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A Resource on Resources


Items listed here will provide sources for information, materials, and people useful in developing programs for or about union women and workers in general. The list is by no means exhaustive, but several of the sources contain further bibliographies and other leads.

Once you know what you’re after, check first for what is available locally. Reference libraries, audiovisual centers, federal offices, union councils, university and community college labor education centers, and women’s organizations often help. In the process, begin to compile your own local resource guide.

Methods and Materials

Beeler, Duane, and Frank McCallister. Creative Use of Films in Education. Chicago: Union Representative, 1968. (Union Representative, 430 S. Michigan, Chicago, 111. 60605). 86 pp. This somewhat dated booklet omits the good new films but contains a useful discussion on how to use films to enrich programs.

Dwyer, Richard E. Labor Education in the U.S.: An Annotated Bibliography. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1977. 274 pp. Almost 2,000 listings of labor education documents and publications. An indispensable resource for anyone seeking to locate what’s been done on a subject in workers’ education. Well organized, with subject index and section headed “Curriculum and Methods.”

Gerlach, Vernon, and Donald Ely. Teaching and Media. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970.

How to Improve Workers’ Education. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labor Organization (ILO), 1976. 112 pp. An assortment of articles from the ILO journal Labour Education on how to use particular methods and materials in programs. Selections include audiovisual materials, role-playing, blackboard, flipcharts, and flannel-boards.

Joray, Paul, and Keith Knauss. “The Use of Video-Tape Recording in Labor Studies.” Labor Studies Journal 1, no. 1 (May 1976): 19–26. Although focused on collective bargaining courses, this article suggests techniques with broader applications.

Liveright, A. A. Strategies of Leadership in Conducting Adult Education Programs. New York: Harper, 1959. Still useful, this book covers the relationship between learning situations, goal types, leadership styles, and other factors in adult programs. Available in many libraries. An earlier book by the same author, Union Leadership Training, is good, but you’re lucky to locate a copy.

McLagan, Patricia A. Helping Others Learn: Designing Programs for Adults. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1978. Rev. ed. 100 pp. An easy-to-read outline relating the factors in program design to one another in terms of motivation and learning theory. Practical checklist with clear applications to materials selection and use.

Pfeiffer, J. Williams, and John E. Jones. A Handbook of Structured Experiences for Human Relations Training. 4 vols. San Diego, Cal.: University Associates, 1974. Uneven in quality and purpose, but several of the experiences, games, and simulations in this series have clear applications to situations encountered by union women. One is a variant of the classic “Prisoner’s Dilemma.”

Rogin, Lawrence, and Marjorie Rachlin. Labor Education in the United States. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Labor Education, 1968. Systematic description of labor education programs and practices in unions, universities, and other organizations.

“Teaching Labor Studies.” Special issue of Social Science Record 23, no. 1 (Fall 1975). Includes an article on “Working Women in Organized Labor” and suggestions for using resources and methods in the schools.

Workers’ Education and Its Techniques: A Workers’ Education Manual. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labor Organization (ILO), 1976. 199 pp. Covers several types of methods and materials useful in conducting programs.


The Emerging Woman. 40 min., b & w, 1974. Film Images, 17 West 60th St., New York, N.Y. 10023. Reviews the panorama of women’s experience and the movement in U.S. history from social and economic perspectives. Somewhat dated by closing shots of 1973 Women’s Day march. Good for introducing issues and personalities in history.

Harlan County, U.S.A. 103 min., color, 16 mm, 1976. Cinema 5, 595 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10022. Chronicles the struggle of families to win a contract with the Brookside Mine, owned by Duke Power Co. The families, especially the women, took an active and militant part in the strike. The film intimately depicts some of the changes they underwent. Filmmaker: Barbara Kopple.

Maria. 45 minutes, b & w, 1979. Film Board of Canada. Rent from United Automobile Workers Film Library, 8000 E. Jefferson St., Detroit, Mich. 48214. The story of an organizing campaign in a Canadian garment factory, told through the life of Maria as she becomes interested in and a leader of the struggle. Excellent for men and women, a realistic step-by-step account of how organizing campaigns really work and what employers do to retaliate. Particularly useful for working women, who can relate to some of the sacrifices Maria’s commitment involves.

