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Stateside: What UAW strike means for labor movement; being gay in the army; women in skilled trades

Samantha Forsyth and Grace Trudell
Sam Corey
Michigan Radio
Grace Trudell (L) and Samantha Forsyth (R) are both working in the male-dominated field of electrical work.

Today on Stateside, what does the ongoing United Auto Workers strike against General Motors tell us about the role of American labor in the nation's economy today? Plus, two women at opposite ends of the same career path talk about what it takes to succeed in the male-dominated electrical trade.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

UAW's GM strike represents a pivotal moment for American labor movement, says UC Berkeley professor

Stateside’s conversation with Harley Shaiken

  • It’s the second day of the UAW strike against General Motors. Around 50,000 workers walked off the assembly line at plants around the country. That’s compared to a 1970 UAW strike against GM, where 400,000 workers walked out for 67 days, forcing layoffs at parts factories and steel plants. What does shift this tell us about the changing role of the American labor movement in the nation's economy? 
  • Harley Shaiken is a professor at the University of California Berkeley who specializes in labor and the global economy. He explains the factors that he believes are driving the strike, what’s at stake for both sides, and how this strike could affect national politics.

UM student, Army vet says being out and gay in the military is still a struggle

Stateside’s conversation with Necko Fanning

  • In an editorial published in the New York Times earlier this year, University of Michigan graduate student Necko Fanning wrote about the struggles of being an openly gay man in the U.S. military. Fanning was an intelligence officer in the Second Battalion, 87th Infantry from 2011 to 2014. He joined Stateside to talk about his experiences in the military, and share his thoughts on the Trump administration’s ban on transgender service members. 
  • This conversation originally aired on April 18, 2019. 

Hard hats, awe, and thick skin: What it’s like to be a woman in the electrical trade

A conversation between Grace Trudell and Samantha Forsyth

  • Stateside's ongoing series Work in Progress series features conversations between two people at opposite ends of the same career path. Samantha Forsyth and Grace Trudell discuss how they got into the electrical trade, and what it will take to normalize seeing "a woman in a hard hat." 
  • This conversation originally aired on January 9, 2019. 

Michigan duo uses roots music to find connections between state’s diverse communities

Stateside's conversation with Robert Jones and Matt Watroba

  • A friendship grounded in a mutual love for acoustic roots music led the Reverend Robert Jones and Matt Watroba to found the nonprofitCommon Chords. It aims to create connections between diverse communities through music. Watroba and Jones talk about the early days of their careers and why they founded Common Chords.
  • This conversation originally aired on May 14, 2019. 

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