Dear Brother Erika: Union Worker

This week on From the Vault we listen to a 1973 program that shines with the passion of Pacifica Radio, Dear Brother Erika – the story of Erika Seastrom, one of the first women to join the previously all-male printers union. Not only does this forty-year-old recording preserve a first-person account of Seastrom’s fiery print shop career, it also perfectly registers the indomitable spirit in her voice: through her Brooklyn accent, her raw candor, and her unwavering humor under what were surely the most difficult of circumstances. The featured audio begins with a song and original 1973 producer Bonnie Bellow introducing Seastrom, who goes on to discuss her start in the printing business, the sexism she confronted on the job, her attempts to join the union, and working conditions in New York City print shops. Seastrom also reads an excerpt from her unpublished autobiography, Dear Brother Erika.

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