Though already in decline in the US, union membership was still close to 30% in 1973 when Crystal Lee Sutton (then Crystal Lee Jordan), a 33 year old mother of three, faced retaliation for her efforts to organize the textile mill where she had worked since age 17. Her actions were part of an ongoing struggle by activists and workers to unionize the J.P. Stevens plant in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, where three generations of Sutton’s family had toiled for low pay under poor working conditions. Before she left the plant, she made a final stand that would be immortalized in film. [more inside]
The general manager at a highway-side ''sports bar with curves" has her incurable optimism and faith, in her girls, her customers, and herself, tested over the course of a long, strange day. [more inside]
Historian Louis Hyman on the surprising origins of the "gig economy." Hyman is joined in conversation by Data & Society's Labor Engagement Lead Aiha Nguyen and Researcher Alex Rosenblat. Hyman's latest book "Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary" tracks the transformation of an ethos that favored long-term investment in work (and workers) to one promoting short-term returns. A series of deliberate decisions preceded the digital revolution, setting off the collapse of the postwar institutions that insulated us from volatility including big unions, big corporations, and powerful regulators. Through the experiences of those on the inside–consultants and executives, temps and office workers, line workers and migrant laborers–Temp shows how the American Dream was unmade.
"Our good pal Karina Moreno (@KaryinBrooklyn)comes by to talk DACA, immigration, and what to hope and dread about." This was especially informative about the history of the U.S. recruiting Mexican farm workers in the 1960s. [more inside]
Also known as A Flame At the Pier, Takashi Fujiki stars as a rebel in this drama about life on the Yokohama waterfront by New Wave director Masahiro Shinoda. The rebel works as an errand boy for a shipping company and vents his frustrations by plucking on the guitar. His interpretations of popular trends in music are sometimes right-on, and sometimes not exactly. Bereft of his guitar, the rebel's modes of expression are not as effective in generating interest as the Yokohama docks themselves, a fascinating world in their own right. [via] (Available to stream commercial-free to Hulu subscribers here.) [more inside]