The Wobblies (1979)

Genres - History  |   Sub-Genres - Social History  |   Run Time - 88 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This informative documentary covers the activities of the International Workers of the World, the I.W.W., during the first part of the 20th century. The I.W.W. was the rival of the American Federation of Labor, but the former found fewer adherents because it was not mainstream. Its membership included several minority groups who were also busy fighting the prejudice of the times, they were often left of center simply because of advocating unpopular social issues, and their leaders included socialists like Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. The nickname for the members of the I.W.W. was the "Wobblies," originating with a Chinese man who said he belonged to the "I. Wobble. Wobble." Information on the union's activities, including a textile strike in Massachusetts in 1912 and another strike in Paterson, New Jersey in 1913 is provided by interviews with elderly former union members and a look at their memorabilia. Images are culled from still photographs, cartoons, posters, and archival footage.

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Keywords

labor-relations, prejudice, Socialism, social-justice, striker, union [labor union]