We cover a lot of important worker struggles on this show, but it’s important to cover worker victories as well—and workers in South Dakota just landed a huge victory. After suffering one of the worst COVID workplace outbreaks in the country last year, leading to four deaths and over 1,200 infections, workers at the Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls refused to back down on demands for better pay and to retain a 15-minute break during the second half of their shifts. When negotiations with Smithfield stalled, UFCW Local 304A members voted overwhelmingly (98%) to authorize a strike, and the company backed down. On this extended mini-cast, we welcome back president of the South Dakota Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Kooper Caraway, to discuss this important victory and what lessons the labor movement should take away from it.

Additional links/info below…

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

  • Jules Taylor, “Working People Theme Song”
  • Meydan, “Away”

Maximillian Alvarez

Editor-in-Chief

Maximillian Alvarez is the editor-in-chief of The Real News Network, and the host of Working People, ​“a podcast by, for, and about the working class today.” His work has been featured in venues like In These Times, The Nation, The Baffler, Current Affairs, and The New Republic.
 
max@therealnews.com
 
@maximillian_alv