Theme: Labor

Labor

Why Unions Matter

Book — Non-fiction. By Michael D. Yates. 2009. 240 pages.
An introduction to the history and role of unions in the United States.
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At the River I Stand

Film. Directed by David Appleby, Allison Graham, and Steven Ross. 1993. 58 minutes.
Documentary film on the African American sanitation workers' 1968 fight for human dignity and a living wage in Memphis.
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Echando Raices/Taking Root

Film. By Rachael Kamel/JT Takagi. 2002. 60 minutes.
The struggles of immigrants through the personal stories of families in communities in California, Texas, and Iowa.
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The First Rainbow Coalition

Film. Directed and produced by Ray Santisteban. Nantes Media LLC. 2019. 56 minutes.
In this documentary, Chicago's Black Panther Party forms alliances across lines of race and ethnicity with other community-based movements in the city to collectively confront issues such as police brutality and substandard housing.
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Golden Lands, Working Hands

Film. By Fred Glass for the California Federation of Teachers. 1999. 170 minutes.
Ten-part film series brings the hidden history of working people in California to light, from the Gold Rush through the present.
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Granito de Arena/Grain of Sand

Film. Produced by Jill Freidberg. Corrugated Films. 2005. 62 minutes.
Documentary about teachers, parents, and students fighting to defend Mexico's public education system from the impacts of economic globalization.
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The Killing Floor

Film. Directed by Bill Duke. 1985. Digitally restored in 2020. 118 minutes.
Set during World War I, two African-American men deal with racism in the workplace and the labor union.
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Made in L.A.

Film. By Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar. 2007. 70 minutes.
Emmy award-winning feature documentary follows the story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles sweatshops on an odyssey to win basic labor protections from a clothing retailer.
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Maquilapolis (City of Factories)

Film. Directed and produced by Vicky Funari and Sergio De La Torre. 2006. 68 minutes.
The impact of globalization as told through the lives of the women who experience it in Tijuana, Mexico.
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Matewan

Film. Written and directed by John Sayles. 1987. 132 minutes.
A feature film depicting a strike in a mining town in Appalachia and the struggle for solidarity across racial lines.
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Salt of the Earth

Film. By Herbert Biberman. 1954. 94 minutes.
This classic, powerful film about a miners strike in New Mexico can be used to teach about the intersection of class, race, national origin, and gender.
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Triangle Fire (Film)

Film. Written by Mark Zwonitzer and Directed by Jamila Wignot. 2018. 52 minutes.
After a tragic workplace accident, the private industry of the American factory would never be the same.
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Uprooted: Refugees of the Global Economy

Film. Produced by National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. 2001. 28 minutes.
Stories of three immigrants (from Bolivia, Haiti and the Philippines) to the U.S. and how global institutions and multi-national corporations erode people's capacity to survive in their home countries.
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