As Amazon workers conclude a historic unionization drive, we consider the history of collective action -- and the struggle to shield our humanity from the demands of productivity.
Labor journalist and Type Media Center reporting fellow Sarah Jaffe breaks down the history of workplace organizing at Amazon and in the Black South. And she talks about her new book, “Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone,” as listeners chime in about their own experiences with collective action in the workplace.
Then adrienne maree brown - writer, activist and co-host of the How to Survive the End of the World and Octavia’s Parables - joined our reporter Jenny Casas to frame our conflicts - as individuals within a country battling with overlapping crises - through the lens of Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower,” a science fiction classic that experienced a surge in readership in 2020.
Companion listening for this episode:
“The Necessary Work” (9/7/2020)
Public and care workers have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, but who takes care of them? We explore the histories, realities and hopes of these very essential workers.
“‘Community’ is a Verb. And It’s Hard” (6/12/2020)
People all over the country are stepping up to make change. But as they do, they face challenges that go beyond Covid-19 and police violence. Two stories, from Chicago and New York City.
“The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC.