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

How California Unions Resist Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Raids - 27:29  

While ICE Raided Nearly 100 7-Eleven Stores in Pre-Dawn Nationwide Sweeps, California Unions Resists Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Actions

Rusty Hicks, President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor

California unions are moving to protect undocumented workers and immigrants against attacks from the Trump regime.  They are vigorously supporting AB450, a bill introduced by state Rep. David Chiu, D-San Francisco, which gives undocumented immigrants “affirmative protections” against indiscriminate raids by agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). 
And then they darned their armor, after learning agents from the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement would be visiting a 7-Eleven store in Koreatown to conduct interviews and an audit, and decided to stage a protest outside of the store, holding signs that read, “Immigrants are welcome here.”  ICE raided close to one hundred 7-Eleven stores nation-wide, including five in Los Angeles.  While people were arrested in other states, none were arrested in Southern California, however ICE issued a statement
saying there were would be more raids to come. 

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Puerto Rico Unions Fight Privatization of Schools and Public Power Company - 28:56  

Teacher and Utility Unions on the State of the Puerto Rican Labor Movement After Maria and Governor Rossello's Plans to Privatize the Public Power Company and Schools

Fredyson Martinez Estevez, Vice- President of the Irrigation & Electrical Workers Union, Unión de Trabajadores de la Industria Eléctrica y Riego,
Mercedes Martínez Padilla, President of the Teachers' Federation of Puerto Rico/Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, hundreds of thousands of people are still reeling from the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria. In a time of such dire need, the Trump administration has failed to provide the support needed to restore water to 7% of Puerto Rican residents and power to the nearly one in three residents, paving the way for a catastrophic announcement. The decision to privatize Puerto Rico’s state-owned power company which follows the same dangerous path mapped out in the Trump administration’s draft infrastructure

Whether it’s water or energy, privatization helps Wall Street at the expense of the well being and health of communities, particularly low-income families and people of color. Trump's leaked infrastructure plan similarly provides a blueprint for handing over public land and public water to Wall Street. It seeks to privatize local water systems and other critical public services, prioritizing
limited federal dollars to Wall Street and corporate investors. This scheme would also sell off federal assets and create a new infrastructure fund by opening up federal lands and waters to mineral and energy development benefiting the oil and gas industry.

We’ll speak with representatives of public sector unions in Puerto Rico representing teachers and utility workers about Governor Rossello's plans to privatize their services, and about challenges faced by the labor movement and workers following hurricane Maria and they’ll discuss labor issues affecting those unions under the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA)

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Trump’s Sneaky Tips Theft - 26:10  

Say No to Trump’s Sneaky Tip Theft

Saru Jayaraman, President, Restaurant Opportunities Centers
(ROC) United

The Trump Department of Labor, backed by the National Restaurant Association, is moving quickly to push a new rule that will make tips the property of restaurant owners rather than workers. It recently proposed rolling back a rule that protects workers in tipped industries, including restaurant servers and bartenders, from having their tips taken away by their employers. Under the proposal, federal law would allow restaurant owners who pay their wait staff and bartenders as little as $7.25/hour to pofcket
and confiscate all of the tips left by customers, without having to disclose to patrons what happens to the tips. Tips account for over half of these workers’ income which even together still adds up to poverty wages. More than $5.8 billion dollars will be transferred from workers to bosses under this proposal. Nearly 80 percent of the tips that would be stolen by employers would come from female tipped workers. Many women who work for tips already face harassment and discrimination at work, and this rule adds insult to injury

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