Episode

3/15 The Growing Case For Nationalizing Railroads; A Labor Win w/ Kari Lydersen & Bethany Kosmicki

March 15, 2023

Sam and Emma host Kari Lydersen, journalism lecturer at Northwestern University and staff writer at Midwest Energy News to discuss her recent piece at In These Times entitled “The Case for Nationalizing the Railroads.” Then, they’re joined by Bethany Kosmicki of the Temple University Graduate Students Association (TUGSA), to discuss their recent ratifying of a tentative agreement between their association and the University. First, Emma and Sam run through updates on Russia downing a US drone, the DOJ and Fed’s responses to SVB’s failure, the 5th circuit abortion pill case, environmental lawsuits over Biden’s approval of the Willow project, the Senate repealing their authorization of the Iraq war, and some brand new bank runs, before diving into the labor celebrations around Michigan repealing their right to work policy and starting a new life for labor in the state. Kari Lydersen then joins as she dives right into the recent era of mass consolidation in the US freight rail industry alongside a shift towards “precision scheduling” that emphasizes efficiency, sidelining track segments, lines, and jobs that they saw as unprofitable, before parsing deeper through who this “efficiency” actually serves (the C-suite), as it undercuts the workforce, leaves shippers entirely at the whims of the rail companies when it comes to scheduling, and ultimately leaves these companies as shells of their former selves. Next, Lydersen, Sam, and Emma assess the massive boom in profits that the freight rail industry has seen over the last decade and a half, before wrapping up the interview by tackling what a nationalization of the freight rail industry would entail, and why it’s actually a lot more feasible than it might sound. Bethany Kosmicki reflects on the culmination of 6 weeks of striking with TUGSA, as she, Sam, and Emma discuss the importance of understanding striking as both a last-ditch effort and a tactic that workers must be willing to exercise, before wrapping up the interview with a conversation on the future of US labor relations with a younger generation that understands their value.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma tackle Bethany ‘Grandma Killer’ Mendel going catatonic as she’s asked what “woke” means, and Larry Kudlow blames SVB’s collapse on “Woke Banking.” They also walk through revelations around the Atlanta PD’s murder of Cop City protester Tortaguita, Dalton from Ohio talks about ghost kitchens, and Dr. Karl from west Michigan discusses Germany’s relationship with Israel. Ben Shapiro freaks out about Europeans going swimming topless, and Colin from Nebraska runs through updates on State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh’s filibuster over Nebraska’s anti-trans bills, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Kari’s piece here: https://inthesetimes.com/article/nationalize-the-railroads-workers-on-strike-biden-wages

Check out the TUGSA here: https://www.tugsa.org/

Learn more about E-4268 here: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-4268

Contact the Nebraska State Legislature here: https://tinyurl.com/2dtx7xp7

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