Nine to Five. 25 min., color, 1976. Produced by WNET, order from AFL-CIO Film Division. Secretaries talk about their work, conditions, and the need to organize for dignity and equality. Good for organizing, white-collar programs, programs on women’s role in society, and a variety of other workers’ education situations.

Salt of the Earth. 94 min., b & w, 1954. Audio-Brandon, 34 MacQuestern Parkway South, Mt. Vernon, N.Y. 10550. A classic and still valuable film about a strike of Chicano zinc miners in New Mexico. With participants as cast, this film focuses on the emerging strength of women during the difficult strike.

Union Maids. 48 min., b & w, 1976. Produced by Julia Reichert, James Klein, and Miles Mogulescu. New Day Films, P.O. Box 315, Franklin Lakes, N.J. 07417. Accompanying materials and discussion guide. An oral history/documentary depicting the conditions and struggles of the pre-union and CIO days of the 1930s as seen by three women participants. Mixes interviews with rarely seen footage. Excellent for use with a variety of groups and topics, from labor history and women’s history to union and community organizing. Addresses current situations and thus avoids the “just about the old days” tag.

Why Not a Woman? 26 min., color, 1976. Pennsylvania Commission for Women. Rent from the AFL-CIO Film Division. A documentary on women in blue-collar jobs, their performance, hopes, problems. Management representatives discuss their hesitancy to hire women; women discuss the results when they are hired.

With Babies and Banners: Story of the Women’s Emergency Brigade. 45 min., color, 1978. Women’s Labor History Film Project. Producers: Lorraine Gray, Lyn Goldfarb, and Anne Bohlen. Order from New Day Films (see Union Maids). The contributions of women to the 1937 Flint strike (UAW) are reviewed at a reunion of several women activists forty years later. A skillful mix of documentary footage, stills, and commentary, includes past deeds and present needs. Excellent for union and women’s groups, as well as general audiences, schools, and others.

Notes: Discounts are sometimes available for special showings. Some of these films can be obtained through public libraries, universities, schools, and unions; check before ordering.

For films on occupational health and safety, see the listing at the end of Chapter 16.

Watch for the availability in 16 mm of two excellent, full-length, commercially produced films, Norma Rae and The $5.20 an Hour Dream. The first tells the story of an organizing drive in a southern textile mill (based on Crystal Jordan and the campaign of the Textile Workers Union of America in a J. P. Stevens plant); the second is a realistic, warmly human account of the struggle of a woman assembly-line worker to move into a skilled job in a section of the plant formerly all male. Both are excellently acted and produced.

Sources of Films and Catalogs

Both the AFL-CIO Education Department and the United Auto Workers maintain substantial film rental libraries and publish catalogs listing what is available, ordering information, and tips on effective use of films. They have titles on many phases of unionism, from steward training to labor history, as well as some on more general subjects. To obtain a catalog, write:

Film Division

AFL-CIO Department of Education

815 Sixteenth Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20006

Film Library

UAW Education Department

8000 East Jefferson Avenue

Detroit, Mich. 48214

Other film distributors are too numerous to list. Once you know what film you are after, check for local availability or for the address of the national distributor. Reference departments of A-V centers in public and school libraries can often help. Some international union offices have limited numbers of films primarily for affiliates. University industrial and labor relations centers are another good source.

Publications on Films and Other Audiovisuals

Books and industry publications are found in most libraries. Look particularly for a newspaper called Jump Cut, which often reviews films useful in programs for union women and in workers’ education in general.

Perhaps the best sources for current information on selecting and obtaining audiovisual and other materials for programs for union women are two features in Labor Studies Journal. The “Newsletter of the UCLEA Committee on Programs for Union Women” and the “A-V Reference Shelf are carried regularly.

American Labor Films

Special edition of Film Library Quarterly 12, nos. 2 / 3 (1979). Published by the Film Library Information Council, Box 348, Radio City Station, New York, N.Y. 10019.

