Directed by Jon Silver
With Jon Silver & Frank Barnacke
In September 1985, 1,500 Teamster-organized, mostly immigrant women cannery workers walked out on the two largest frozen food companies in the United States — Watsonville Canning and Richard A. Shaw Frozen Foods in Watsonville, California. This was known as the “frozen food capital of the world”. The workers faced not only companies who wanted major concessions but also a white union leadership who did not speak Spanish and who accused them of not being union members.
This historic and powerful video “Watsonville on Strike” hears the voices of these workers and their struggle for justice and control of their own union. The strike lasted 17 months revealing the contradictions in management and the unions.
It also shows the internal struggle in the union against the push for a concession contract and the role of solidarity.
Joining film maker Jon Silver after the screening will be Frank Barnacke, who was a farmworker, and is author of Trampling Out the Vintage: Cesar Chavez and the Two Souls of the United Farm Workers.