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Pre-Mayday Movie: New Zealand Premiere of UNION – Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch

April 30 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

UnionAID and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) are excited to host the New Zealand Premiere of UNION – 2024 Sundance Festival Winner of the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for the Art of Change

About UNION: The Amazon Labor Union (ALU) — a group of current and former Amazon workers in New York City’s Staten Island — takes on one of the world’s largest and most powerful companies in the fight to unionise. Chronicling the historic efforts of the ALU, UNION is an intimate and surprising story of dogged determination, unorthodox tactics, and speaking up despite David vs. Goliath odds.

Capturing up-close, in-the-trenches moments with the upstart labour union leaders — including the charismatic Chris Smalls — as they try to build support for their movement on their own terms, filmmakers Brett Story and Stephen Maing bear witness to the realities of labour organising in the United States — challenging at best; near-impossible when facing the unlimited resources and influence of a corporate giant. They track exhilarating victories and demoralising setbacks along the way, but foremost spotlight the far-reaching ability of collective action to inspire hope and bring self-determination to workers who’ve long felt disenfranchised and powerless.

All proceeds will go to support UnionAID’s project with Samoa First Union, funding a Workers Advice Centre in Apia, Samoa. The Workers Advice Centre supports low-paid workers, including Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers and community members who seek advice on employment-related issues. The centre’s mission is to provide a comprehensive support system addressing various aspects of employment, particularly for those preparing to work in New Zealand and Australia, and needing guidance on their rights and entitlements.

 

Get tickets

All screenings are on 30th April 2024 at 6pm

WELLINGTON Screening at Embassy Theatre

AUCKLAND screening at The Capitol Cinema, Domninion Road

CHRISTCHURCH screening at Lumiere Cinema

DUNEDIN screening at Metro Cinema

LONG SYNOPSIS

On April 1, 2022 a group of ordinary workers made history when they did what everyone thought was impossible: they successfully won their election to become the very first unionised Amazon workplace in America. This feat would be extraordinary for any union, let alone the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), who did it with no prior organising experience, no institutional backing, and a total budget of $120,000 raised on GoFundMe. Heralded as the most important win for labor since the 1930s, this highly cinematic documentary captures the ALU’s historic grassroots campaign to unionise thousands of their co-workers from day one of organising.

Described by ALU President Christian Smalls as the “N.W.A. of the organising world,” the group’s persona and strategies are highly unconventional: from wearing Money Heist costumes at press conferences to distributing free marijuana to workers. A core emotional arc arises out of the journey of these worker-turned organisers through a series of political battles, pivotal strategic events, and interpersonal tensions that test their commitments and their solidarity. Up against a corporate superpower and with legal protections at a drastic low for workers, all odds are against the ALU. Yet this rag-tag ensemble remains unswayed in their beliefs in collective action and the dignity and power of the working-class.

 


Mayday 2024 Campaign

Details

Date:
April 30
Time:
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Tags:
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Organizers

UnionAID
New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU)