Director: Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin
Synopsis: Shift Change: Putting Democracy to Work is a documentary film in progress by veteran award-winning filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin. It tells the little known stories of employee owned businesses that compete successfully in today’s economy while providing secure, dignified jobs in democratic workplaces.
With the long decline in US manufacturing and today’s economic crisis, millions have been thrown out of work, and many are losing their homes. The usual economic solutions are not working, so some citizens and public officials are ready to think outside of the box, to reinvent our failing economy in order to restore long term community stability and a more egalitarian way of life.
There is growing interest in firms that are owned and managed by their workers. Such firms tend to be more profitable and innovative, and more committed to the communities where they are based. Yet the public has little knowledge of their success, and the promise they offer for a better life.
When Shift Change is released this year, the film will encourage support for employee ownership, and provide on-the-ground experience from a variety of enterprises and locations. Screenings are being planned already for several cities, and we expect it to be presented on television, as well as in academic, public planning, business and community settings.