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

Low Wage Airport Workers Protest Scrooge Employers During Holiday Travel Season - 27:49  

Low Wage Airport Workers Protest  Scrooge Employers During Holiday Travel Season 
* Shareeka Elliot, a terminal cleaner at JFK's Terminal 8 (American Airlines) 
for a contractor called Airway Cleaners
* Rob Hill, Vice President, Local 32BJ, SEIU
* Rose Oby, a security guard at LaGuardia airport (Delta Airlines) 
for a contractor called Aviation Safeguard
* Hector Figueroa, President, Local 32BJ SEIU

Thousands of employees of the largest private contractors at airports are protesting to call the public’s attention to the prevalence of poverty wages and poor working conditions that are creating a crisis for workers and the traveling public at the airports.  “Supporting yourself on $7.90 is hard,” Shareeka Elliott, a terminal cleaner for Airway Cleaners at JFK told the crowd.  “Supporting yourself and two growing girls is nearly impossible.  My take home wage does not begin to cover bills, daycare, and food for me and my daughters. I feel like I’m drowning in debt.” “These are hard-working men and women doing some of the most vital jobs to keep our airports running smoothly and safely,” 32BJ SEIU President Hector Figueroa said. “They should not have to live in poverty to do it. Their families should not have to live without health care because they happen to be working at our airports.”  So, now during the busiest holiday travel season of the year workers are forced to take their complaints straight to the tarmac.

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The New South Africa and The Lonmin-Mar​ikana Mining Massacre - 28:05  

What The Lonmin-Marikana Mining Massacre Says About 
The New South Africa
Mazibuko Jara, editor, “Amandla, South Africa’s new progressive magazine Standing for Social Justice”, a leader of the Democratic Left Front in South Africa, bringing together 40 South African social movements into a broad anti-capitalist front, former media officer of the South African Communist Party, and first chairperson of the Treatment Action Campaign challenging big pharma and an AIDS denialist government to win ARV treatment. 

Nelson Mandela was an inspiration for reformers and revolutionaries through-out the 20th century. He galvanized a mighty force of freedom fighters to break the back of the apartheid system. But the transition from the apartheid system in South Africa left intact the capitalist economic system and the continued exploitation and poverty of South Africa's majority black population. On 16 August 2012 – the south African police massacred 34 striking miners at Marikana mine, owned by the London-based Lonmin company. A democratic South Africa was meant to bring an end to such barbarity. And yet the president 
and his ministers, locked into a culture of cover-up. 

Jara discuses the  political situation in South Africa in the after-math of the Lonmin-Marikana mineworker massacre, and its broader context, including internal ANC battles over that tragedy and what it means for working class struggles and efforts to build the left

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Protesting Wal-Mart's Brave New World of Business - 28:55  

Wal-Mart May Be The Face of Twenty-First-Century Capitalism 
But Now Its Workers at 1,500 Sites Across the US Risk Jobs and Arrest for Regular Hours, Better Pay, Benefits and Respect! 
the Wal-Mart workers and supporters, speaking out, 
engaging in civil disobedience and their arrests at the Secaucus,
NJ store protest

Wal-Mart is the nation’s largest retailer, second-largest corporation, and largest private employer (with over 1.4 million workers).  The Walton family is the richest family in the world, their wealth inherited from Sam Walton founder of Wal-Mart. Collectively, the Walton’s own over 50% of the company, and are worth a combined total of $150 billion.  In 2011, six members of the Walton family had the same net worth as the bottom 30% of American families combined. Wal-Mart made $16 billion in profits last year. Meanwhile Wal-Mart workers oftentimes make so little that they 
qualify for public benefits.  

Labor Historian Nelson Lichtenstein calls Wal-Mart a “template” firm. The Wal-Mart model of employment is based on low wages, low benefits and rapid job turnover, has become the template for American firms to follow, This model erodes the American middle-class standard of living, while its principals accumulate unimaginable profits. But, brave Wal-Mart workers aren’t taking this lying down - they risked their jobs to take part in more than 
1,500 protests around the country on Black Friday, including engaging in civil disobedience in nine cities -- Chicago, DC, LA, Dallas, Minnesota, Sacramento, Seattle, the Bay Area and New Jersey.  These actions came on the heels of strikes throughout the month in Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Ohio and Dallas and the rise of fast food workers’ strikes and unionization drives and movements across the country for increasing the minimum wage. 

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Stopping Stop & Frisk, and Ending the System of Mass Incarcerat​ion - 28:58  

Bloomberg Hasn’t Given Up and Neither Are We: Stopping Stop & Frisk, and Ending the System of Mass Incarceration  
* Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, one of the leading hip-hop generation intellectuals in the country, host of nationally syndicated TV show Our World With Black Enterprise, author "The Classroom and The Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America" by Mumia Abu-Jamal 
& Marc Lamont Hill
* Arturo O’Farrill, Grammy winning, pianist, composer, educator, founder and Artistic Director of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance,
* Djibril Toure, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Plaintiff in Daniels v. The City of NY

There was the most recent prominent police murder of 13 year old Andy Lopez, in California; there is the growing rate of incarceration and caging of millions of people in US prisons; there is still Stop and Frisk and other racial profiling 
policies.  And, thus there is the imperative to confront these policies and dismantle the practices of the discriminatory and cruel criminal justice system. Building Bridges presents highlights from two of the events sponsored by the STOP Mass Incarceration Network and Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) to STOP Stop & Frisk, to STOP Mass Incarceration!   
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