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View Diary: Future of Working People? We’re Still Listening (20 comments)

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  •  Take Back Labor Day! (3+ / 0-)

    Piggy-backing on the re-education of the public, and of public perception of unions, why not sponsor a "Labor Day Film Festival" on AMC, or something of that nature?  A weekend, or week, showing films such as Matewan, http://en.wikipedia.org/..., The Molly Maguires, Reds, The Grapes of Wrath, etc., and have actual Union Organizers on to introduce and talk both about the films as well as the actual history of e.g., the Matewan incident, etc.  

    You could try to include documentaries, as well, and perhaps lesser known films.  Keeping the emphasis on the value that unions have brought to the country, and why we even have a Labor Day to start with.  

    Many, if not most, films made since the mid-50's on have featured unions as corrupt institutions.  If you want to re-educate the public, why not sponsor some film competitions, screen-writing competitions, etc., and try to get backing for actually producing some union-positive films?  They don't have to be terribly expensive to produce, and if you had a good script, perhaps one detailing the Bill Haywood trial, with a good role for say, Matt Damon to play Clarence Darrow (okay, I'm not a casting agent, I'm just throwing out an idea here), might that not help with public image and re-education?  

    There's a lot of really good drama in labor history, but the labor movement hasn't done a good job of investing in telling/teaching that history.  How about sponsoring a textbook on labor history, and making it available as a free e-book, and spending some time/effort/money to get it into classrooms around the country?  Evangelicals/Republicans have been all over trying to get their version of history into textbooks in classrooms all over the country for decades -- and look how well educated people are about labor unions in the communities where they've been successful.  Just saying -- if you're not going to compete, you're going to lose.  

    Labor Unions should be sponsoring advertising, competitions, history lessons, etc., and should be visible doing so.  People don't much pay attention to parades, rallies, or whatnot.  Labor Unions could jointly sponsor a "Workipdedia" site dedicated to preserving the history of the labor movement.  

    Just to make the point:  when I go to the AFL-CIO.org website, there's not even a link, even to an external site, that tells me anything about the history of the labor movement.  

    If Unions aren't going to preserve and popularize the history of the labor movement, who will?  

    We are the first to look up and know, with absolute certainty, that the sword we ourselves have forged, is real.

    by Jbearlaw on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 11:56:12 AM PDT

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