First Contract
Women and the Fight to Unionize

Conde, Carol, Beveridge, Karl
Publisher:  Between the Lines, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1986
Pages:  72pp   Price:  $16.95   ISBN:  0-919946-71-2
  Dewey:  813.54
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX3211

Looks at the "personal side" of the struggle of working women to organize themselves into unions and win first contracts.

FIRST CONTRACT looks at the "personal side" of the struggle of working women to organize themselves into unions and win first contracts. The books consists of a combination of full-colour photomontages and fictionalized interviews to look at "the anger, fears, and convictions, the conflicts that arise with families and friends, and the growing sense of strength that comes from the experience of organizing and taking action."

The authors state that "women, more than men, have been forced to confront the interconnection of work and life after work. To many women, the conditions of work and home are not dissimilar. The move from a "man's castle" to a "man's world" is not necessarily a liberating one. The authors explain that "originally we had intended to present photographs of the women themselves along with statements from their interviews. However, as their very real fears about being identified became apparent, we decided to fictionalize the material and use actresses. Despite a loss of documentary immediacy, the use of fictional format allowed us to push the content much further, especially in developing a sense of personal experience."

They also note that "to many, this book may seem an oddity. It doesn't fit neatly into any one category. The book mixes art, labour, women's issues, and oral history, with the lines being blurred. In part this is an international crossing of barriers that increasingly separate and isolate us; for the arts' sake, business uionism, post-feminism and so on."

Table of Contents:

Foreword by Frances Lankin
On Art and Work by Carole Conde and Karl Beveridge
Standing Up
The Meeting
Four Years Later
Chronology: First Contract Strikes

Subject Headings

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