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American Dream (1990) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • 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?

  • This acclaimed documentary focuses on a mid-1980s workers' strike at a Hormel meatpacking plant in Minnesota. After employees have both their wages and benefits cut, the local union endorses a strike, but complications arise when the national branch of the union doesn't follow suit. This divide in viewpoints has unexpected consequences for organized labor in the United States, and makes for intriguing depictions of workers' rights, strikes and union negotiations.


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