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Season 5, Episode 31

Strike at Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches in Seattle crosses 100 days

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Guest Name:

Maximillian Alvarez

Guest Website:

therealnews.com 

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Editor in Chief for The Real News Network, Maximillian Alvarez, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to talk about the over 100-day strike at Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches in Redmond, Wash. Alvarez also discussed the Justice For East Palestine Residents and Workers national campaign.

As part of Alvarez’s podcast, Working Peoples Podcast, he interviewed workers who are part of the Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches strike. The Seattle-based chain was founded to create a more sustainable food system, but as one of the workers told Alvarez, it hasn’t been focused on sustaining its workforce. Alvarez talked about the issues that led to the shop’s workers voting to join UNITE HERE Local 8 in late 2022. Through their first contract negotiations, they made a lot of gains before firing one of the union leaders in October of 2023, leading to workers at the Redmond, Wash. and Tukwila, Wash. stores going on strike for over 100 days. 

The union has filed a Unfair Labor Practice with the National Labor Relations Board over the firing. There has been no movement since the strikes began, but the employer is now asking workers to pick between the first contract, or whether they should stand in solidarity with their coworkers, Alvarez said. This is not the first time workers have utilized strike actions during the negotiations, as they had previously gone on targeted strikes to earn wins on wage increases. Alvarez also discussed using a targeted strike to earn heat pay provision for workers working in the store when the in-store temperature reaches 82 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter. 

Finally, Alvarez talked about the recently formed Justice For East Palestine Residents and Workers, a national campaign to demand that President Biden issue a major disaster declaration. This declaration would provide government supplied healthcare for residents of East Palestine and the surrounding areas under the Stafford Act. The campaign will host a national conference for the people of East Palestine, bringing together community members and support locally and nationally on March 23.

Listen to the show above to hear more from Alvarez’s interview.


America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.

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