‘A lost history’: the US women who fought for better working conditions

'A lost history': the US women who fought for better working conditions
A women’s liberation rally in New York City on 26 August 1971. Photograph: Marty Lederhandler/AP

'A lost history': the US women who fought for better working conditions

 

 

 

PBS documentary on 9 to 5 shows how women’s organizing efforts in 1970s to better working conditions echos many of today’s social justice movements

 

 

 


 

In the early 1970s, a group of female clerical workers in Boston, Massachusetts, began organizing for better wages, advancement opportunities, and an end to sexual harassment. Their organizing efforts spurred a nationwide movement called 9to5, formed to improve working conditions for women across the board, and eventually toward the goal of forming unions within the workplace.

A new documentary film on the 9to5 movement from the Academy Award-winning film-makers of American Factory premieres 1 February on PBS, and the makers believe the movement has many echoes of today’s social justice movements from #MeToo and Black Lives Matter.

Women’s participation in the workforce climbed from 33.9% in 1950 to about 51.5% in 1980. As more women began entering the workforce, they faced glaring pay inequities, rampant gender discrimination, pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment.

The film, featuring interviews with leading organizers of the movement and actor Jane Fonda, who starred in and helped develop the 1980 film 9 to 5 with Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin, explores the history behind the movement that inspired the Hollywood film, its successes, losses, and parallels to the ongoing struggles in the labor movement and for women’s rights today.

 

To read the entire article from The Guardian:

 

'A lost history': the US women who fought for better working conditions

 

 

 

Michael Sainato

 

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