Weekend Video: Union Maids

A clear-eyed documentary look at the rise of the Union movements in Chicago during the ’30s, combining archive material and contemporary interviews with three women union organisers. The women, two white, one black, talk separately with clarity and conviction about working conditions during the Depression and the need to organise into unions. In the ensuing battle between big businesses and an increasingly militant labour force, the police were frequently called upon to intervene brutally: ‘To us it was class warfare’ says one of the women. Problems of racial prejudice, problems of women organisers working alongside men, the decline of the unions into conservatism, current difficulties between the middle class women’s movement and its working class counterpart are all discussed.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Add Comment