The labour historian Jeremy Brecher (1997: 275) claims that, ‘In periods of mass strike, workers act outside of institutionally prescribed roles. They reinvent themselves as historical actors and as part of a group making history together. When workers strike and otherwise withdraw their cooperation from existing institutions, they reveal that those institutions are not the fixed things they appear’ that in reality they depend on the living human beings whose activity makes them up. Win or lose, mass strikes reveal the truth about social relations hidden in an alienated society.
use the movie Made in Dagenham (2010). Discuss how strike action enables to shaping of the employment relationship and the roles taken on by workers and management. Does the strike enable, as Brecher claims, a transformation of these roles? Are any social institutions altered by the strike, and if so how? What is the role of the union in the conflict? What is the role of management? What ‘truths’ are revealed by the strike?
Please use the movie and good journal articles and books which are relevant to the topic.
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