:21

Episode 42: Democratic Litmus Test Misfire: How About Tax Cuts For Rich, Not Womens' Rights?

Episode 42: Sometimes, you have to wonder: are Democratic Party leaders dumb or just ideologically bankrupt? Jonathan talks to a leading abortion rights advocate, Vicki Saporta, about the foolish suggestion floated by some Democratic leaders that the party would not have a litmus test--and, thus, support with money and resources--candidates who are not pro-choice. How stupid is that since womens' reproductive rights are central to the party's platform, not to mention a human right that...

Duration: 00:47:42

Episode 41: Class Warfare and Racism--Workers Take On The Economic Machine

Episode 41: Start by being inspired by Billy Bragg's "There Is Power In The Union". Then, listen to Jonathan talk to a Nissan worker who is at the center of a critical campaign to win a union at Nissan's plant in Canton, Mississippi—a two-day vote that will start tomorrow (and we will update the result for our listeners in next week's podcast!). Jonathan, then, marks this week's Black Women’s Equal Pay Day by talking with economist Janelle Jones about the blatant racism black women face in...

Duration: 00:55:23

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