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We’re going back to the movies this week with two films focused on the power of women workers. First we discuss 2010’s Made in Dagenham, which chronicles the 1968 strike by women sewing machinists at Ford’s largest auto plant in Europe. Standing up against not only the bosses, but also chauvinist union leaders and a reformist Labour government, the women workers held their ground to fight not just for better conditions for themselves, but for equal pay for all women workers. Our second film is the 1979 classic, Norma Rae. In one of the most famous union movies ever made, Norma Rae tells the true story of the fight to organize a textile mill in the rural south. Facing a vicious union busting campaign, racism, anti-semitism, and constant attacks by the bosses and the cops, workers led by the tenacious Norma Rae demonstrate what workers can accomplish when we don’t let the bosses divide us.
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