Film News

250 W. 57th St.

New York, N.Y. 10019


Media and Methods

Media and Methods Institute

134 N. 13th Street

Philadelphia, Pa. 19107

(9 issues per year)

Selected Publications: Women and the Labor Movement

Booth, Heather. Direct Action Organizing: A Handbook for Women. Chicago: Midwest Academy, 1974. Analysis, strategy, tactics, and organization-building for direct-action organizing, and special problems faced by women organizers.

Hagglund, George. Sex Discrimination: Job Evaluation and Wage Protection Which May Disadvantage Women. A brief but meaty brochure published in 1975, available from the School for Workers, University of Wisconsin Extension.

“The Political Economy of Women.” Special issue of The Review of Radical Political Economics 4, no. 3 (July 1972). Several articles on women and work, teaching outlines, and bibliographies.

Ross, Susan. The Rights of Women. New York: Avon Books, 1973. American Civil Liberties Union question-and-answer format primer on legal rights.

Samuels, Catherine. The Forgotten Five Million: Women in Public Employment. New York: Women’s Action Alliance (370 Lexington Ave., Room 601, New York, N.Y. 10017), 1975. 318 pp. A goldmine resource for anyone involved in programs for union women, this book is useful for profit-sector workers as well as public employees. Thorough and practical treatment of how to go about identifying, documenting, and proving many types of sex discrimination. Ends with a lengthy treatment of organizing strategies and tools, including an excellent resource section.

Soltow, Martha Jane, and Mary K. Werry. American Women and the Labor Movement, 1825–1974: An Annotated Bibliography. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1976. 247 pp. This well-organized and comprehensive interpretative guide is just what the title says.

Stone, Katherine. Handbook for OCAW Women. Denver, Colo.: Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union, 1973. An excellent, readable survey of legislation affecting women, special problems faced by women in and about the work place, and how to go about taking advantage of existing legal rights and organizing for change.

Tepperman, Jean. Not Servants, Not Machines: Office Workers Speak Out. Boston: Beacon Press, 1976. Leaders of office worker groups address the frustrations of the work, the difficulties of organizing.

Wertheimer, Barbara M. We Were There: The Story of Working Women in America. New York: Pantheon, 1977. 480 pp. The contributions of working women to labor history from 1609 to World War I. Focuses on some of the critical women’s strikes as told through the stories of numerous hitherto unknown women leaders. An extensive bibliography makes this a valuable resource for the teacher, as well as a useful, readable classroom text.

Wertheimer, Barbara M., and Anne H. Nelson. Trade Union Women: A Study of Their Participation in New York City Locals. New York: Praeger, 1975. 181 pp. Based on survey and interview data, this study has far more uses than most scholarly research. The categories of barriers discussed are good ones to address the problems of women’s union involvement, suggesting directions for program applications. Useful resource for the teacher, also suited for adoption in credit courses on women and union women.

“What About Sex Discrimination?” AFSCME Leadership Letter no. 8 (March 1974). A slightly dated but excellent 8-page outline of legal elements of concern to working women.


Labor Studies Journal. C/o Transaction Consortium, Rutgers University, Box L, New Brunswick, N.J. 08903. The best source of information on programs, techniques, and materials in workers’ education in general; publishes occasional articles and reviews and a newsletter on programs and materials for union women. Published by the University and College Labor Education Association.

Lifelong Learning: The Adult Years. Adult Education Association of the U.S.A., 810 18th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006. Sometimes runs articles on the use of particular techniques and materials.

Such well-known magazines as Ms. and Mother Jones are good sources of current information, and are available in libraries and on news stands in most areas.

Union periodicals like American Federationist can be obtained by writing the AFL-CIO or the individual union.

A number of magazines and journals have run special issues on working and union women. The AFSCME Leadership Letter (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) of March 1974 was titled “What About Sex Discrimination?” It needs updating. See special issues of Monthly Labor Review and the Civil Rights Digest.

