Hundreds of workers at the Frito-Lay manufacturing and distribution plant in Topeka, Kansas, have been on strike since July 5. Workers at Frito-Lay have endured years of disrespect, and many at the plant have seen their wages stagnate and fall behind other employers in the area. On top of that, workers have been caught in a horrible cycle that was greatly exacerbated by COVID 19: While more people stayed home during the pandemic and ate a lot more chips, the incredibly high turnover at Frito-Lay means that folks who stayed on have been forced to work longer hours, with some pulling 12-hour shifts seven days a week for weeks on end. In this urgent episode, we talk with Cheri Renfro, who has worked at the Frito-Lay plant in Topeka for 9 years and is currently on strike.

Additional links/info below…

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)

  • Jules Taylor, “Working People Theme Song”
  • Steve Combs, “Work

Maximillian Alvarez

Editor-in-Chief

Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.
 
Email: max@therealnews.com
 
Follow: @maximillian_alv