Connect with us


Unions take to airwaves with ‘We Do The Work’

MT. VERNON (Jan. 9) — A new and energetic pro-worker, pro-union group in Northwest Washington — called the Labor-Democrat Work Group — is exploring ways to get its message out to the public given a media system mostly controlled by corporations. Comprised of Democrats and members from 16 local unions, the group is using other outlets to reach its audience and promote policies and programs that benefit the entire working class.

The group has begun a labor radio program called “We Do The Work,” and its first show — featuring an interview with Washington State Labor Council President Jeff Johnson had its debut on Jan. 2 (listen to archived shows here) — as part of Skagit Talks at KSVR 91.7 FM. Johnson discusses the importance of unions and how they benefit the entire working class.

Listen today (Monday, Jan. 9) live at 5 p.m. as “We Do The Work” conducts Part 1 of interviews with Walmart workers who voluntarily joined the OURWalmart campaign. They will discuss working conditions at Walmart and how the OURWalmart campaign proposes to convince Walmart to treat its employees with respect and to provide them with adequate wages and benefits. Part 2 will air next Monday, Jan. 16 at 5 p.m.

On Jan. 23, “We Do The Work” will feature an interview with Steve Garey, President of United Steelworkers Local 12-591, who will explain how unions are good for our communities and why workers are not responsible for the higher prices we are paying at the gas pumps.

The show is hosted by Rich Austin, a retired member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Audio, editing, and other technical duties will be performed by Janet McKinney, a retired member of Operating Engineers Local 302.

“The time to act is now,” they said in a statement announcing the show’s debut. “Supporting fellow workers and collective bargaining rights is especially urgent after what happened to working people in Wisconsin and to public workers here in Washington. In addition to that, working men and women cannot rely on mainstream media or elected officials for the whole story. We must search elsewhere to get all the facts in order to make informed decisions.”

Other programs, although not necessarily in the order listed, will feature:

  • Lori Wallach, Director of Global Trade Watch – Public Citizen, will explain how so-called “free trade” agreements like NAFTA continue to punish U.S. workers.
  • Robby Stern of Social Security Works – Washington, will tell listeners the truth about Social Security. (Hint: It is solvent!)
  • Mark Dudzic, National Coordinator of the Labor Campaign for Single-Payer, will explain how and why the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act falls far short of the health care reform that is so urgently needed in our nation, and what can be done to assure that everyone will have access to the care they need.
  • Rick DeBay, member of the Washington Federation of State Employees, will provide listeners with some cold hard facts about why budget cuts to Community Corrections (probation and parole officers) will undermine community safety, and how budget cuts to other state programs will also hurt our communities.

The aim of “We Do The Work” is to bring information that is vital to workers. The program’s creators believe everyone deserve to be treated fairly and that each of us should have the opportunity to live in economic security with dignity and respect. Topics that will be discussed will range from free trade agreements to health care, from jobs to corporate accountability, from security in retirement to legislative deception.

If all goes well, KSVR’s General Manager Rip Robbins wants “We Do The Work” to have its own 28-minute dedicated program each week.  KSVR is committed to providing local, national, and global news and information to listeners in the Skagit Community and beyond in both English and Spanish.

So if you are in Northwest Washington, tune in to “We Do The Work,” within Skagit Talks, on Mondays at 5 p.m. at KSVR 91.7 FM or listen to live streaming of the broadcast. Previous weeks’ programs will be archived here. For more information about “We Do The Work” or to submit questions for interviews, email

Also, tune in to other pro-labor radio programs locally and nationally, including:

Labor Neighbor Radio heard Wednesdays at 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on KBCS 93.1 in Bellevue and Wednesdays at 6:50 p.m. on KGHI 91.5 in Westport, Wednesdays @ 6:50 p.m.

Labor programs on KSER 90.7 FM in Everett, including “Part of the Union” on Mondays at 6 p.m. and “Radio Labor Journal” on Monday’s at 6:30 p.m.

Workers Independent News’ Labor Radio featuring national labor news.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!