We chat with Erek Slater, a bus operator for the Chicago Transit Authority, where he’s been working for the past 15 years. Erek is a family man, a father, and a three-term elected shop steward and executive board member of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 241. We talk about his working life and all that goes into being a bus operator, all the things that passengers never see — even though we depend on workers like Erek every day to live our lives. We also talk about Erek’s experience as a shop steward and about his unshakeable commitment to honor, justice, and empowering the working class. In fact, it was because he stood up for these things that he was unjustly dismissed from his job in May.
Maximillian Alvarez is editor-in-chief at the Real News Network and host of the podcast Working People, available at InTheseTimes.com. He is also the author of The Work of Living: Working People Talk About Their Lives and the Year the World Broke.