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Radio Ga Ga

May 12, 2010

There’s an episode of the TV show Frasier called “Sleeping with the Enemy.” This episode involves a labor dispute in which the manager of a radio station decides not to give the support staff its annual 5% raise. Obviously, the staff are not happy with this decision, so they rally around the idea of going on strike but not before receiving support from the on-air talent. Support from the on-air talent is important because it creates a class identity between the employees. Should the workers go on strike, it is more difficult to break it because of the class solidarity.

An example of creating a class identity can be seen in the book Cannery Women, Cannery Lives in which cannery workers, mostly minority women, create a cannery culture that bridges differences, build networks and develops intra-ethnic and interethnic support groups.

In On Strike for Respect, Locals 34 and 35 bridged the differences between the blue-collar and white-collar workers, which was important in creating a cohesive class identity.

Here is the “Sleeping with the Enemy” episode.

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