An impactful visual, like good storytelling, is worth more than a mere thousand words. American Factory joins the films Shift Change, Weconomics and Don’t Give Up Your Voice in showcasing the rising hopeful-good, the very bad and the extremely ugly in the global quest, beyond borders, markets and silos for an aspirational future of work where all stakeholder workers have a voice and a vote through collective organizing, workplace democracy and inter-generational wealth through an equity share.
American Factory | Netflix
- The Obamas’ Netflix Takeover Has Officially Begun | The Daily Beast:
“The more union sentiment arises amongst American Fuyao employees, the more the Chairman and management endeavor to quash it, including via the use of union-avoidance consultants. Although that amplifies the impression that the Chinese are not interested in treating workers reasonably, Bognar is quick to point out that ‘Fuyao learned about this kind of approach from Americans. It’s not like a Chinese import thing… American companies try to get around unions and try to minimize EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) rules. They try to get by on as little of that impacting profit as possible.’”
- Work Cultures Clash When A Chinese Company Reopens An ‘American Factory’ | NPR
- Obama’s New Documentary Is Great. It Also Reveals Why He’s Out of Touch | Vice
“There are no silver bullets when it comes to protecting workers from globalization and automation. But it’s plainly evident that more robust labor regulations, better legal protections for unions, and a more muscular labor movement would’ve been a game-changer for the Fuyao employees as they were hammered by management. That is to say, sometimes enhancing solidarity with allies is more important than trying to win over an unreformable opponent.”
- “American Factory,” a New Netflix Film from the Obamas, Explores the Challenges of a Globalized Economy | The New Yorker
From the Producers/Editors/Filmmakers, Melissa Young & Mark Dworkin, of www.movingimages.org
Shift Change  – 70 min. Dignified jobs in employee owned workplaces in the U.S. & Mondragon, Spain. Grand Lake, Oakland theater premiere followed by other theaters: Greater Reading, World Community [Canada], Orlando Latin American, Salt Spring, Reel Work, Labor Fest San Francisco, Hope Dance, Seattle Social Justice, Public Interest Law [Las Vegas], UN Association DocTalk, Normale at [Austria], Iron Horse [Taiwan] Festivals. Global Studies Association conf., PBS, WORLD Channel broadcasts 2014-16. Also in Spanish.
“Shift Change” is a reflection of how 60+ years of Mondragon principles and practices are impacting worker-owned and cooperative businesses across the United States, launched in time for the 2012 International Year of the Cooperative. In collaboration with Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, Melissa and Mark gained unusual filming access to the Mondragon cooperative ecosystem. “Shift Change” was shown hundreds of times throughout the entire U.S. and played non-stop on many public broadcasting stations (PBS). Then-USW International President Leo Gerard and 1worker1vote hosted a showing at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C. to over 200 attendees in the Samuel Gompers hall.
Spain’s Basque Region’s approach to a cooperative ecosystem infrastructure (over 1300 cooperatives including the 105 Mondragon Tier I/II/III cooperative ecosystem) is key to why it scores best on the global GINI Index measuring structural inequalities (while maintaining a tax structure more comparable to many U.S. coastal blue states than do Scandinavian countries that score equally well on GINI).
Weconomics: Italy  – 19 min. The Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy has one of the highest concentrations of cooperative businesses in the developed world. The first cooperatives formed in the 1860’s and today collectively represent 30% of local GNP. The capital, Bologna, is an industrial powerhouse, where prosperity is widely shared, and cooperatives of teachers and social workers play a key role in providing government services. Reel Work, UN Association, World Community, Taiwan International Labor Festivals, Global Studies Association conference.·
DON’T GIVE UP YOUR VOICE!  – 40 minutes – looks at Argentina’s widespread and creative resistance – in organized labor, at worker coops, street protests, theater and music – offering inspiration for all across Global South and North. UN Association, Univ. of San Francisco Human Rights, Reel Work, Workers Unite, Impact Docs, Canadian Labor International film festivals.
Mark’s and Melissa’s “DON’T GIVE UP YOUR VOICE” focuses on the bold and creative resistance to Argentina’s President Macri as a metaphor for resistance elsewhere. Recently, in electoral results that presage Argentina’s upcoming national elections, a nationwide primary saw Macri’s forces trounced nationwide with an overwhelming margin of victory for organized labor, and especially worker coops who have been key players in the resistance. The inside view of the Argentine resistance in “DON’T GIVE UP YOUR VOICE”, can offer both understanding and inspiration to those advocating for similar results across borders, markets and silos.