Gainesville Industrial Workers of the World Present: "American Dream"

Published Jimmy - Mon, 08/22/2011 - 6:44pm


"American Dream" documents the strike by unionized meatpacking workers at the Hormel Foods corporation's Austen, Minnesota plant in 1985-86. As Hormel attempts to force significant wage and benefit cuts on its workforce, despite posting $30 million in profits, workers at the Austen plant vote to strike rather than accept the concessions. This brings the local union into conflict with its parent organization, the international United Food and Commercial Workers union. Despite hiring a freelance strike consultant, the local ultimately loses the conflict.

The film has been criticized for portraying the issues from a perspective that supports the UFCW international's perspective, which is that the workers in Austen acted selfishly by going on strike for more pay than their peers in other shops were set to receive under Hormel management's new plan, which the international union had acceded to. In the film, representatives of the international claim that the failed strike set back organizing and the "gold standard" of wages and benefits in the industry.

The Gainesville IWW is presenting the film as an opportunity for union members and working people to discuss the issues it raises. Audience members will be invited to stick around for a discussion after the screening.

The IWW is a rank and file, democratic union open to all workers, regardless of occupation or employment status. The Gainesville General Membership Branch meets on the first Sunday of every month at 7pm at the Civic Media Center.

Mon, 08/22/2011 - 7:00pm
$3-5 donation requested