Price: $310.00

    Code: 2304

    Directed by Shawn Bennett
    2007, 54 minutes
    Purchase: $310 Classroom Rental $125

    How a small labor dispute at the Ravenswood Aluminum Plant in Ravenswood, West Virginia erupted into a national boycott and media campaign that changed the way unions deal with management.

    The pot room at the Ravenswood Aluminum Plant was topping 180 degrees. This was the most dangerous job in the plant. 39 year old Jimmy Rider was one of the union members that worked there, But not for long. How did he die? The members of Local 5668 will say it was Emmett Boyle.

    Boyle was the new plant president that appeared to have a score to settle with the union members. His new management would attempt to run the plant harder, faster and with less people. Jack Collins wouldn't stand for it and would picket the concessions. Collins had the union behind him. Boyle fired Collins claiming he was practicing unsafe work stoppages. As Collins packed his bags to exit the plant, armed guards stood by waiting to escort him out the front gates. A gang of workers began packing their own bags. They were going to follow Collins out in show of support. Collins forced them to stay and avoid a wildcat strike situation.

    The deadline for a new contract was midnight and the plant management refused to discuss safety with the union members. Meanwhile union leaders instructed third shift to report to work under the terms of the previous contract. 23 minutes into they were round up inside the plant and forced to exit the gates to the plant which were locked behind them.

    With the help of the international Union and workers worldwide they would mount a campaign of boycotts and pressure that would shake the plants foundation. They would go head to head with the management and an international fugitive, Marc Rich, who owned the plant (the same Marc Rich who would be pardoned by Bill Clinton in 2000).

    Told by the men and women who were directly involved in the dispute, The Battle of Local 5668 meticulously documents one of the most important labor battles of the 20th century.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    * Official Screening, Organization of American Historians Annual Conference, 2009


    “Recommended. An interesting film for students of labor relations and union histories. Inspiring is the action that was taken by the women of the community in support of their spouses.” - Educational Media Reviews Online