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January 23, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Photo by: Lewis Hine, 1920,
National Archives and Records Administration,
Records of the Work Projects Administration
State of the Unions
Last Featured: 1/9/2006

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

With more and more manufacturing jobs headed overseas, organized labor continues to see its membership decline. In 1953, 36% of American workers were members of a union, today fewer than 13% hold union cards. Meanwhile, unions fight among themselves about how to avoid extinction and policymakers consider free trade agreements and changes to minimum wage and labor laws that may dramatically affect America’s working men and women. Tune in to this edition of Justice Talking as we take a detailed look at unions in America.

Report from Flint, Michigan
Independent producer Kyle Norris reports from Flint, Michigan, once a car-making capital of the nation, to ask: How is this union-town adapting to closed factories and unprecedented unemployment?

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Interview with Priscilla Murolo
Host Margot Adler talks with historian Priscilla Murolo about the effect unions have had on America.

Priscilla Murolo teaches history at Sarah Lawrence College, where she directs the graduate program in women’s history. She also teaches labor studies at the City University of New York and the University of Massachusetts. Her most recent book (co-authored with husband Ben Chitty) is From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend: A Short, Illustrated History of Labor in the United States.

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Report from Bothell, Washington
Independent Producer Sara Lerner brings us a story from Bothell, Washington, where 1,000 Cingular Wireless employees recently voted to join a union.

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Debate on the Issue
American Federation of Government Employees director of membership, Sharon Pinnock and the National Association of Manufacturers' Chris Tampio debate the current state of unions, and what the future may bring.

Sharon Pinnock is the director of membership and organization for the American Federation of Government Employees or AFGEE, an AFL-CIO affiliated labor organization. Sharon has served for 16 years as the union's primary strategist for organizing campaigns. She has been active in the labor movement for more than 25 years.

Chris Tampio is the Director of Employment Policy in the Human Resources Policy Department of the National Association of Manufacturers or NAM. He is a lobbyist on a variety of labor issues and handles all Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) matters. Chris is the Co-Chair for the Small Business Fairness Coalition (along with U.S. Chamber and National Federation of Independent Business).

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Interview with John Sweeney
Host Margot Adler interviews AFL-CIO president John Sweeney about today's labor movement.

John Sweeney has been president of the AFL/CIO for 10 years and was most recently re-elected to that post in July of 2005. He has worked on behalf of unions for almost 50 years, beginning with the Ladies Garment Workers union. He led the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) prior to his election as AFL-CIO president.

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Interview with Anna Burger
Host Margot Adler speaks with Anna Burger, chair of the Change to Win Coalition about her organization's recent break with the AFL-CIO.

Anna Burger is chair of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and chair of the Change to Win Coalition, a new alliance of labor unions representing six million workers. Throughout her career, she has worked to ensure that SEIU's commitment to helping women, immigrants, and people of color move into leadership positions is a reality.

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Interview Richard Bloch
Justice Talking producer Erin Mooney questions labor-management arbitrator Richard Bloch about what it's like to mediate labor disputes.

Richard I. Bloch is an arbitrator and mediator of labor and commercial disputes, with significant experience in both the public and private sector. He was appointed as a member of the Foreign Service Labor Relations Board in 1997. Mr. Bloch is the permanent umpire for General Dynamics Corporation and ALCOA and serves as arbitrator for major league baseball, football, and hockey. Mr. Bloch also lectures and conducts training sessions and is an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center.

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
National Labor Relations Act of 1935 Guarantees right of workers to organize and bargain collectively
Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (Acrobat PDF) Establishes minimum wage and overtime rights
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