Twin Cities Assembly Plant: A Job and a Family

  • Format: DVD Video, 40 min., with bonus 14 min. slideshow
  • Publisher: Labor Education Service, U of MN
  • Usually ships in: 1 to 3 business days
  • Product ##: 7517

The history of the Twin Cities Ford Assembly Plant, United Auto Workers Local 879 and the unique community of workers in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood.

Since 1925, Ford Motor Company has operated a manufacturing plant on the banks of the Mississippi River in Saint Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood, employing thousands of workers. This documentary tells the history of the Twin Cities Assembly Plant, United Auto Workers Local 879 and the unique community both hourly and salaried workers created inside and outside the factory.

$20; order here:



Brassed Off (1996)

101m; U.K.

Director: Mark Herman

Cast: Pete Postlethwaite, Tara Fitzgerald, Ewan McGregor, Jim Carter, Sue Johnston, Stephen Moore, Ken Colley, Grimethorpe Colliery Band

Synopsis (IMDB): Laid-off miners in 90’s England. “A small Yorkshire mining town is threatened with being shut down and the only hope for the town’s men is to enter their Grimley Colliery Brass Band into a national competition. They believe they have no hope until Gloria (Tara Fitzgerald) appears carrying her Flugelhorn. At first mocked for being a woman, she soon becomes the only chance for the band to win. In joining the band she puts her relationship with her childhood sweetheart Andy (Ewan McGregor) on the line.”



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A Day’s Work, A Day’s Pay (2001)

57m; U.S.

Director: Kathy Leichter & Jonathan Skurnik

Tracks three welfare-recipients’ involvement in New York’s controversial Work Experience Program (WEP), the largest welfare-to-work transition program in the United States.

Contact: To order a copy of “A DAY’S WORK, A DAY’S PAY” call 1-888-367-9154, log on to, or write: New Day Films, 22-D Hollywood Avenue, Hohokus, NJ, 07432. Price to Purchase: $240 for universities; $89 for non-profits. Price to Rent: $60

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Documentary, Working Class



A Life in Print: Xavier Viramontes, Printmaker (2006)


Director: Michel Fraser

Synopsis (A Life in Print): A LIFE IN PRINT is a one-hour documentary profiling San Francisco Bay area printmaker Xavier Viramontes, one of the most influential artists of our time and a founding member of Galeria de la Raza.  His iconoclast silkscreen poster Boycott Grapes for the United Farmworkers awakened a nation and rallied the Chicano movement in art.


Contact: Lindsay Dedo

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Arts/Culture, Biography, Documentary



A Union Man: The Life and Work of Julius Margolin (2005)


Director: George Mann

Synopsis: Julius Margolin died shortly after his 93rd birthday. He was a legend in the New York City labor movement. He was active since the 1930s in the CIO, the National Maritime Union and Local 52 of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, which he has represented in the NYC Central Labor Council for 34 years. A tireless fighter for justice, equality, and against war, Julius embarked on a new career in 1999, making music and CDs with George Mann while still hitting picket lines and organizing workers in New York and around the United States.

A Union Man is the story of his life through his eyes as well as those he’s met along the way. Featuring guest appearances by Utah Phillips, Faith Petric and former NMU Vice President Joe Stack, as well as concert performances, it’s an affectionate portrait of a rank-and-file activist still fighting for justice in his tenth decade on this planet.


Contact: 212-923-6372

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Biography, Documentary, Labor History



A Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly (1988)

70m; U.S.

Director: Jim Brown

Synopsis: Documents the lives and influences of musical folk artists Woody Guthrie and Huddie Ledbetter ( or Leadbelly).

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Documentary


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A. Philip Randolph: For Jobs and Freedom (1996)

86m; U.S.

The Attorney General of the United States called A. Philip Randolph “the most dangerous Negro in America.” He forced President Roosevelt to integrate the armed forces, won the first-ever contract for a Black union when he organized the Pullman porters and was the moving force behind the historic 1963 March on Washington.



Adventures of Power (2008)

89m; U.S. 

Director: Ari Gold

Cast: Adrian Grenier , Jane Lynch, Michael McKean , Shoshannah Stern, Chiu Chi Ling, Ari Gold

Synopsis: An epic rock’n’roll comedy about air-drumming and the American Dream. Small-town mine worker Power loves the beat, but can’t play drums. But after his union leader father calls a strike at the mine, Power discovers an underground subculture of air-drummers who just might hold the key to changing the world.

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Comedy


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America and Lewis Hine (1984)

60m; U.S.

Director: Nina Rosenblum

Synopsis (IMDB): Documentary about early 20th-century photographer Lewis Hine, who helped to expose grim working conditions in American factories and mines, especially the abuse and exploitation of children by their employers. Later, he became the official photographer for the construction of the Empire State Building


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American Dream (1990)

98m; U.S.

Director: Barbara Kopple 

Synopsis (IMDB): Chronicles the six-month strike at Hormel in Austin, Minnesota, in 1985-86. The local union, P-9 of the Food and Commercial Workers, overwhelmingly rejects a contract offer with a $2/hour wage cut. They strike and hire a New York consultant to manage a national media campaign against Hormel. Despite support from P-9’s rank and file, FCWU’s international disagrees with the strategy. In addition to union-company tension, there’s union-union in-fighting. Hormel holds firm; scabs, replacement workers, brothers on opposite sides, a union coup d’état, and a new contract materialize. The film asks, was it worth it, or was the strike a long-term disaster for organized labor?  Won the Oscar in 1990 for Best Documentary.