Norma Rae and Labor Issues

Topics: Trade union, Norma Rae, Employment Pages: 4 (1491 words) Published: November 2, 2008
The movie Norma Rae is about a southern mill worker who helps revolutionize and unionize a small town. The conditions at the southern cotton textile factory were intolerable and management was abusive. In the summer of 1978, a union organizer from New York came to this small town and approached the employees at the cotton factory to start a union. The union organizer, the mill workers and the management of the factory had very different perspectives as to the ramifications of starting a union. PERSPECTIVE OF THE UNION ORGANIZER

Warshovsky was a New York City operative who came to the cotton factory to help the employees organize a union. He knew from his experience that it was not going to be an easy task but he believed very strongly and passionately in the power of a union. Immediately upon arrival in town, in fact, he was ticketed by a local police officer. At first, Warshovsky was not accepted by anyone. He was aware of the deplorable work conditions, low wages and long hours that the factory workers endured. He felt that unionization was the only way in which the employees would be treated fairly and not have to work under such intolerable conditions. He believed that management would continue to abuse and take advantage of the employees until a union was formed. He felt that the substandard conditions at the factory such as high noise levels and a lack of air conditioning would never be properly addressed. He believed that the issues of low wages, long hours and unsafe conditions would never be resolved by management without the compulsion of a union. Warshovsky knew that individual employees could not resolve the problems – they needed the collective strength of the union to address all of these issues. It was his belief that unionization was the only way in which positive outcomes could result from legitimate employee concerns and grievances. Warshovsky's perspective of the need for the union in this textile factory was accurate....
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