Salt of the Earth (1954) DRAMA

[MUSIC] How shall I begin my story that has no beginning? [MUSIC] In these gorges,
my great grandfather raised cattle, before the Anglos ever came. [MUSIC]
Our roots go deep in this place, deeper than the pines,
deeper than the mine shafts. [MUSIC] This is my village. When I was a child,
it was called San Marcos. The Anglos changed the name to Zinc Town. Zinc Town, New Mexico, USA. This is our home. [MUSIC] The house is not ours, but
the flowers, the flowers are ours. [MUSIC] My name is Esperanza, Esperanza Quintero. [MUSIC] I am a miner’s wife, 18 years my
husband has given to that mine. Living half his life with dynamite and
darkness. The land where the mine now stands that
was owned by my husband’s own grandfather. Now it belongs to the company. [MUSIC]
Who can say we meet again my story? I do not know. Of this day,
I remember is the beginning of an end. It was my Saint’s Day. I was 35 years old, a day of celebration. And I was seven months
gone with my third child. [MUSIC] And then that day I remember I had a wish. It felt so sinful, it felt so evil that I
prayed to the Virgin to forgive me for it. I wished, I wished that my
child would never be born. No, not into this world.
>>Are you sick, momma?
>>No, Estalita.
>>Are you sad? Are we going to church for a confession?
>>Later, when I finish, child. [MUSIC]>>Fighting again, with those Anglo kids?
>>They think they’re tough.>>But you promised me you wouldn’t.>>Papa says if an Anglo makes fun of you, to let him have it.
>>Never mind what your papa, hold still. [MUSIC] Does it hurt?
>>Nah, how come the cake.
>>Never mind the cake. Go get your father when
he comes off shift. Tell him to come straight home. [MUSIC] [SOUND] [MUSIC] Hear you had a little trouble,
Quintero, defective fuse? Well, you’re all in one piece,
so what’s the beef?>>You know the beef, this new rule of yours that we work alone. We’re taking it up,with the super.
>>The super’s busy with your negotiating committee.
>>So much the better.>>Now wait a minute, super’s the one who made the rule, he ain’t gonna give you no helper.
>>He will if he wants us to go on blasting.
>>Read your contract, or get somebody to read it for you. It don’t say nothing about no helper.
>>Listen, Mr. Barton, there’s blood in that mine. The blood of my friends,
all because they had to work alone.>>That’s how you get splattered over the rocks, when there’s nobody
to help you check your fuse.>>And nobody to warn the other men to stay clear.
>>Warning’s a ship foreman’s job.>>Foreman wants to get the ore out, miner wants to get his
brothers out in one piece.>>You work alone, savvy? You can’t handle the job, I’ll find someone who can.
>>Who, a scab?>>An American. [MUSIC]>>Mama.
>>[NOISE] Not a word about the cake, you hear?>>Papa, is there going to be a strike?>>Ramon, I don’t like to bother you, but the store lady say that if we don’t make
another payment on the radio this month, they’ll come and take it away. We are only one payment behind. I argued with her, it isn’t right.
>>It isn’t right, she says. Was it right when we
bought this instrument? But you had to have it didn’t you,
it was so nice to listen to.>>I listen to it every night when you’re out at the beer parlor.
>>No money down, easy term payment. I tell you something, this installment
plan, it’s a curse on the working man.>>Where are you going?>>Gonna talk to the brothers. This water’s cold again.
>>I’m sorry, the fire’s gone out.>>Forget it.>>Forget it? I chop wood for the stove five
times a day, every time I remember. I remember not to call the trucks. The Anglo-Myers have hot water and
pipes and bathroom inside.>>Do you think I like living this way? How do you wanna live?
>>But if you’re union. [MUSIC] If you’re asking for better conditions,
why can’t you ask for different plumbing too?
>>We did, it got lost in the shuffle.
>>What?>>We can’t get everything at once, right now we have more important demands.
