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IBEW Short Named Video of the Year

June 8, 2011

Two actors in the IBEW's Workplace Democracy Video
Corporate bosses attempt to scare a worker out of supporting a union, from "Workplace Democracy."

The IBEW-produced video “Workplace Democracy: Corporate Style” is the winner of LabourStart’s second annual labor video of the year contest.

More than 3,000 votes were cast online for the five finalists, which were nominated by a panel of judges.

With the story of Max, the worker who gets dragged into a meeting with his bosses after trying to organize a union, the video sheds light on what really happens in most organizing campaigns.

Says Media Department Director Jim Spellane, who wrote the screenplay:

We wanted to show how little power an individual worker has when their employer and the forces of wealth are arrayed against them. Many companies in the United States have gone extremely far in their efforts to squash workers’ efforts to organize, and we wanted to shine a light on that.

Produced in-house by the IBEW’s own video team and cast with union actors, the video has been viewed more than 10,000 times on YouTube, and was featured on Web sites like Daily Kos, the AFL-CIO Blog and the Huffington Post.

Says Media Department International Representative Mark Brueggenjohann:

The most important thing is the story the video is trying to tell and if this honor results in a greater number of people seeing our video then that's even better.

And the research backs up the basic facts of the drama as portrayed by the earnest Max, faced down first by a mean-looking company henchman and then threats from corporate suits, who control his destiny. According to Cornell University’s Dr. Kate Bronfenbrenner, more than 50 percent of all workers who attempt to organize are threatened by their bosses, while more than 70 percent of managers bring in outside anti-union consultants – the kind depicted in “Workplace Democracy.”

YouTube user abrinker commented:

This does happen. Maybe not with dramatic actors, but this has happened to me.

 Click below to watch the video: