The half-hour shows air weekly on PBS public television stations, and is currently broadcast in more than 80 cities across the nation including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Nashville, and Seattle. For airtimes check the tv schedule listing below.
We Do The Work takes on workers' stories other media outlets fail to cover. It has explored free trade's impact on Canadian, US and Mexican workers; exposed the risks to the flying public as aircraft maintenance jobs leave the country; explored the traditions and challenges facing Navajo health care workers on the reservation; looked back at labor history; showed how RSI computer injuries are crippling much of an entire generation; and celebrated the American worker in a Labor Day special.
The tv series is popular among viewers, with ratings in many cities comparable to the MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour. Critics across the country call it "Uplifting," and "What television always should have been but seldom is." We Do the Work documentaries have been honored with awards at the Chicago International Film Festival, the National Educational Film & Video Festival, and the American Film & Video Festival. The show also won the prestigious Sidney Hillman Award.
The series is produced by California Working Group, Inc. a non-profit independent production company, based in Oakland, California. Celebrity hosts include Will Durst, Ned Beatty, Alfre Woodard, Howard Hesseman and Ed Asner. Staff members include Executive Producer Patrice O'Neill, Executive Director Debra Chaplan, Producer Rhian Miller, Education Director Craig Berggold, Development Director Erica Rau, Communications Director Valerie Lapin, and Associate Producer Kyung Sun Yu.
Programs that have aired on PBS stations and are available for purchase. Description and prices are listed below.
Join the tape of the month club: Over 300 organizations and unions, libraries and schools subscribe to We Do The Work annually and receive a copy of the current show each month. The cost of the tape of the month club is $600 per year or $50 per month.
Title: Heroes 2 This program features extraordinary workers whose lives are an inspiration to their communities including the residents of the town of Billings, Montana who joined together to stand up for their Native American, Afro-American, Gay & Lesbian, and Jewish neighbors who were under attack by white supremacists. Also featured are Crystal Lee Sutton, "The Real Norma Rae," the fiery woman whose toil and triumph in a North Carolina textile mill were dramatically portrayed in the academy award winning movie "Norma Rae"; East St. Louis school teacher Ron Carter, who has found a way to lure kids away from rough streets and keep them in school through the internationally renowned jazz band at Lincoln High School; Esther Bia a pediatric nurse in the Navajo Nation, fighting a battle against infant mortality; and Bill Ravanesi, a documentary photographer who exposes the devastating effects of occupational health hazards and toxins in the environment. 60 minutesShow #501
Title: Covering The Workplace When was the last time you saw a tv. show, heard a radio program or read a newspaper article about workers? In Covering the Workplace, journalists, labor leaders and working people debate how well workplace issues are covered in the media. 30 minutesShow #502
Title: Working Until It Hurts In factories and offices around the country, chronic pain as a result of fast-paced computer use is disabling thousands of Americans. Working Until It Hurts explores repetitive strain injuries, now the leading cause of occupational illness in the U.S. 30 minutesShow #503
Title: Building Dreams A Los Angeles freeway building apprenticeship program helps women and minorities become journeymen carpenters. New York high school students find a way out of mean streets and into a new career at this successful school--the only one in the nation that teaches students to run NYC's transit system. 30 minutesShow #504
Title: Taking Off The increasing use of foreign repair stations by U. S. air carriers and the bogus parts found on aircraft is the subject of this special. This program investigates the impact this potential loss of jobs will have on the U.S. economy and what the cost may be to the safety of the traveling public. 30 minutesShow #505i
Title: Navajo Medicine This special follows Native American health care workers struggling to meet the health care needs of isolated rural communities on the Navajo Nation . The program explores the cultural influences affecting delivery of health care and highlights this unique hybrid of traditional and western medicines. 30 minutesShow #506
Title: This Far By Faith This award-winning special features a group of courageous Mississippi Delta catfish processing workers, mostly African-American women, many single mothers, who fought for economic justice and civil rights on the job. With music by BB. King. * Blue Ribbon Award, American Film & Video Festival 1992 * Silver Apple, Natl. Educational Film & Video Festival 1992 * Silver Plaque, Chicago Intl. Film Festival 1991 * Sidney Hillman Award 1992 30 minutesShow #507
