MADISON, Wis. (WMDX) – Rick Smith, a seasoned Teamster and host of “The Rick Smith Show,” recently appeared on “The Devil’s Advocates Radio” to discuss the end of the UAW (United Auto Workers) strike in Wisconsin and its implications for the future of labor in the state.
The interview touched upon the UAW strike in Wisconsin and its potential impact on the political landscape. Rick Smith highlighted the significance of President Joe Biden’s commitment to the labor movement. He mentioned that Joe Biden had marched with UAW workers, demonstrating a level of commitment to labor that Rick hadn’t seen in his lifetime. He believed that President Biden’s actions, such as supporting the UAW strike, could sway working-class voters in Biden’s favor.
One notable aspect of the UAW’s negotiations was the proposal for a 32-hour workweek. Rick Smith praised this move and highlighted its importance for the future of labor. He emphasized that this was not asking for too much but rather a strong negotiating tactic. He saw it as an opportunity for the labor movement to discuss and advocate for shorter workweeks as technology and automation advanced.
Rick argued that as technology continued to eliminate jobs, it was essential to ensure that workers could enjoy a better work-life balance. He saw the proposal as a step toward redefining the standard for working hours in the modern era. “We should be talking about how the transition’s going to happen as we lower the number of hours for working people, but still keep people attached to jobs. Because I’m still someone who believes that work is important, there are therapeutic qualities that a day well done, a job well done, and making your own way.”
The interview also touched on how the UAW strike and labor negotiations could impact the market. Rick acknowledged that while it might hurt corporate profits slightly, it would greatly benefit working families. He emphasized that such negotiations were necessary to bring back well-paying working-class jobs and improve the lives of workers.
Rest assured, corporate America will be well; they’ll be okay. But this is going to help working families do much better.Rick Smith, host of “The Rick Smith Show”
Rick Smith believed that the labor movement’s successes in raising wages and improving conditions would set a positive example for other industries, even those without unionized labor. Smith expressed optimism about the next generation’s engagement in organized labor. He believed that younger generations had seen their parents struggle and were determined not to face the same challenges. The pandemic also played a role in reshaping perceptions of essential workers, reinforcing the importance of labor rights.
“I think young kids have seen their parents get screwed over, just ground down. And look, my generation, our generation, if you look at the numbers, come retirement time, we’re screwed. And the millennials are even worse off. So I think you’re seeing this younger generation going, you know, I don’t think we want to end up like this.”
During the interview, Rick Smith announced a significant change in his career. He revealed that he would be discontinuing his radio show but expressed excitement about a new endeavor. He explained that he had signed an exclusive agreement with Free Speech TV and would be transitioning into television.
Rick humorously remarked, “Yes, I have a face for radio.”
Rick Smith’s interview on The Devil’s Advocates Radio provided valuable insights into the ongoing labor movement in Wisconsin and the broader implications for the future of labor in the United States.
Listen to the complete interview: