Workplace Safety and Unions in Film
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We’re premiering Mine Wars on ThinkTV and CET this week. This moving documentary from American Experience got us thinking about the many great documentaries out there focused on workplace safety and workers unions. If Mine Wars inspires you to learn more about these issues – or you’re gearing up for the Mine Wars premiere – here are five programs you won’t want to miss.
Triangle Fire – American Experience: It was the deadliest workplace accident in New York City’s history. A dropped match on the 8th floor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory sparked a fire that killed over a hundred innocent people trapped inside. The private industry of the American factory would never be the same: http://watch.cetconnect.org/video/1817898383/
FRONTLINE – Cell Tower Deaths: To satisfy the ever-increasing demand for cell phone service, tower climbers install and service cell antennas, a job that requires them to ascend hundreds of feet. Across the country, some of these workers have fallen to their deaths from cell phone towers: http://watch.cetconnect.org/video/2237911445/
Need to Know – Safety Matters: State and federal regulators have deemed that about 2,400 worksites across the country have exemplary health and safety programs. Many of these sites are part of a special program that allows them an exemption from OSHA's regular inspections. But a recent Center for Public Integrity investigation has found that there have been dozens of fatalities over the last decade: http://watch.cetconnect.org/video/2047494990/
The Fight in the Fields: This film follows the first successful organizing drive of farm workers in the United States, while recounting the many failed and dramatic attempts to unionize that led up to this victory: http://itvs.org/films/fight-in-the-fields
Harlan, County, U.S.A.: This wasn’t a PBS Documentary, but this Oscar-winning documentary film about the Brookside Strike in 1973 tells the story of the fight for workers’ rights at a mine a little more close to home. Learn more from the filmmaker website: http://www.cabincreekfilms.com/films_harlancounty.html