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Salt of the Earth (1954) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • Based on an actual strike against the Empire Zinc Mine in New Mexico, the film deals with the prejudice against the Mexican-American workers, who struck to attain wage parity with Anglo workers in other mines and to be treated with dignity by the bosses. In the end, the greatest victory for the workers and their families is the realization that prejudice and poor treatment are conditions that are not always imposed by outside forces.

    - Written by Bob Shields <rshields@igc.apc.org>
  • This film - blacklisted in the USA for 11 years and not shown there until 1965 - looks at a group of HIspanic miners who are long-time residents of New Mexico. Esperanza Quintero, her husband Ramon and their three children line in company provided housing with poor sanitation facilities. They make ends meet - just - but Ramon's job in the zinc mine is dangerous and the company seems to care little about the men's safety. After a mining accident, the men decide to go on strike. Their picketing prevents scabs from replacing them but after 6 long months of picketing, the company obtains a court order to remove the picketing miners. At this point the women step in and replace them, though it leads many to jail before leading them to victory.

    - Written by garykmcd
  • Mexican workers at a Zinc mine call a general strike. It is only through the solidarity of the workers, and importantly the indomitable resolve of their wives, mothers and daughters, that they eventually triumph.

    - Written by Robin9126

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