Episode 87: The New Independent Union Organizing (interview with Felix Allen of Lowe’s Workers United)

Brendan, Andrew, and Gabriel Donnelly interview Felix Allen, lead organizer and president of Lowe’s Workers United, the newly formed independent union of workers at a Lowe’s home-improvement store in New Orleans. (Gabriel, himself a young labor activist, recently published “Lowe’s & Home Depot Workers Discuss their Independent Self-Organization,” which contains in-depth interviews with Felix and with Vince Quiles, organizer of a newly-formed independent union at the other main home improvement chain, Home Depot.)

Felix discusses the situation at the Lowe’s store in New Orleans—pay, hours, working conditions—that impelled him and his co-workers to organize, and he explains why they decided to form an independent union instead of becoming part of an established one. He discusses events in the larger world that convinced him that a fight for union representation might succeed even in the deep South, such as the struggle against environmental racism in New Orleans, the Black Lives Matter uprising, and independent union organizing elsewhere in the US. Felix also tells the story of his union’s difficult fight for a union-representation election: the tactics Lowe’s used, the varied responses and concerns of different workers, and the role of the National Labor Relations Board. He, Gabriel, and the co-hosts also discuss the racial dimension of class struggles, and the class dimension of anti-racist struggles, in the US.

Plus current-events segment on the arrest of former NY FBI agent Charles McGonigal and what it reveals about collusion between Trump and Putin’s regime. Mainstream reporting is ignoring the big picture, but Timothy Snyder is not.

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

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February 17, 2023

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