Two new short films just out from Reel News – Can’t beat the rank and file! – The future of trade unionism in construction (13 mins), and Landworkers Alliance Skills Fair 2021 (18 mins).
The first covers 60 years of unbroken rank and file struggle by construction workers, including the National Building Workers Strike of 1972, the fights for safety, including from asbestos, and against the blacklisting of activist workers, up to the Shut-the-sites campaign last year in the pandemic, and this year’s campaign against deskilling of electricians at Hinkley Point C (‘No 2 ESO’) all threaded together by construction activist JT Murphy’s 100 year-old chant: “With the bosses never, With the trade union officers sometimes, With the rank and file always”.
The second film, in contrast, is about the collective aspirations of young people and people of colour for land and food justice. All very well you may be thinking, but where’s the power for change to come from? At which point the film deftly switches to the fierce and persistent militancy of Indian farmers in the face of three laws designed to commodify land and food for private profit. The Indian Farmers are even bringing their protest to Glasgow this weekend.