WBAI-FM Program Highlight
Building Bridges


Monday, September 2, 2013   7:00 PM - 11:00 PM

For more than fifteen years Building Bridges has commemorated Labor Day with a special program on the state of workers in the U.S. and the world. For this year’s program,  on Monday, Sept. 2, 7 -11pm we plan on focusing on: The American Dream Unraveling: Creating a Sweatshop Nation
For workers, the recession has brought only economic hardship. But, for corporate America, it meant the opportunity to mold the economy into something approximating the Third World model: vast wealth, power and privilege for those at the top, and chronically high unemployment, falling wages, and inadequate or nonexistent social services for the rest of society. The mantra of both Republicans and Democrats have been to slash public and private sector wages and benefits of those currently employed at a time of heightened need, albeit the Republicans add insult to injury by simultaneously calling for more tax cuts for the wealthy.  But, it gets worse because more and more jobs are part-time, are being out-sourced, and are now low-wage without benefits and this is what new entrants into the labor market face. As time goes by the new labor force will be in fast food, retail, warehouse, and an increasing list of employment sectors that are increasingly making us into a sweatshop nation.
But, there has been increasing protest especially focused on low wage workers and immigrant workers in the fast food sector, car wash workers and Wal-Mart.  There have been numerous strikes which have spread across the country coupled with a growing chorus to increase the minimum wage and enforce the labor laws, and extend new benefits such as paid sick leave.   These actions have relied heavily on new models of organization based in the community which are increasingly being supported by traditional labor unions from the local level extending up to the national AFL-CIO.
So, we broadcast this Labor Day in a time of increasing economic peril but, with a promise of resistance.  This Labor Day Building Bridges will bring our audience analysis of the current crisis and future trends in the labor market, coupled with the voices that have been raised – the voices of those who refuse to turn back the clock, but as well provide new insights into how to reverse the capitalist onslaught. Those voices will include activists from across the globe to provide a comprehensive picture of the issues for and activities of the working class – they say get back and we say fight back!
As always our programming is a tapestry threaded throughout with actualities of protests, from worksites and with workers themselves.  Another vibrant thread that runs throughout the evening is working class culture -  their spoken word presentations, their music, and dramatizations reflecting the blood, sweat, tears and triumphs of working men and women.  
Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg
Producers, Building Bridges

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