I’ve made it clear on social media that I am a staunch supporter of unions. Unions have made my life better in far more direct ways than the forty-hour work week, weekends, and other protections we take for granted in 2023. I won’t go into the personal details of why it's so important to me: but good unions protect their workers, and great unions will save lives.
The labor movement right now is a historic one, not just with the SAG-AFTRA, WGA, and UAW strikes, but overall with more and more workers organizing. We can see the world change right in front of us.
This is why I was happy to hear that those late-night talk show hosts decided to make their weekly Zoom meetings into a podcast. They did this to support their striking writers, without their writers having to cross a picket line. It’s where the humanity of it all comes in.
I listened to the first episode, and honestly, it’s almost exactly what I thought it would be. The late-night white guys talking in a relatively unguided format. I don’t watch late-night television, and the only reason I have any vested interest in this personally is because I talk about podcasts and Strike Force Five has been dominating at number one on multiple charts for a few weeks it seems.
I am who I am, so I can’t really write a podcast review for Strike Force Five. For those curious: It has good production quality and moments of honest comedy, but the conversations meander like you’re listening to a bunch of friends chat. If you like it you like it, and maybe sometime I’ll throw it on when I want noise but don’t want to focus.
I don’t usually listen to chat show-type podcasts, but I know that I can say that if you like the likes of Stephen Colbert, Jimmys Fallon and Kimmel, Seth Myers, and John Oliver - please go and listen to it because you will probably like it. You’ll also be supporting a lot of workers who are trying to fight for their future.
Instead of telling you what I can’t do for you, let me tell you what I can do for you. I can highlight podcasts that are also helping the Labor Movement in more informational ways. I love a good informational podcast to get me through my day. It’s also important that I point out that if you search “union” into a podcatcher, you’ll end up getting more about credit unions than labor unions.
Through my research, a lot of podcasts directly related to labor are actually radio shows being thrown into podcast form.
Stuff You Should Know Short Stuff: Labor Day
Do you know absolutely nothing about the fact that Labor Day is a holiday because of union workers? Take this Short Stuff episode from the team at Stuff You Should Know for an extremely basic primer on why we have that three-day weekend in September.
Factually! With Adam Conover
This one is produced by Headgum, I’ve listened to a few interviews, and the passion that Conover and his guests have for the work they are doing is crisp and clear. Production value feels like a radio talk show, you know- those deep male tones coming through your earbuds with clarity. It’s a great podcast to dip your toes into if you want a variety of unions to learn about for today. The episodes are slightly long, over an hour, but worth the time if you have it.
Labor Radio Podcast-Weekly
A weekly radio show turned podcast that in 30 minutes or so, gives you a story about something labor-related happening from other podcasts and radio shows from around the United States. It feels like a radio show, but certainly will keep you updated with tight tidbits.
Labor History Today
This one is stories of labor history via a weekly podcast that’s about twenty to thirty minutes. The quality isn’t the sleek and shiny you might want to hear or see but the information is really great.
Finally, as a bonus I recently stumbled on this episode of 99% Invisible that talks about the Luddite uprising and has more to do with labor unions and organizing than the world will have you believe.
If you have any more Labor-related podcasts, comment below! I might update this with your suggestions.