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This Week: Downward Mobility
This Week
October 24, 2003


This week on NOW:

In the quiet town of Jefferson, Wisconsin, there's a battle being waged between union workers and meat-processing giant Tyson Foods that may be one of the last stands in a war on wages in America. In Jefferson, as around the nation, workers are facing corporate efforts to cut pay and benefits, which could lead to more American families struggling to stay out of poverty. NOW profiles this contentious and emotional labor strike, which pits a small town against the world's largest meat and poultry producer-and may foretell a bleak future for American labor and the survival of the middle class.

Bill Moyers talks to Joseph C. Hough, president of the Union Theological Seminary, where his teaching and research interests are in social ethics, theological education, the Church and ministry. Hough discusses where politics and religion intersect and why he thinks it is the duty of Christians, Jews and Muslims to join together and fight growing economic inequality in America. Hough has sharp words for politicians who tout their religions, but don't apply its teachings to actions that could help those in need. "I'm getting tired of people claiming they're carrying the banner of my religious tradition when they're doing everything possible to undercut it. And that's what's happening in this country right now, " says Hough, "The policies of this country are disadvantaging poor people every day of our lives.

David Brancaccio interviews Sarah Chayes, the former NPR correspondent who reported from the Balkans, North Africa, the Middle East, and most recently covered the war in Afghanistan. Sarah took a break from radio to contribute directly to the post-conflict country and become the Kandahar director for the nonprofit, non-governmental organization, Afghans for Civil Society. Chayes updates viewers on the current situation in Afghanistan and the plight of Afghan women.

In Depth

Figures of men and American flag

Living on Low Wages

The State of America's Unions

Q and A with Beth Shulman

Tyson Responds to "Downward Mobility"


Stained-glass window
Union Theological Seminary's Joseph Hough

Update from Masuda Sultan

Afghan Women's Bill of Rights


Woman reading newspaper
Sarah Chayes on Afghanistan Today

Moyers and Brancaccio on Missed News


Discussion



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Read the complete transcript.

Credits



Downward Mobility
Producer: Peter Meryash
Correspondent: Sylvia Chase
Editor: Andrew Fredericks


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