Topics: Trade union, 1986, Employment Pages: 2 (514 words) Published: February 11, 2013
American Dream Movie Reflection

The American Dream took place in Austin, Minnesota during the 1980s during the time of Regan Administration. Hormel a multinational manufacture of food and meat products decided to cut workers wages from 10.69/hr to 8.25/hr. Although in 1984 Hormel recorded over 25 million in profits, they insisted there was a need to keep cost down; therefore wages had to be cut. The workers were not happy and decided to organize union. Jim Guyett was the union president of local P-9. Months before labor contract expired between Hormel and union workers, Local P-9 union hired labor consultant Ray Rogers. The workers and union under the leadership of Ray Rogers and Jim Guyett began to organize and rally for higher wages. Their strategy was since they can’t outspend Hormel get news and media involved. The challenge was can union sell message, do they have clout. Around Christmas 1984 Local P-9 union began looking for support and asked national union for support. The national union denied support to Local P-9 union and warned them about consequences of actions and strike. 1985 was the year unions unite. Local P-9 began traveling all over living in tents, rationing food, etc to spread message and take advantage of news and media attention. During this time, the members of Local P-9 union bonds grew stronger and they began to feel like family.

Two weeks before contract expires, Hormel proposal of base frozen for 3 years, 10/hr for existing workers, and new workers make 2 dollars less was rejected. Hormel options now were to have management work at a reduced rate or hire new workers. For the first time in 52 years, Hormel Austin plant was shut down by a strike. During the strike Local P-9 union members stuck together and supported each other. The union received monetary donations and food donations to help cope while out of work. Lewie Anderson was the chief negotiator and represented over 100,000 meat packers. During the 17th week of strike 4...
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