Across Canada, labour unions usually celebrate Labour Day with BBQs, parades, and picnics.
This year, not so much.
If you’re looking for a socially-distanced way to recognize Labour Day, tonight pop some corn and settle in with one of these movies celebrating the labour movement, overcoming struggle, and workers’ rights.
Watch Sally Field’s Oscar-winning performance as a textile worker who fights hard to organize her J. P. Stevens textile mill.
Where to watch: Stream on Crave (requires additional subscription to STARZ bundle); Amazon Prime (free trial of STARZ available);
A Disney musical based on the 1899 New York City newsboys strike.
Where to watch: Rent for $4.99 on Youtube, stream on Disney+, AppleTV
10,000 Black Men Named George
True story of the formation of the first Black-controlled union, The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, which represented the Black porters of the Pullman Rail Company.
Where to Watch: Stream it here.
Made in Dagenham
This film is a drama-comedy and follows the fight of women working at a Ford factory when they go on strike to protest sexual discriminiation and demand equal pay. The strike eventually leads to the UK Equal Pay Act of 1970.
Where to Watch: Available for rent on Amazon and AppleTV
The Killing Floor
This 80’s film tells the story of the fight to create an interracial labor union in the Chicago Stockyards.
Where to watch: Vancouver’s Cinamateque offers a $10 rental here.
2018 documentary about labour activist and feminist Dolores Huerta, a key influential figure in the fight for racial and labour justice. Huerta, along with Cesar Chavez, is the co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association.
Where to watch: For rent on Youtube and AppleTV
Movies we wish we could see:
These films are on our wish list but don’t seem to be currently available to stream or rent:
Silkwood has a star-studded cast (Meryl Streep, Cher and Kurt Russel) and was nominated for several oscars – so we were stunned that we couldn’t find it available to watch anywhere. The film is about Karen Silkwood, a union activist and whistleblower who calls out unsafe conditions at a factory that produces components for nuclear reactors. Trailer