Union protests bring Taylor Chain films back into focus

With the recent protests by union workers in Wisconsin and Indianapolis again stirring discussions of the relevance of unions and the value of collective bargaining, Kartemquin's 1980 and 1983 films Taylor Chain I & II have come back into focus.

The Times of Northwest Indiana recently interviewed Kartemquin co-founders Gordon Quinn and Jerry Blumenthal about their memories of filming the Taylor Chain docs. Gary Hubbard, public affairs director of the United Steelworkers Union who was instrumental in securing union clearances for the film was also interviewed on the ongoing relevance of the films. Read the full article "Filmmakers: Recent protests akin to union's fight to save Hammond plant."

The two films now stand as essential time capsules of labor history, the first documenting negotiations over a seven-week strike between 1973 at the S. G. Taylor Chain Co. plant in Hammond, Indiana and the sequel then following up almost a decade later as workers and management engage in the first collective bargaining process ever captured on film in a bid to save the plant from closure.

The Taylor Chain films will be broadcast in the Chicago area close to Labor Day this year as part of WTTW's celebration of Kartemquin's 45th anniversary. Before then, you can purchase the DVD from our store.