What Next

The Latest Blow to American Workers

Richard Trumka’s death marks the end of an era in organized labor.


Episode Notes

For decades, Richard Trumka was the head of the country’s largest labor federation. Widely considered to be the face of the American labor movement while workers faced a surge in union-busting campaigns, Trumka presided over an organization that was diverse and fractious. Last week, he passed away.

What is the state of the labor movement without its longtime leader? And how can his successor steer workers to safer waters?

Guest: Erik Loomis, a labor historian at the University of Rhode Island and the author of A History of America in Ten Strikes.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Davis Land, Danielle Hewitt, Elena Schwartz, and Carmel Delshad.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.