Freedom News

Podcast Review: Talking Shop

In this first review-roundup, Fingers Malone picks out some of the best podcast listening for anarchists. Top suggestion today is an offering from the syndicalist union IWW — Talking Shop.

The new IWW podcast Talking Shop covers workplace organising and the changing terrain of struggle at work. It can be found, alongside other bits and pieces such as organising summit reports, on the New Syndicalist Soundcloud.

There are four podcasts so far in this series.  The first discusses the difference between ‘organising’ and ‘mobilising’ drawing on the ideas of Jane McAlevey. This discussion is insightful and thorough, illustrating the theory with practical experiences from different workplaces, and looks at why deep roots organising can be so difficult and why people can be drawn to more quick-returns mobilising methods.

The second interviews a striker from the recent university pensions dispute about the strike and about subsequent struggles over internal democracy in the union.

The third is a discussion about co-ops and workers’ control. I hate listening to people talking about co-ops, and even I like this episode. Especially interesting is the discussion of the worker buyout of Tower Colliery in Wales.

The fourth is on Wages for Housework which explains the ideas behind the wages for housework demand very clearly and looks at contemporary events such as Strike for Repeal in Ireland and Women’s Strike in Poland, both over abortion access.

The greatest strength of the podcast is that the theory and historical background are made very relevant and practical. The speakers bring in their own experiences of workplace organising and the discussion is always useful.

Got a podcast episode or series you’d like to review? Send in your thoughts to editor {at]!

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