Labor History Film Series to begin Sept. 2

Author: Gail Hinchion Mancini

p. The second annual Labor History Film Series launches on Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 2) at the University of Notre Dame with a showing of “Bread and Roses,” a 2001 film about Mexican immigrants who challenged their working conditions as Los Angeles janitors.p. The film and lecture series is sponsored by Notre Dame’s Higgins Labor Research Center. Films will be shown the first Monday of the month throughout most of the academic year. Presentations will begin at 4 p.m. in the auditorium of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.p. “Bread and Roses” is a fictionalized account of the “Justice for Janitors” movement in Los Angeles, which united poorly paid and often immigrant workers against the city’s largest corporations.p. Other films in the series are:p. Oct. 7 ? “A Corner in Wheat,” one of the most respected works of the early 20th-century film director D.W. Griffith. The 12-minute film combines a vision of farm labor, a wheat king’s monopoly and the failure of a city to provide support and relief to its impoverished populations. The session also will feature “The Golden Cage: A Story of California’s Farm Workers” (1989), on the origins of the United Farm Workers and the ways in which California growers circumvent labor laws.p. Nov. 4 ? “Struggling Unions” (2000) examines the internal workings of unions, particularly the struggle to maintain a democratic environment that gives all workers a voice.p. Feb.3 ? In “Profit and Nothing But!” (2001), filmmaker Raoul Peck depicts the dark side of the global economy by examining how the international democratic system wreaks personal and economic havoc in his native Haiti.p. March 3 ? “The Working Poor in America: Climbing the Down Escalator” (1993), by Charles Craypo, professor emeritus of economics at Notre Dame, documents the earnings and employment experiences of working poor households in South Bend during the early 1990s. This film identifies the causes of low wage work as restructuring of industry, low minimum wages and the decline of union density.p. April 7 ? “At the River I Stand” (1993) chronicles a labor dispute involving Memphis sanitation workers that grew into a national controversy touching on economic and civil rights, violent versus non-violent change, and African-American inclusion in American life.p. The Higgins Labor Research Center is named for the late activist priest Monsignor George G. Higgins, a forceful voice for social justice in the workforce for the last half-century and recipient of Notre Dame’s 2001 Laetare Medal. Directed by Teresa Ghilarducci, the center provides a multidisciplinary view to the study of the economic and social consequences of different systems of work organization and the relationship between workers and management. More information about the series is available by contacting the center at (574) 631-6934.


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