>>What’s more important that sanitation? [MUSIC] Safety of the men, that’s more important. Five accidents this week
all because of speed up. You’re a woman,
you don’t know what it’s like up there. [MUSIC] First, we gotta get equality on the job,
then we’ll work on those other things. Leave it to the men.
>>I see, the men, your strike may be for your demands,
but what wives want, that comes later, always later.
>>Now don’t you start talking against the union again.
>>What has it got me, your union?>>Esperanza, have you forgotten what it was
like before the union came? When Estella was a baby, and we couldn’t
even afford a doctor when she was sick? It was for our families we met in
graveyards to build that union.>>All right, have your strike, [MUSIC] I’ll have my baby, but no hospital will
take me because I’ll be a strikers wife. The store will cut half our credit and
the kids will go hungry. We’ll get behind on the pavements again. Then they’ll come and take away the radio.
>>Is that all you care about, that radio? Can’t you think of
anything except yourself?>>If I think of myself, it’s because you never think of me, never, never.
>>Stop it, the children are watching, stop it. [MUSIC]>>That’s a problem that
has to be taken care of. The company will always
tell you those things.>>They know it’s not safe for miners to work alone.
>>But they don’t work alone in other mines,
Anglo’s always work in pairs. So why should I risk my life,
because I’m a Mexican?>>That’s in the demands.>>We negotiated.>>Three months of negotiations, nothing happens.
>>Even with brother Barnes here from the international, what have we got?
>>No raise, no seniority, no safety code, nothing.
>>Take a drink, [FOREIGN]>>I say, we gotta take action now.>>Mr. Manfield, what do you do?
>>He talks for all of us.
>>Did you ever stop to think maybe they want us to strike?
>>They don’t want no strike, not with the war boom on.
>>Then why is the company hanging tough? It signed contracts with the other locals, why not this one?
>>Because most of us here are Mexican-Americans. Because we want equality with
Anglo miners, the same pay, same conditions.
>>Exactly, and equality’s the one thing
the bosses can’t afford. The biggest club they have over at
the Anglo locals is well at least you get more than the Mexicans.
>>Okay, so discrimination hurts the Anglo too,
but it hurts me more. And I’ve had enough of it.
>>You don’t pull a strike when the bosses want it,
so they can smash your union. You wait til you’re ready so you can win.
>>The bosses wait, no sanitation. For my kid’s get sake,
does the company have to wait? 20 bucks. So we’ll miss one payment on
the radio I bought for my wife. Does the company store wait? Pay or we take it away. Why is the boss’s store in such a hurry? They’re trying to scare us that’s why,
to make us afraid to move. We’ll hang on to what we’ve got and
like it. Well I don’t like it, and
I’m not scared, and I’m fed up. You’re here.
>>Hey Ramon. [FOREIGN]
>>What are you doing here? Something wrong with mama?
>>I thought maybe you forgot.>>Forgot what?>>It’s from the. [MUSIC]>>What a kid, he can’t wait. If my wife can’t stay, I was gonna ask you brothers, how about a mañanita?
>>What time?>>For a mañanita, the later the better.>>[MUSIC]>>Why are they singing? [MUSIC]>>They are singing for me.
>>Can we light the candle?>>Yes, now we can light the candle. [MUSIC]>>[INAUDIBLE] Happy Birthday.>>[INAUDIBLE]>>[INAUDIBLE] Happy Birthday. [MUSIC]>>I do not need to weep again. I should weep for joy.
>>I’m a fool.>>No you aren’t. Was it expensive ?.
>>I’m going to pay for it.
>>Forgive me for saying you never thought of me. [MUSIC]>>I did forget, Luis told me. [MUSIC]>>All the next week I kept
thinking about my mañanita. I had never had so nice a party, it was
like a song running through my mind. A daydream to lighten the long day’s work. One, two, three.>>[APPLAUSE] [MUSIC] We all forgot our
troubles at the mañanita. Even Ramon, I couldn’t dance that night,
not in my condition. But I wasn’t really jealous when he danced
with the others, because it was a good, just a second smile again. [MUSIC] And then one morning I
was hanging out my wash. [MUSIC] And while we were talking,
the ladies came. They were a kind of delegation. It was about the sanitation, they said. The Anglo miners have bathrooms and
hot running water, why shouldn’t we?
