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Veteran barista Hiwot Fekadu speaks about her personal experience at Starbucks—one of the locations highlighted by a national union survey that found Black baristas were routinely paid less than their white counterparts at certain locations of the coffee chain. Then, Gayle Hamilton, Interim Director of Labor@Wayne (located at Wayne State University in Detroit), recounts the role of labor unions, often led by Black women, in improving the lives of women and other disenfranchised groups in the American workforce.

Due to the pandemic, this interview was recorded by Zoom and/or phone. To view a full transcript of this episode, visit

In The Gap was created with the support of the Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting and In These Times magazine.

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