The Fleck Women

Cablecast Community Broadcasting, London Ontario
Timothy Bongard, Kem Murch, and Judy McGowan
1978 | 18 min

This video looks at the 1978 strike at Fleck Manufacturing in Centralia from the perspective of the women involved.  Using photographic images as a backdrop, a narrator provides an overview of the strike and what took place, including the heavy involvement of police and the role of the Conservative government.  There is also extensive footage of the women themselves speaking frankly about the low wages, poor working conditions and serious health and safety issues at the plant that led to unionization and strike action. They also discuss the impact of police violence and employer intimidation aimed at breaking the strike. It didn’t work – the determination to win and solidarity among the strikers grew stronger as time went on. As one women put it, “We’ve learned the meaning of the word “sisterhood”. Research funding was provided by Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW).

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