>>[FOREIGN]>>I know, I spoke to Ramon about it only week ago. He said they flecked it
from the union demand.>>[FOREIGN]>>We’ve got to make them understand, make the man face up. Show her the sign. We’ll make a lot of signs like these,
and we’ll get all the wives together and go right up to the mine.
>>To the mine?
>>Sure, they’re negotiating in the company office. We’ll go up there and picket the place.
>>Then both sides will see we mean business.
>>A picket line of ladies?>>Sure, why not?>>You can count me in.>>Choose.>>Listen, we are to be in a wood choppers union. Chop wood for breakfast. Chop wood, wash his clothes. Chop wood, hit the iron. Chop wood, scrub floors. Chop wood, cook his dinner. And do you know what he will
say when he comes home? What have you been doing all day, reading funny papers?
>>Come on Esperanza, how about it? We got to.
>>No, no. I can’t. If Ramone ever found me in a picket line-
>>He’d what, beat you?>>No, no.>>[SOUND]>>[FOREIGN]>>[SOUND]>>It’s Mr. Polinsky.>>Let me see him! Let me see! Let me see! Let me see!
>>He’s all right.>>I wanna see him now. I wanna see him [INAUDIBLE] now.>>How did this happen?>>He wandered into a drift when that fellow was blasting.
>>I told you it would happen. It’s gonna happen when a man works alone.
>>Why didn’t you give the man a warning signal.
>>Your a foreman today, that’s a foreman’s job.
>>I checked the before we blasted. It was all clear. The man must’ve been asleep or something.
>>You weren’t even there. You were back at the station. Kominsky told me.
>>You’re a liar, Poncho, a no good, dirty-
>>[NOISE]>>You there, get a hold of yourself. A man’s been hurt! I’m as sorry about it as you are, savvy? Accidents are costly to everyone,
and to the company most of all. I see no reason to treat
the occasion like a paid holiday. Suppose you all get back to work. Warden?
>>Well, all right fellas. The excitement’s over, let’s get to it.
>>[FOREIGN]>>Si. Si.
>>What are they saying?>>No savvy.>>Barnes, what about it? Tell the men to get back to work.
>>They don’t work for me. I work for them.
>>Maurice.>>It’s up to you brothers.>>Si.>>Si.>>Si.
>>Si.>>Si.>>Si.>>Si.>>Si.>>Si.>>Si.>>Si.>>Si.>>[FOREIGN] [MUSIC]>>That night the men
held a union meeting, just to make the walkout official. It didn’t take them long. They voted to strike, 93 to 5. And Theresa said,
now was the time for us to go in. I didn’t want to. I had never been to a union meeting but the others said one go, all go.>>[FOREIGN]>>The meeting was nearly over when we came in. Charlie Vidal was making a speech. He said there was only one
issue in this strike, equality. But the mine owners would stop at nothing
to keep them from getting equality.>>[FOREIGN]>>He said the bosses would try to split the Anglo and
Mexican American workers, And offer rewards to one man if he
would sell out his brother.>>[FOREIGN] [SOUND]>>[APPLAUSE]>>[SOUND]>>Yes, you ladies have an announcement?
>>Well, it’s not an announcement, I guess. Only the ladies wanted me to-
>>Louder.>>Consuela will you speak from over here?>>The ladies have been talking about sanitation and
we were thinking if the issue is equality, like you say it is,
then maybe we ought to have equality, employment too.