Title: Sewing Our Future Eight dollars an hour, or three dollars a day? A look at U.S. apparel in the 1990s--who's making it and where--and efforts by fashion designers, manufacturers and unions to keep the clothing business thriving in the U.S. Labor investigators reveal that the US government spent nearly a million dollars to encourage garment manufacturers to relocate to Central America and the Caribbean. 30 minutesShow #508
Title: Kid Shields This gripping portrait follows overworked child welfare workers as they fight to protect children from abuse and neglect in a system with decreasing support for troubled families. 30 minutesShow #509
Title: Looking Back: Moments In Labor History Danny Glover hosts a train trip to the past with a history of the Pullman Porters' Union. Take a flight to the past as we recount the history of our nation's flight attendants, one that mirrors the struggles and triumphs of women in the workplace over the last fifty years. An introduction to songwriter Earl Robinson, whose legendary ballad of Joe Hill is sung worldwide. 30 minutesShow #510
Title: Rural America The spirit of rural America is reflected in these stories of Americans who struggle to make a living on family farms -- a way of life that is rapidly disappearing. Wayne Cryts of Puxico, Missouri finds himself nose to nose with federal marshals while trying to save his soybean crop; cowgirl Beverly Wyerts runs her own cattle on the harsh plains of southwest Texas; and rock stars Willie Nelson & Dwight Yokham help family farmers through FarmAid. 30 minutesShow #511
Title: Locked Out In America: Voices From Ravenswood A small town in west virginia is deeply divided when steelworkers at Ravenswood Aluminum Corp. are locked out during contract negotiations. In this special by Academy Award-winning director Barbara Kopple, we meet father and son on opposite sides of the fight. Inside the plant, company officials and other replacement workers say union steelworkers made a choice. Take viewers to the heart of the conflict over labor's right to strike and industry's use of replacement workers. 30 minutesShow #512
Title: Workplace Profiles In this program we'll meet Rudy Salazar, a blind journeyman auto mechanic, who uses sound and touch to repair cars; garbage collectors who show us how they handle it -- and how much we waste; Crystal Lee Sutton, the fiery woman whose toil and triumph in a North Carolina textile mill were dramatically portrayed in the academy award winning film "Norma Rae"; and walk a mile to deliver letters with a mail carrier. 30 minutesShow #513
Title: Recording The American Experience Interviews with chroniclers of our time. Features two-time Academy Award- winning filmmaker, Barbara Kopple with clips from "Harlan county" and her newest film "American Dream," about the Hormel meatpacking strike. Studs Terkel, the renowned writer and activist, gives insights on the changing nature of work and why Chicago is still a working class town. And, a conversation with painter Ralph Fasanella, who tells how he was inspired to capture the colors of working class life. 30 minutesShow #514
Title: Working Families This tribute to working families explores the issues of raising kids, bringing home the bacon, and still finding quality time in today's world of work; a visit to Palcare, a round the clock child care center; and comedians Will and Debi Durst on house cleaning. 30 minutesShow #515
Title: Leather Soul Chronicles the history of the leather tanning trade of Peabody, Massachusetts. Looks at the rich immigrant population, strong workplace friends, union loyalties and family and community ties that grew out of the once thriving tanneries. 30 minutesShow #516
Title: Profiles From The American Workplace In this show we hang out high above the freeway with billboard sign painters; go to the Lineman's Rodeo, where electrical workers show their skills on the high wire; and meet Ron Carter, a dedicated teacher who found a way to lure kids away from rough streets and keep them in school through the internationally renowned Lincoln High School Jazz Band; and the elegant Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, and the people who make it a five star operation. 30 minutesShow #517
Title: More Working History We'll travel back in time as we meet the fascinating men who built the Golden Gate bridge; trace the rise and fall of the Pennsylvania Homestead Works, once the centerpiece of Andrew Carnegie's steel empire and a symbol of the heyday of American industrialization; meet Harry Bridges, the colorful and controversial labor leader; and lunch at San Francisco 's Red's Java house, where you can get a double cheeseburger and coffee for about two bucks and take in a little waterfront history. 30 minutesShow #518
Title: New On The Job In Detroit, three tv stations pitch in to help young people learn job skills and build career goals; Memphis teenagers try to balance work and school; and a music video looks at work from a hip-hop perspective. 30 minutesShow #519
Title: Caregivers Hospice nurse Nancy Heberling helps her patients die with dignity; Esther Bia, a pediatric nurse in the Navajo Nation, fighting a battle against infant mortality; and homecare givers who provide a cost-effective alternative to hospitals and nursing homes. 30 minutesShow #520
