Stateside: GM workers strike; UCLA coach on changing gymnastics culture; Yemeni Great Lakes sailors | Michigan Radio
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Stateside: GM workers strike; UCLA coach on changing gymnastics culture; Yemeni Great Lakes sailors

Sep 16, 2019

Today on Stateside, 46,000 General Motors factors workers are on strike after the United Auto Workers union and GM failed to reach a contract agreement this weekend. Plus, a popular flower in floral arrangements, baby's breath is actually an invasive species that is damaging coastal dune ecosystems around the Great Lakes. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Picket lines form at assembly plants across nation as 46,000 thousand GM factory workers strike

  • There's plenty of pressure on bargainers for the United Auto Workers (UAW) and General Motors to seek a contract agreement after 46,000 GM factory workers walked off assembly lines early Monday morning. Picket lines went up overnight at 33 plants in nine states.
  • Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody has been talking with striking workers from the Flint assembly plant. He tells us about the mood on the picket line there. 
  • Mike Martinez is a reporter with Automotive News. He breaks down the main sticking points that have prevented General Motors and the UAW from wrapping up negotiations, and explains how this strike could impact Michigan’s — and the nation’s — economy.

Retired UCLA gymnastics coach made it her mission to infuse joy and trust back into the embattled sport 

  • The fallout surrounding disgraced former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics sports doctor Larry Nassar drew attention to serious abuse in the sport. Valorie Kondos Field, who began coaching elite gymnastics for UCLA in 1982, has seen the long-term damage young gymnasts suffered when winning was put before athlete health. She explains how she's worked to help athletes heal from their trauma, and become "champions of life through sport."
  • Valorie Kondos Field will be in Detroit for the Aspen Institute's Project Play Summit, a gathering of leaders involved with youth, sport, and health, on September 17th and 18th.

Invasive baby’s breath plant flourishing on Michigan’s coastal sand dunes

  • Baby’s breath might be a lovely touch in a vase of long-stem roses, but when researchers see the flower flourishing on coastal sand dunes, they shudder. That’s because baby’s breath is an invasive species that wreaks havoc on native ecosystems.
  • Charlyn Partridge is an assistant professor at the Annis Water Resources Institute at Grand Valley State University. She tells us why baby’s breath is so bad for coastal dunes, and how her research into the flower’s DNA could help curb its invasion.
  • This interview originally aired on April 29, 2019. 

The untold history of Yemeni sailors on the Great Lakes

  • Michigan is home to the nation’s largest population of Yemeni-Americans. When they first came to the state, many Yemeni men found work aboard Great Lakes ships. A history project from students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn documented the long, but little-known, history of Yemeni Great Lakes sailors.
  • Sally Howell is an associate professor of history at the UM-Dearborn, where she directs the Center for Arab American Studies. Gallal Albaneh is Yemeni-American, and a graduate of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy. They talk about the public history project Howell's students worked on, which focuses on the stories of Yemeni sailors like Albaneh.   
  • This interview originally aired on April 29, 2019. 

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