UE As Truly
A (Working) Class Act
A working-class institution with class thats the
impression viewers might have after watching two TV programs by Labor Beat that highlight
UEs cultural dimension. Labor Beat is an award-winning series for and about working
people based in Chicago.
The programs Crossborder Mural Project and Laugh
at Your Boss are both available as videos.
Crossborder Mural Project, of course, is about the UE-FAT mural
project. From beginning to end, we see how union members and artists (who are also union
members) designed and executed the murals as a celebration of the Strategic Organizing
Alliance between UE and the Authentic Labor Front (FAT).
The result were attention-grabbing murals, one inside the FAT headquarters
in Mexico City, the other on an outside wall of the UE District 11 building in Chicago
(which, incidentally, is where Labor Beat has its offices).
"The video speaks to this unions pioneering work with the FAT,
but also says a lot about the role art can play in labors struggles for a decent
life for all working people," says UE Genl. Sec.-Treas. Bob Clark. "This is art
that expresses the kind of solidarity that overcomes the unnatural boundaries of race and
nationality, and projects a labor movement fighting for human liberty."
LAUGH AT YOUR BOSS
Laugh at Your Boss looks at the work of UE cartoonist Gary Huck and
his partner-in-syndication Mike Konopacki and examines the role of labor media/arts
activism. (Muralist Mike Alewitz, who figures prominently in Crossborder Mural Project,
also appears in this video.)
Through their 15-year-old labor cartoon syndication, Huck and Konopacki
have released thousands of cartoons that have routinely turned capitalisms sacred
cows into prime cuts. Laugh at Your Boss tells the story of how a company
negotiating with UE attempted to put in a contract clause banning Hucks cartoons on
the employee bulletin board!
"Both of these videos would be a worthwhile addition to any local
unions library," says Bob Clark.
The 34-minute video Crossborder Mural Project is available from the
UE National office on loan and for sale from Labor Beat at a cost of $30. Laugh at Your
Boss is available for sale from Labor Beat at $25; its 18 minutes long.
To order either video, contact Labor Beat at 37 S. Ashland, Chicago, IL 60607
or call 312-226-3330.
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