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Working People

Aug 5, 2023

"I've never been an organizer," Khali Jama says, "but I've always fought." As a single mother, a Muslim, and a Somali-American worker living in Minnesota, Jama has always had to fight for the life she, her family, and her fellow workers deserve. And earlier this year, after bringing that fight to the Minnesota state legislature, Khali and her coworkers achieved a major victory. "On May 16," Lisa Kwon reports in PRISM, "Minnesota lawmakers passed the nation’s strongest Amazon warehouse worker protection legislation with the Warehouse Worker Protection Act, which ensures that workers can take breaks during the workday and have access to relevant quota and performance standards and data on how fast they’re working. The bill’s passage marks a significant victory for migrant workers — especially Minnesota’s Somali immigrant population, of which the state has the largest in the country. For Khali Jama, a former worker in Amazon’s fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, the new bill offers reprieve and protections that she worked to mobilize. As a Somali and a Muslim, Jama said the Warehouse Worker Protection Act ensures some equity in Minnesota’s facilities." In this episode, we sit down and talk with Jama about moving to the midwest as a child, about her path to working in healthcare and at Amazon, and about the incredible story of how Khali, her coworkers, and the team at the Awood Center, which organizes in Minnesota’s East African communities, fought to pass the Warehouse Worker Protection Act.
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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive:

  • Jules Taylor, "Working People" Theme Song