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Jess Kutch: Can unions address the changing needs of workers today?

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Work, Play, Rest - Part 1.

From unionizing to striking to quitting, employees are taking power into their own hands. Labor organizer Jess Kutch explores the effectiveness of collective bargaining to affect change.

About Jess Kutch

Jess Kutch is a labor organizer and the co-founder of, a nonprofit organization fighting to protect worker rights through virtual campaigns. has helped win paid parental leave benefits at Netflix, labor reform at Starbucks, and higher wages for many grocery and retail store workers.

Prior to, Kutch worked for, the Service Employees International Union, and other organizations at the intersection of technology and labor reform. Kutch is a TED Fellow, an Echoing Green Global Fellow, a J.M.K. Innovation Prize winner and an Aspen Institute Job Quality Fellow. She's a graduate of Bennington College.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Katie Monteleone and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Katie Monteleone is a producer for TED Radio Hour. She started out as an intern for the show in January 2019. After her internship, Monteleone began producing for Life Kit before returning to the TED Radio Hour team in October 2019 as a full-time producer.