The 21st Show

How The GM Workers Strike Affects Illinois; Being Pregnant While Working On A Farm; ’The Great Leap’ at Steppenwolf


Paul Sancya/AP

Nearly 50,000 General Motors workers walked off the job last month as part of a United Auto Workers Strike. The strike could be nearing an end soon, but what impact has it already had on Illinois? Plus, there is little research into how things like spraying pesticides or treating animals affect pregnant women working on farms. We’ll talk about what rural health providers can do to help. And, the Great Leap is a play at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater. It’s the story of a Chinese-American basketball player who goes to China during a time of political upheaval.

It has been one month since nearly 50,000 General Motors workers went on strike across the Midwest and South. And while no G.M. factories are located here in Illinois, some of the companies who supply the parts that go to those GM factories are, possibly creating a ripple effect if the strike continues. 

David Welch is Detroit Bureau Chief for Bloomberg News. Robert Channick is a business reporter at The Chicago Tribune and has been getting reactions from Illinois auto part suppliers about whether this strike has affected them. 

Being Pregnant While Working On A Farm

Millions of women work while pregnant every day. It’s also pretty standard for pregnant women to be communicating with their doctor on a regular basis about getting ready for the due date, or about staying healthy while carrying a child.

But, not all women are finding health care that works for them. 

This can be especially true for pregnant women working in or around farming operations. For many women in rural areas, options are limited when it comes to finding a provider. And even when they do, providers don’t always have information that fits what women in agriculture need, in part because there isn’t a lot of research about how day-to-day tasks like spraying pesticides or handling livestock might affect pregnancies.

Megan Dwyer is from Coal Valley, about 15 minutes from the Quad Cities. She’s the nutrient loss reduction manager for the Illinois Corn Growers Association. Linda Emanuel is the community health nurse for the nonprofit Agrisafe. Dr. Kathy Hild-Mosley is an OB-GYN at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield. 

’The Great Leap’ Play at Steppenwolf

Throughout the 70s and 80s, Chinese and American sports teams would play against each other in an effort to build a diplomatic relationship between the two countries. 

They were often called “friendship games.” And they were billed as opportunities for athletes from different backgrounds to understand each other better - and engage each other through sports.

In a Steppenwolf production of a play called ‘The Great Leap,’ a Chinese-American named Manford Lum finds out about one of these games and strongarms his way onto an American team so he can go to Beijing. The play touches on issues affecting not just sports, but also questions of masculinity and Chinese-American identity.

You can see The Great Leap now until October 20th. Glenn Obrero and James Seol are two of the main actors in Steppenwolf’s production of The Great Leap. 

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