We’ve got a Working People first! In this special two-part episode, we sit down to chat with not one but two longshore workers: Zack Pattin and Brian Skiffington from Tacoma, Washington. Zack and Brian are both members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 23, and organizing leaders with the ILWU Young Workers Committee. In Part I of our expansive, multi-hour conversation with Zack and Brian, we talk about their backstories and the winding paths that brought them to where they are now, working together on the waterfront. We also talk about growing up in union families, their mutual love of punk music, and we talk about the fast pace, precision, adrenaline, danger and skill of longshore work.
Reader donations, many as small as just $5, are what fund the work of writers like this—and keep our content free and accessible to everyone. If you support this work, will chip in to help fund it?
It only takes a minute to donate. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation.
Maximillian Alvarez is a writer and editor based in Baltimore and the host of Working People, “a podcast by, for, and about the working class today.” His work has been featured in venues like In These Times, The Nation, The Baffler, Current Affairs, and The New Republic.