Imagine you walk into a warehouse where the workers are on break, and you stumble into a vigorous, nuanced discussion of Marx’s notion of surplus value, how it relates to organizing on the shop floor, and how it applies to flexible and often female labor. Then the conversation turns to Gramsci and workers' councils in Turin. This is exactly what Carolina Bank Muñoz found when she visited a warehouse in Chile to study how unions responded to Walmart’s entry into Chile. The majority of Walmart's workers in Chile are unionized, and we talk to Carolina about her book, Building Power From Below, Chilean Workers Take on Walmart, and how Chilean retail and warehouse workers organized rank-and-file-led unions and win real economic gains along with respect and dignity on the job.


Then Nelson Lichtenstein joins the discussion on Walmart and organizing retail workers in the US. Nelson has several books on Walmart as the face of capitalism in the twenty-first century, transforming American politics and business. Nelson anticipated a day of reckoning for Walmart as challenges to its "business model" grow at home and abroad as the Chilean case shows. We'll also get Nelson's take on the "Amazon threat" and the state of US labor today in the Trump era.