Title: Dangers on the Job Each year 60,000 U.S. workers die from job related illnesses and accidents. An investigation into the human stories behind the statistic; and photographer Bill Ravanesi's personal journey into the landscape and biography of asbestos. 30 minutesShow #521
Title: Discounted Lives In Greensboro, North Carolina workers at K-Mart's new high tech warehouses are organizing to improve wages and working conditions. This program looks at K-Mart management's use of company spies, and a union sit-in during an organizing drive. 30 minutesShow #522
Title: Immigrant Workers Join drywallers, who do the back breaking work of the construction industry, as they hit the streets of L.A. in a battle for better wages and working conditions -- and win; a short history of immigrants coming to American in the early 20th century; and an excerpt from the film "Dollar A Day, Dime A Dance," about Filipino farmers in California's Central Valley. 30 minutesShow #523
Title: On Stage A look at the rich diversity of workplace culture; including "Five O'clock World" by chartbusting country singer Hal Ketchum; and comic theater artist Josh Kornbluth on life as a temp worker in a high rise law office. 30 minutesShow #524
Title: Not In Our Town A dramatic story about the people of Billings, Montana who joined together to stand up for Native American, Afro-American, Gay & Lesbian and Jewish neighbors who were under attack by white supremacists. In response to a series of hate crimes, the community moved into action. We meet the unsung heroes who stood up to those determined to spread hate. Teachers Guide available. 30 minutesShow #525
Title: More Workplace Profiles Diane Wilson, a Gulf coast shrimp fisher, who is waging a lonely battle to save the environment that supports her way of life; the people who make Lionel toy trains; and an uncommon look at the world of gravediggers. 30 minutesShow #526
Title: Prison Labor/Prison Blues This investigative report goes behind penitentiary walls to look at the controversy over the increasing use of prison labor in the United states. We hear from prison officials, inmates, business and labor leaders who respond to these questions: does prison labor provide rehabilitation and a way to finance prisons, or is it a cheap source of labor for private companies? Sewing "Prison Blues", a new line of blue jeans, booking of airline reservations, and work at state construction sites are just some of the jobs now available inside prison walls. 30 minutesOther videos available
Title: Strikestory In 1934, the only successful general strike in the history of the U.S. shut down San Francisco for four days. "Strikestory" features interviews with the men and women who were there, including Elaine, the only women on the strike committee; Bill, a veteran of the struggles that took America from the Great depression to the New Deal. Historical news footage and slides take the viewers back to a critical juncture in labor history. * Gold Apple, National Educational Film & Video festival, 1990 * Gold Plaque, Chicago Intl. Film Festival 1990 30 minutes
Title: Family Fuel: A Coal Strike Story Deep in the rugged terrain of the Appalachian Mountains, the battle between the United Mineworkers of America and the Pittston Coal co. reached epic proportions. mass sit-ins, arrest and the takeover of the coal plant made this strike one of the most dramatic in labor history. Coal miners walked off the job when Pittston cut health and pension benefits for retirees, widows and disabled miners. This special takes you in to the mountains and underground to chronicle what miners call "a battle for their way of life." * Red Ribbon, American Film & Video Festival 1990 * Silver Apple, National Educational Film & Video Festival 1990 30 minutes
Title: Leaving Home The North American Free Trade Agreement is a powerful document that could change the economic lives of millions, but working people are often excluded from the debate. "Leaving home" looks at how free trade is already affecting workers on both sides of the border through the maquiladora program. Factories in the midwest are fleeing to mexico, leaving former workers and their towns without jobs - or hope. Mexicans who work in U.S. Fortune 500 plants making just $35-$50 a week describe the dangerous conditions they face on the job. Economists, environmentalists and business experts debate the impact of our free trade future. Hosted by Ned Beatty 60 minutes
Title: Transit Tech New York City high school students finds a way out of mean streets and into a new career at this successful school. Teachers, school board leaders, the Transit Authority and the unions that represent the workers show how they turned this school around to make it the first in the nation devoted to transit technology. 17 minutes
In California add sales tax 8.25%
15% discount on 3 tapes or more.
1. Individuals, non-profit or community groups should send in a check or money order.
2. Institutions may send authorized purchase order. Fax orders accepted only with a purchase order number.
3. Allow 3 to 4 weeks for shipping and processing.
4. Foreign orders in US $$; additional shipping charges.
5. Mail to: California Working Group, 5867 Ocean View Dr, Oakland, CA 94618 For more info: 510-547-8484 FAX: 510-547-8844
For more information; ordering our catalogue; Call, fax, write, or e-mail to Craig Berggold, Education Director