Building Bridges Radio: Your Community & Labor Report

Produced and Hosted by Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash over WBAI,99.5FM in the NYC Metro Area


WORKERS OF THE WORLD TUNE IN! Introducing "Building Bridges: Your Community & Labor Report"

Our beat is the labor front, broadly defined, both geographically and conceptually. We examine the world of work and workers on the job as well as where they live. We examine the issues that affect their everyday lives, with a particular sensitivity towards human rights abuses, environmental concerns and the U.S. drive for global domination. We record their global struggles and provide analysis of their efforts to empower themselves and transform society to provide greater democratic, human, social, political and economic rights. Each program consists of feature stories, generally interviews, within a historical context, often accompanied by sound from demonstrations, rallies or conferences, and complemented and enhanced by poetry and instrumental or vocal -- people's culture.

Over the years Building Bridges has produced a weekly one hour program, Mondays from 7-8 PM EST, covering local, national and international labor and community issues over radio WBAI-Pacifica 99.5 FM in New York. We also produce half hour version, Building Bridges National, which is distribtued to over 40 broadcast and internet radio stations.

For more information you can contact us at
In Struggle Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash

Emergency Unemployed Civil Disobedience in NYC; Living Wage Protest by Clergy - 27:35  

NYC Unemployed Arrested Protesting Benefits Termination
Members of Flashmobs4jobs

Workers who have exceeded the 99 week maximum limit on unemployment benefits (called 99ers) were arrested for blocking traffic on Varick Street at a demonstration outside the NYS Dept.of labor. They were demanding that Congress, in the lame duck session, immediately pass a bill granting benefits to those workers who have passed the 99 week limit. They also called for the reauthorization unemployment benefits extensions set to expire on November 30 and new legislation to create jobs. There are currently 4.5 million 99ers with an additional 50,000 jobless losing their benefits each week - this is an emergency!
A Fair Wages Act Is A Matter Of Faith For Coalition of Religious Leaders

Clergy members across NYC recently led a procession of congregations, community groups and union members to demand that the City Council pass the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act. Every year NYC spends approximately two billion dollars, to subsidize development and create jobs. Too often the jobs created with these public subsidies pay poverty wages with no benefits -- whether it's retail and stockroom jobs at shopping centers, mailroom jobs in office buildings, or food service jobs at stadiums. When public dollars are used to promote private enterprise, the public has the right to expect jobs with good wages and benefits.

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Deficit Commission Nightmare with Dean Baker - 27:16  

Robin Hood In Reverse: Presidential Commission Outlines $3.8 Trillion Theft From The Workers, Seniors, The Disabled, And The Sick
Dean Baker, co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research

A presidential commission’s leaders outlined a $3.8 trillion deficit-cutting plan that would trim among other things Social Security and Medicare, reduce income-tax rates and eliminate tax breaks including the mortgage-interest deduction, the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit. Deficit reduction would also make it harder to emerge from the recession, causing tax revenues to fall further setting the stage for further budget cuts. The Social Security retirement age would rise to 68 in about 2050 and 69 in about 2075. AFL-CIO Pres. Richard Trumka said the panel chairmen “just told working Americans to ‘drop dead.’” In an e-mailed statement, Trumka said, “The very people who want to slash Social Security and Medicare spent this week clamoring for more unpaid Bush tax cuts for millionaires.” While the Commission’s Allan Simpson said the plan was designed to give members of the panel something to “chew on” for further discussions, it’s enough to choke the rest of us.

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Fair Trade Votes; and Mumia Update from Philadelphia - 27:07  

Election 2010: The Best Defense Was a Fair Trade Offense"
withTodd Tucker, Research Dir., Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

That Democrats and the GOP alike ran against the trade policy status quo, highlights the intensity of public ire about our job exporting trade policy -- a phenomenon also seen in national polls. It also reveals the trouble that the White House and GOP leaders should face if they try to pass the leftover Bush trade pacts with Korea, Colombia and Panama. Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, just released a report illustrating that House Democrats that ran on fair trade platforms in competitive and open-seat races were three times as likely to survive the GOP tidal wave than Democrats who ran against fair trade. We’ll discuss the findings of the report “Election 2010: The Best Defense Was A Fair Trade Offense”.
Rally to Defend Mumi Abu-Jamal in Philadpehia

On Nov. 9 in Philadelphia, hundreds of supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal rallied outside a hearing at the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals where his attorney argued against the reimposition of his death sentence. We go to the Press conference with Mumia's new lead counsel , Judith Ritter, Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic at Widener University School of Law, Delaware campus and then to a Statement by Professor Johanna Fernandez, of Baruch College; she is the producer of the new documentary "Justice on Trial" about Mumia's case.

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Mineworkers Pres. Cecil Roberts; Plus James Galbraith on Budget Deficit Mania - 27:46  

Where The Right to Join a Union Can Make the Difference
Between Life and Death

Cecil Roberts, President, United Mineworkers of America
Ricky Polk, Member, United Mineworkers of America

With the deadly explosion in the Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine in West
Va. which killed 29 miners last April still fresh in their minds, Ricky Polk and
Cecil Roberts blast the Republicans in Congress who have held up mine
safety legislation. Both also make the point that the safest mines are union
mines because of collective bargaining safety provisions but because of
employer intransigence to unionization, we also need Legislation to make
it easer for workers to form unions. We talked with them at the One Nation
Working Together Washington, DC March and Rally.
Prostrated at the Altar of the Balanced Budget - Sacrificing Economic
Recovery, the Unemployed, Social programs, and Social Security,

James Galbraith, Chair in Gov't/ Business Relations, at the School of
Public Affairs, at the University of Texas at Austin

Budget deficit mania is hobbling Washington’s response to economic
recovery. Having a balanced budget is more important they say than
implementing an economic stimulus to create our real bottom line – jobs, and
more jobs. To cut federal budget deficits without first rebuilding the economy
is a sure path to stagnation, to a double-dip recession – possibly to a second
Great Depression!
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