A documentary film list about social change.

Films with the Workers Rights tag:

American Dream [1990]

Minnesota Unions Workers Rights

Chronicles the six-month strike at Hormel in Austin, Minnesota, in 1985-86. The local union, P-9 of the Food and Commercial Workers, overwhelmingly rejects a contract offer with a $2/hour wage cut. They strike and hire a New York consultant to manage a national media campaign against Hormel. Despite support from P-9's rank and file, FCWU's international disagrees with the strategy. In addition to union-company tension, there's union-union in-fighting. Hormel holds firm; scabs, replacement workers, brothers on opposite sides, a union coup d'état, and a new contract materialize. The film asks, was it worth it, or was the strike a long-term disaster for organized labor?




Councilwoman [2019]

Workers Rights Immigration

Carmen Castillo, a Dominican hotel housekeeper in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, has won an election to the City Council. Now she must manage her day job cleaning hotel rooms, while advocating for low-income workers as a rookie politician.




Harlan County U.S.A. [1976]

Kentucky Workers Rights Unions

This film documents the coal miners' strike against the Brookside Mine of the Eastover Mining Company in Harlan County, Kentucky in June, 1973. Eastovers refusal to sign a contract (when the miners joined with the United Mine Workers of America) led to the strike, which lasted more than a year and included violent battles between gun-toting company thugs/scabs and the picketing miners and their supportive women-folk. Director Barbara Kopple puts the strike into perspective by giving us some background on the historical plight of the miners and some history of the UMWA.




Her Socialist Smile [2020]

Disability Rights Feminism Workers Rights

This film is a rousing reminder that Helen Keller’s undaunted activism for labor rights, pacifism, and women’s suffrage was philosophically inseparable from her battles for the rights of the disabled.




Roger & Me [1989]

Unions Workers Rights Corporations

A documentary about the closure of General Motors' plant at Flint, Michigan, which resulted in the loss of 30,000 jobs. Details the attempts of filmmaker Michael Moore to get an interview with GM CEO Roger Smith.




The Hand That Feeds [2014]

Immigration Workers Rights Occupy

Behind the scenes of a popular deli on New York's Upper East Side, undocumented immigrant workers face sublegal wages, dangerous machinery, and abusive managers. Mild-mannered sandwich maker Mahoma López has never been interested in politics, but in Jan. 2012, he convinces a small group of his co-workers to fight back.




We Are Wisconsin [2012]

Wisconsin Unions Workers Rights

When a Republican Governor's bill threatens to wipe away worker rights and lock out public debate, six extraordinary citizens force their way into the Wisconsin State Capitol, joining thousands of protesters who spend the next twenty-six days launching a popular uprising that not only challenges the bill, but the soul of a nation.




Zapatista [1999]

Mexico NAFTA Workers Rights

Jan. 1 1994: The Day the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went in effect. A few minutes after midnight in Southeastern Mexico, several thousand Indian soldiers take over half the state of Chiapas, declaring a war against global corporate power and for humanity. They call themselves the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN). Zapatista is the definitive look at the uprising in Chiapas. it is the story of the Mayan peasant uprising, armed with sticks and their word against a first world military. It is the story of a global movement that has fought 175,000 federal troops to a standstill and transformed Mexican culture and international political cultural forever.