The filmmakers were given remarkable freedom to record the historic 1984 contract negotiations between the United Auto Workers and General Motors Corporation. Bob White, labour leader of the Canadian branch of the UAW, must also confront his American counterpart from Detroit and succeeds in arriving at a contract that is significantly Canadian. His members had already given him a mandate to fight for independence from the American union. This is an invaluable document for anyone interested in the complexities of United States-Canada relations. It's an extraordinary film about revolutionary events.
This short film depicts the act of collective bargaining common to Canadian industry and shows how it affected a union, a company and a community. In Strike in Town the events that led to a deadlock in negotiations between management and employees at a furniture factory are staged against the backdrop of a one-industry town. It's the story of a strike nobody wanted, but which everyone was powerless to stop.
In this feature documentary, 6 student activists visit 36 Canadian towns to take on one giant corporation. Filmed over 2 summers, these young crusaders (plus a gonzo journalist) try to raise public awareness about Wal-Mart's business practices and their effect on cities and towns across Canada. With youthful passion and often hilarious cultural jams, this film takes us to the frontlines of the ongoing debate over the company's increasing dominance in the Canadian retail market.
This full-length drama depicts the reality of managers getting fired and the emergence of a new industry specialized in handling executive terminations. The film was made with the cooperation of the business community, which helped script some of the scenes and provided authentic locations. The central figure, D.R. "Biff" Wilson, 44, is a composite figure based on extensive conversations with fired executives.
This animated film examines the organization of labour unions today. While the narrator in all seriousness outlines the structure of a union and the larger bodies to which it is affiliated, the animator ad libs his own views with gay abandon. Examples are given to illustrate the functioning of a union at its various levels, from union local to national body to labour congress.
This short documentary is an absorbing study of Japanese business and industry. Discipline and productivity in Japan are much more regimented than in many other parts of the world. For the 110 million Japanese, survival means doing things together, rather than asserting a North American-style individualism. Japan's industry has automated and computerized at an unparalleled rate. Open-concept offices and collaborative work styles offer a model of the changing style of modern work that could inspire the West to modify their processes as well.
A description of the work of a research director of a United Steel Workers Union in Canada. The painstaking research and analyses of economic information, and the arrangement of arguments that lie beneath the negotiations of labour unions for better wages and working conditions are shown.
The NFB's 11th Oscar®-nominated film.
This short film depicts how a small Canadian city, bearing the name of Stratford and by a river Avon, created its own renowned Shakespearean theatre. The film tells how the idea grew, how a famous British director, international stars and Canadian talent were recruited, and how the Stratford Shakespearean Festival finally became a triumphant reality.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
This short documentary examines the changing relations between labour and management in the long-established company town of Trail, BC, in which 90% of the workforce is employed by Cominco, the world’s largest lead-zinc smelter. The metal workers in the town are outspoken about the health risks associated with their line of work, and a debate about unionization ensues. The days of paternalistic management are gone, and the emphasis is now on participation and involvement. An eventual strike over dissatisfaction with labour relations turns violent when management, union executives, and workers clash over competing interests.
This feature documentary is a biography of Dr. Norman Bethune, the Canadian doctor who served with the loyalists during the Spanish Civil War and with the North Chinese Army during the Sino-Japanese War. In Spain he pioneered the world's first mobile blood-transfusion service; in China his work behind battle lines to save the wounded has made him a legendary figure.
In this film, Paul Tomkowicz, Polish-born Canadian, talks about his job and his life in Canada. He compares his new life in the city of Winnipeg to the life he knew in Poland, marvelling at the freedom Canadians enjoy. In winter the rail-switches on streetcar tracks in Winnipeg froze and jammed with freezing mud and snow. Keeping them clean, whatever the weather, was the job of the switchman.
This short documentary is an introductory portrait of labour relations in mid-20th century Canada. Produced in cooperation with the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada, the film traces the process of filing a worker’s grievance in the mechanical and industrial fields. In one instance, an auto-worker files a grievance for being demoted after refusing to work inside a truck cab that he considered too hot. Through several stages of negotiation between union and management, the rights of a worker with a genuine grievance are shown to be protected under the union.
Ages 17 to 18
History and Citizenship Education - Official Powers and Countervailing Powers (1608-present)
Social Studies - Labour Studies