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The new FRONTLINE documentary, Trafficked in America, tells the inside story of Guatemalan teens forced to work against their will on an egg farm in Ohio. On the next Your Call’s weekly media roundtable, we’ll discuss coverage of labor trafficking in the US.

Photo by Fibonacci Blue via Flickr under CC BY 2.0

On this edition of Your Call, we’ll mark May Day by talking about the labor movements that are sweeping the country.


On this edition of Your Call, we’ll talk about what happened after the Rana Plaza disaster. It’s been five years since 1,134 people died in that garment factory collapse in Bangladesh. What’s changed?

On this week’s media roundtable, we’ll discuss the Supreme Court case that could deal a massive blow to organized labor across the country. Who is following the anti-union money behind the case?

Photo by Joe Le Merou used under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr



On this edition of Your Call, we’ll talk about the desperation felt by drivers for taxis and companies like Uber and Lyft. The median income for these drivers is $24,000 a year. How has the explosion of these services impacted drivers?


New Laws for the Workplace. Guests: Thomas Lenz, the Chair, and Scott Stillman, a Member, of the Executive Committee of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the California Lawyers Association. Questions for Chuck's on-air guests? Please call toll-free 866-798-8255. Also, this evening is our once-a-month Call-A-Lawyer Night. So, while Your Legal Rights broadcasts 7 'til 8pm PST, 91.7 FM (online, attorneys are available off-the-air as well: 800-525-9917, for private no-fee consultation on a variety of legal questions.


Women in low-wage jobs – janitors, domestic workers, farmworkers, waitresses – face rampant sexual abuse and assault on the job. When wages are low, there's no HR to report abuse and work sites can be isolated.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs

After the destruction of the North Bay Fires, most Sonoma County residents could get financial assistance to help rebuild. But for the more than 40,000 undocumented immigrants living there, access to financial support has been limited.

Flickr user Steve Jurvetson (cropped from original, used under CC-BY)

Tesla is one of the largest employers in the Bay Area, with around 10,000 workers at its factory in South Fremont. That factory used to be the NUMMI plant, where General Motors partnered with Toyota to learn how to run an efficient assembly line with a relatively happy work force. Some current Tesla employees once worked at the NUMMI factory, which had a union. The Tesla factory does not.

In the early 1970's, author and radio host Studs Terkel went around the country with a reel-to-reel tape recorder interviewing people for his book Working.

The book became a bestseller and even inspired a Broadway musical - highly unlikely for an oral history collection celebrating ordinary people and their daily lives. 

  On the Sep. 3, 2017 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, The Labor Day Show. I'll perform an essay I've written for the occasion, Ode to the Worker Bee. And I'll talk with two long-term survivors of working in a large organization, offering tips for those in corporations as well as in large non-profits or government agencies.

Plus, I do Workovers on callers. Whatever career conundrum is besetting you or someone you care about, I can usually help.

Employment Law -- Implicit Bias in the Workplace. Guests: Allison Elgart, Legal Director at the Equal Justice Society, representing employees; Chuck Thompson, representing management; and Thomas Lenz, Vice-Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California. Questions for Chuck's guests? Please call toll-free 866-798-8255. This is also our once-a-month Call-A-Lawyer Night.


On this week’s media roundtable, we’ll discuss the worsening economic and political crisis in Venezuela, which has led to a widespread shortage of food and medicine, rising crime, and skyrocketing inflation. As of last year, nearly 82 percent of Venezuelans lived in a state of poverty. How are the media covering the underlying reasons for Venezuela’s catastrophic economic and political meltdown?

Labor & Employment Law -- National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Hot Topics. Guests: Jill Coffman, Regional Director of the NLRB Region 20 in San Francisco; Bruce Harland, an attorney who represents union members; and Thomas Lenz, Vice-Chair of the Executive  Committee of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the State Bar, and an attorney who  represents employers. Questions for Chuck's guests? Please call toll-free 1-866-798-8255. 


Historian Kim Phillips-Fein joins us to discuss her new book, Fear City: New York's Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics.

Instead of working just one job for a single employer, more and more people are becoming gig workers: folks who consult, freelance, contract, temp, and do jobs on-call—often through smartphone apps. But there’s one kind of gig worker that’s been around for centuries: musicians. Reporter Shereen Adel finds out how they make it work. 

May Day update on the Bay Area labor movement

May 1, 2017

  May 1, 2017: A 40-hour work week and paid sick leave are benefits that many in today’s workforce expect - and take for granted. Organized labor is to thank for these and other hard-won protections, yet today only 1 in 10 American workers are unionized.

Your Call: A new labor movement for the 21st century

May 1, 2017

  We’ll mark May 1st, International Workers Day by speaking with labor organizer Jonathan Rosenblum about his new book Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, and the Revival of the Labor Movement.

Governor Brown’s plan to join state rules ... Mendocino County okays cultivation ... Yoga & ganga ... John Oliver explains it all for you ... and more.

The new documentary, The Chinese Exclusion Act, examines the 1882 law that was established after decades of anti-immigrant rhetoric and violence against Chinese immigrants.

Oakland passes War on Drugs equity program ... Oakland’s past mayor wants to open a dispensary ... Breast milk and cannabis studied ... and more. 

Samer Muscati/ Human Rights Watch


How are college students organizing against sweatshops? Members of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) have been fighting sweatshop conditions and poverty wages for 20 years.

Your Call: Organizing for power in the new gilded age

Feb 6, 2017

 We'll rebroadcast our conversation with  Dr. Jane McAlevey about her new book No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age.


Clerical workers at the University of California went on strike across the state on Tuesday to push forward contract negotiations.

Philosophy Talk: 2016 – The Examined Year

Jan 9, 2017

John and Ken present their annual look back at the ideas and events of the past year that have challenged our assumptions and made us think about things in new ways.


How are tech workers planning to resist Donald Trump?

Your Call: How are groups organizing to resist Donald Trump?

Jan 3, 2017

We’ll begin a weeklong series discussing how a broad coalition of civil society and labor organizations are organizing against Donald Trump’s anti-democratic agenda.

Your Call: Midnight mail — keeping the postal service running

Nov 15, 2016


On the November 15th edition of Your Call, we look at the struggle to keep the U.S. Postal Service healthy.

Employment Law: Legal Rights & Working Conditions of Domestic Workers ­-- Nannies, Housecleaners, & Home Attendants. Guests: Hina B. Shah, Associate Professor of Law & Director of the Women's Employment Rights Clinic, Golden Gate University School of Law; and Lindsay Imai Hong, Bay Area Organizer for Hand in Hand, The Domestic Employers Network, a National Network. Questions for Chuck's guests? Please call toll-free 1-866-798-8255.

Used under CC by Skokie Public Library / flickr


On the October 26th edition of Your Call, we’ll discuss the rising cost of child care.