Write to the women’s departments of such unions as the International Union of Electrical Workers, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Communications Workers of America (all in Washington, D.C), and the United Automobile Workers (Detroit). See also “Women Workers’ Organizations,” below.

U. S. Government Publications

There are several ways to obtain government materials, often without cost. If you need information quickly, visit a library, especially if your area has a “Primary Documents Depository.” Offices of appropriate agencies can also be tapped. Senators and U.S. Representatives will usually accommodate requests. The time-consuming and expensive method is to get materials through the Government Printing Office (GPO). Most of the publications listed here are from the Department of Labor. Requests can be addressed to the appropriate bureau or other unit, at the Department of Labor, Washington, D.C. 20212.

Such government periodicals as Monthly Labor Review and Civil Rights Digest are mentioned under “Periodicals.” When contacting the Women’s Bureau, ask to be put on the mailing list for “Women and Work” and other regular and intermittent mailings. Also ask for “Publications of the Women’s Bureau.” Both are free. You might want to request its “Guide to Sources of Data on Women and Women Workers.”

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission publishes guidelines on various types of discrimination, plus other explanatory literature. Somewhat out of date is “Laws and Rules You Should Know.”

Electing Union Officers. Labor Management Services Administration (DOL). A useful guide to union election requirements under the law. Women candidates, like men, need the information.

1975 Handbook on Women Workers. Bulletin 297, Women’s Bureau, ESA. Published for International Women’s Year, this 435-page guide contains discussion and data on almost all facets of women’s employment and status, as well as a long section on government institutions and mechanisms to advance the status of women.

State Labor Laws in Transition: From Protection to Equal Status for Women. Women’s Bureau, Pamphlet 15, 1976. A good survey of state laws. Changes result in rapid outdating of any such survey.

U.S. Working Women: A Chartbook. Bulletin 1880, Bureau of Labor Statistics (DOL), 1975. Colored and shaded bar-graph depictions of data on labor force participation rates, income and education, job tenure, and so forth.

Where to Find BLS Statistics on Women. Report 530, BLS, 1978. A handy, if not exhaustive, guide to a variety of sources on population, business, labor force, earnings and hours, education, and union membership. Free.

Women Workers: A Bibliography. Regional Report 77-8, DOL, Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Central Region, 230 S. Dearborn, Chicago, 111. 60604.

A Working Woman’s Guide to Her Job Rights. Leaflet 55, Women’s Bureau, Employment Standards Administration. 34 pp. A concise guide to legal rights in hiring, on the job, on leave from the job, and after the job (retirement), with sources of assistance listed. A good handout, with minor updating.

Women Workers’ Organizations

These organizations offer useful publications and serve as good sources of information in many areas, including people resources—speakers and panelists. When inquiring, ask for materials lists and for any contacts in your area.

Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), 15 Union Square West, New York, N.Y. 10003. Open to labor union and association members and retirees. Has chapters in some areas that are in touch with local resources.

National Association of Office Workers, 1228 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, O. Headquarters for the growing network of working women’s groups (office and clerical workers) now forming in more than twenty cities around the country. Major focus is on equal employment opportunity and affirmative action and group support activities. Nine to Five, Women Office Workers, and the other white-collar groups mentioned above belong to this network. Excellent resource, good materials. Address information requests to Karen Nussbaum.

9 to 5 Organization for Women Office Workers, 140 Clarendon St., Boston, Mass. 02116. One of the better-known organizations, 9 to 5 publishes a newsletter and issues reports documenting discrimination against target employers of clericals.

Union W.A.G.E. (Women’s Alliance to Gain Equality), P.O. Box 462, Berkeley, Cal. 94701. Has available several excellent and reasonably priced publications, including Organize! A Working Women’s Handbook, 2L clearly written guide on everything from organizing and bargaining on women’s issues to running a meeting and getting out a newsletter. Also Working Women and Their Organizations: 150 Years of Struggle; Labor Heroines: Ten Women Who Led the Struggle, and a bi-monthly newspaper that is an excellent resource for keeping up on new materials.

