Category Archives: Collective Bargaining

Labor Unrest in Coal During and After World War II

4:16; U.S.

Director: United Mine Workers of America

Synopsis: Newsreel about the UMW’s fights with the Roosevelt administration during World War II.



AFL and CIO Merge (1955)

6:34; U.S.

Director: Universal International News

Synopsis: Newsreel footage about the merger of the AFL and CIO in 1955 to create the current AFL-CIO.


The Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the UFW (2010)

60m; U.S.

Director: Marissa Aroy

Synopsis: The Delano Manongs tells the unknown history of a group of Filipino farmworkers in Delano, California who toiled under the yoke of racism for decades, then rose up in their twilight years to fight for fair wages and ethical work conditions to help create the united farmworkers union (UFW).




The Secret to Change (2001)

38m; U.S.

Synopsis: Millie Jeffrey, a diminutive and deceptively mild spoken woman, has been a dynamic catalyst for social change in America. “The secret to change starts with involvement,” a credo that Jeffery followed in her fight for the rights of organized labor, minorities, and women. Growing up in northern Iowa in a Roman Catholic family, she was outraged by the fact that Roman Catholics, because of strong Klan opposition, could not be elected to public office. Her revolutionary fervor was stoked when she joined the then militant YWCA in college and through the Y took a summer job in a candy factory. The working conditions were as deplorable as the management; Millie’s response was to join a trade union.

After college she became an organizer for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, working primarily in the South. This was difficult and dangerous work, and at the time not successful. With the beginning of World War II and its enormous increase of women workers, Millie Jeffrey joined the United Auto Workers and headed up the women’s department of the union. Her job–to empower women in the union. With glee she recounts the story of how the woman, who was fired from her factory job for distracting the men by wearing red slacks, was reinstated with back pay. The issue of work clothing in the auto industry was put permanently to rest.

Millie Jeffrey served as a brilliant strategist for Civil Rights Movement and the Equal Rights Movement. This dynamic woman was one of the founders of, and later president of, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and worked with dedication to ensure the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. As one veteran of the struggle said, “Millie taught us how to pick up the pieces after we were defeated.” Turning to the campaign to elect women to office, she sparked the nomination of Geraldine Ferraro as Vice-presidential candidate.

Contact: Jacqueline Fralley 202-298-9418


The Red Tail (2009)

86m; U.S.

Director: Dawn Mikkelson & Melissa Koch

Synopsis: In August of 2005 the mechanics at Northwest Airlines went on strike. Soon after, an anonymous flight attendant quit her job rather than cross the picket line. Disillusioned and inspired, this woman went in search of an established documentary filmmaker to tell the story of the workers of NWA.



The Shop Steward (1953)

21m; Canada

Director: Morten Parker

Synopsis: A dramatized presentation of the role of the shop steward in the effective day-to-day functioning of free trade unionism, the film begins with the election of machinist Johnny Walachuk as shop steward for the men in his section of a large industrial plant. Continuing, it shows the part the shop steward plays in carrying out the grievance procedures set up by company and union. How Johnny fulfills his responsibility to protect the men who elected him from infractions of the agreement is told in his own words and typifies the function of union shop stewards generally in Canada. Number one of the series.



Tribute to Eliseo Medina (2006)

17m; U.S.

Synopsis: Story of Medina, who became UFCW VP and then SEIU VP, leading movement to organize immigrant workers and fight for immigration reform.



Union Maids (1976)

48m; U.S.

Director: Julia Reichert, James Klein and Miles Mogulescu

Synopsis: Traces the organizing activities of three working class women in the laundry, meat packing and garment industries in Chicago in the 1930s. Features the oral histories of 3 women labor activists involved in the workers’ movements in the early 1930s: Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods. The women are figures of dignity and beauty amid their experiences of social injustice.

Nominated for an Oscar in 1978 for best feature documentary, and winner in 1978 of the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics’ “Critics Award” for Best Short.



Union at Work (1949)

30m; U.S.

Director: Textile Workers of America

Synopsis: Describes how the CIO organizes textile workers.


Union with a Heart (1974)

18m; U.S. 

Director: Brewery Workers Union

Synopsis: Celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Brewery Workers Union