It’s a common refrain that “we just don’t make things in the US anymore.” Implied in this refrain is the notion that practically all manufacturing jobs have been outsourced overseas as we’ve transitioned to a full-blown “service economy,” and that unions (and the industrial working class they grew out of) are a remnant of the 20th century. “To be sure, offshoring of jobs is a real phenomenon, and has been responsible for the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs,” as co-host of The Jacobin Show Paul Prescod notes. “But the losses in these jobs were partly offset by new job growth related to the reorganization of production, mainly in logistics. Logistics workers are the new core of the US industrial working class.” What do these changes mean for the economy and the labor movement? Can workers in the logistics industry leverage their critical position in the production supply chain to advance labor’s cause?

As part of a special collaboration with Jacobin magazine, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez joined hosts of The Jacobin Show Jen Pan and Paul Prescod for an extended episode examining the past, present, and future of the American labor movement. In this segment from the show, Prescod examines the current state of the industrial working class in the US and the opportunities for rebuilding a battered labor movement. We are sharing this segment with our TRNN audience with permission from Jacobin.

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Paul Prescod

Paul Prescod is a co-host of The Jacobin Show, a high school social studies teacher, and member of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

Jen Pan

Jen Pan is a co-host of The Jacobin Show and has written for the New Republic, Dissent, the Nation, and other publications.

Maximillian Alvarez


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.