Wider Opportunities for Women, 1649 K St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006. Is in touch with a network of organizations focused on moving women into blue-collar skilled jobs. Good source of information.

Women Employed (WE), 37 South Wabash, Chicago, 111. 60603. An action-oriented organization focused on Chicago, this group puts out a newsletter and reports on target industries and employers.

Women Office Workers, 600 Lexington Ave., New York, N.Y. 10022. A New York City-based organization, WOW researches and publishes analyses of clerical conditions, and publishes a newsletter and pamphlets.

Women Organized for Employment (WOE), 593 Market St. Room 223, San Francisco, Cal. 94105. A coalition of groups that fights sex discrimination in hiring and on the job. Published the Women’s Job Rights Handbook, a guide to laws on sex discrimination.

Women’s Action Alliance, 370 Lexington Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017, is a major clearinghouse for resources and information. Publications include The Forgotten Five Million and A Practical Guide to the Women’s Movement, a directory of more than 200 national women’s organizations.

Other Women’s Organizations

National Organization for Women (NOW)

5 South Wabash, Suite 1615

Chicago, 111. 60603

Women’s Equity Action League (WEAL)

799 National Press Building

Washington, D.C. 20004

NOW headquarters and local NOW chapters are often excellent resources for a variety of purposes. WEAL distributes inexpensive material kits on special topics and areas such as national legislation of interest to women, and higher education and sports. It also publishes a National Newsletter and a Washington Report.


Both the AFL-CIO and UAW Education departments distribute lists of teaching materials, manuals, article reprints, handouts, and other resources useful in labor education programs. The AFL-CIO, for instance, makes available, in quantity and free, copies of a Federationist reprint titled “Women Workers: Profile of a Growing Force.” (See “Films” for addresses.)

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has a Women’s Rights Committee that has published a number of materials. While most are focused on teachers’ problems, some can be adapted for general use. The OCAW Handbook for Women Workers is available from the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union, 1636 Champa Street, Denver, Colorado 80201. A number of international unions have women’s departments that publish excellent material, for example, the International Union of Electrical Workers, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the Communications Workers of America. For information on these and other such departments, and addresses, write Cynthia McCaughan, Assistant Director, Department of Civil Rights, AFL-CIO, 815 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20006. Check with individual unions to determine whether they have other materials available. A call to your local or state AFL-CIO Central Labor Body, or a visit to the reference department of the library, should yield the addresses.

University and College Labor Education Programs and Other Organizations

Institute for Education and Research on Women and Work

New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations

Cornell University

3 East 43rd Street

New York, N.Y. 10017

The best source of teaching materials for union women, this program publishes a variety of teaching outlines and materials on subjects from public speaking, grievance handling, women and the law, and bargaining on women’s issues, to letter writing and the problems of working women. Also publishes conference reports, special teaching modules, reprints, and other materials. Best bet is to write for a publications list. Also has a library and research center on working women, open to the public.

Other university labor education programs are beginning to collect materials for and about union women and have people who can serve as resources. For a directory of the University and College Labor Education Association, write UCLEA, c/o Cornell University, 3 East 43 St., New York, N.Y. 10017. UCLEA publishes Labor Studies Journal (see “Periodicals”).

Some community colleges have labor education programs that may be helpful in suggesting materials for workers’ education in general, occasionally on programs for union women. Contact:

Service Center for Community College-Labor Union Cooperation


One Dupont Circle N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20036

Workers’ Education Local 189

Anne C. Green, President

116 Oakdale Avenue

Akron, O. 44302

An organization active in workers’ education, Local 189 provides information and resources. It publishes a membership directory, including a print and A-V resources section, and a newsletter. Intermittently publishes Labor Education Viewpoints, which carries discussions of methods and materials.


For their help in suggesting various resources, the author thanks Evelyn Farber of the Women’s Bureau, Department of Labor; Jacqueline Kienzle, AFL-CIO Education Department; Suzanne Maffei, formerly of the Division of Labor Studies, Indiana University; and Marjorie Rachlin, George Meany Center for Labor Studies.

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