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ILR School

Labor and Film (LS214)

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Labor and Film examines the history of unions and workers in the United States through the use of film. Students will explore the various social issues and problems raised by each film and examine how these issues are shaped by important social factors including social class, race/ethnicity and gender. We will pay particular attention to whether workers and their unions are depicted as passive victims of larger social forces or whether they are portrayed as participants in their own destinies. We will also explore how the films depict the relationship between the labor movement and other movements for social change.


The historical context of each film

How movies shape society's perception of workers and unions

When, why and how filmakers changed history to make a "better" story

How the perspective of the filmakers shapes the presentation of the narrative


Each week we will watch a film, analyze it and its historical context, and discuss our reactions. The short weekly reading will be available as pdf files for download. A list of DVDs and a link to where they can be purchased will be included in the syllabus.


You and your organization will have a small library of DVDs that can provide labor history education to community organizations sympathetic to labor and as an internal organizing tool.

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ILR School

Managing With Labor's Values - Parts 1 & 2 (LB540)

Next dates

Sep 12—Oct 11, 2019
4 days
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
USD 1700
USD 425 per day


Can you be an effective manager while staying true to the values of the labor movement? Not only is it possible to manage staff without compromising on values, it is critical that managers at unions and social justice organizations get the training they need to become effective leaders and make the best use of limited resources. Through the Managing with Labor's Values - Part 1 (September 12-13) & Part 2 (October 10-11) workshops, participants learn techniques for helping their staff succeed, keep staff accountable and respond appropriately to common staff management issues while honoring the values of the labor movement.

Key Topics & Outcomes

Part 1: Helping Your Staff to Succeed

  • How managing in a union is unique
  • Get the best out of staff without being a “boss”
  • Assessing & adjusting management style to specific situations
  • Dealing with different behavioral styles
  • Giving effective feedback, coaching
  • Prerequisites for accountability

*Part 2: Building Accountability *

  • Understanding what makes accountability difficult
  • Preconditions for accountability
  • Tools for accountability
  • Reporting systems
  • Accountability meetings
  • Performance improvement plans
  • Maintaining accountability

Approach & Features

This two day workshop which is part of a series will include short presentations, case studies, small group work, group discussions and role play. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss real challenges they face with peers in the workshop. This workshop is open only to leaders and staff directors with significant supervisory/managerial responsibilities who are based at labor unions or social justice organizations.

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