>>[CROSSTALK]>>Maybe we could make it a strike demand.>>[CROSSTALK]>>Some of the ladies thought it might be a good idea to have a lady’s auxillary. Well, we’d like to help out if we can.>>[APPLAUSE] [LAUGH]>>I think I can speak for all the brothers in saying we
appreciate the ladies offering to help. But it’s getting late and
I suggest that we table it. The chair will entertain a motion to adjourn.
>>I so move.
>>Second.>>All those in favor?>>Aye.>>Opposed? So ordered [MUSIC] It’s just a question of when.
>>Why didn’t you support her? You’re the worst of the lot.
>>But Theresa, you can’t push these things too fast.
>>You were pushing all right. Pushing us right back in our place.
>>[INAUDIBLE] it’s embarrassing.>>At least you didn’t make a fool of yourself like Consuelo.
>>It’s not a bad idea to make sanitation one of our demands.
>>But honey.
>>Why don’t you just put a sign outside, no dogs, no women, allowed. [MUSIC]>>And so it began,
much like any other strike, there would be no settlement the company
said, ’til the men returned to their jobs. But the back to work movement didn’t work. And so the company recruited a few
strike breakers from out of town. But they usually lost their nerve when they saw the size of the picket line. [MUSIC] The sheriff’s men were always there. They stood around showing
off their weapons. But the men only marched,
day after day, week after week. At first, it was an unwritten
rule that the women stay at home. The union gave us rations, and we had to figure out how to
feed our families on them. But then one morning Mrs Salazar
went to the picket line. Her husband had been killed in
a strike many years before, and she wanted to be there. [MUSIC] Nobody remembers just how it happened,
but one day, Mrs Salazar started marching with them,
and she kept on marching with them. [MUSIC] After a while, some of the women began
to bring coffee for their husbands, and maybe a couple of tacos, because a man
gets tired and hungry on picket duty. [MUSIC] It was about that time,
that the union decided, maybe they’d better set up
a ladies’ auxiliary after all. I didn’t come to the lines at first. My time was near, and
besides Ramon didn’t approve. [MUSIC] But Ramon is a man who loves good coffee,
and he swore that the other ladies
made it taste like sink sludge. [MUSIC] So one day I made the coffee. [MUSIC]>>[FOREIGN]
>>I haven’t seen him for three days now.>>Hey, Ramon, listen to this. Chief foreman come to me last night saying
he’d make a shift foreman out of me, if we start back to work movement. Jenkins, why string along
with some tamale eater? I just said I come back
to like tamales fine. [LAUGH]
>>Those guys got a throw on
the other side of the hill. We chased the rest back.
>>Recognize them?>>Anglos from out of town. But they’re not miners, I could tell that. They don’t know [INAUDIBLE]
from [INAUDIBLE].>>Okay, take five. Get yourself a cup of coffee.
>>Hey, Ramon. Here comes the super. [MUSIC] Morning, how’s it going?
>>Well those new fellows you hired from out of town, we brought
them up here in a truck this morning. They took one look at that picket line, and turned tail.
>>They don’t look so rough to me.
>>Well, Mr. Hartwell, they’ve got some pretty tough hombres
there, especially that picket captain. What’s his name? Ray, Raymond something or other.
>>Yes, I know that one. That’s their main picket line. They have another post on the back road, and roving patrols all over the place.
>>On company property? Why don’t you have them thrown off?
>>It’s all company property Mr. Hartwell. The store, the housing area, everything. Where you gonna throw them, and who does the throwing?
>>Well, are they gonna let us pass?
>>Eventually. This is just a little ritual to
impress us with their power.>>Now, why don’t you let these gentlemen pass, don’t you know who’s in that car?
>>It’s the paymaster from Moscow with our gold.
>>No, no, it’s the president of the company himself,
come all the way out here to make Jenkins general manager.
>>[LAUGH]>>So why you acting so mean?>>Childish.>>Well, they’re like children in many ways. Sometimes you have to humor them, sometimes you have to spank them, and
sometimes you have to take their food away.
>>Well, here comes the one that
we’re talking about. [LAUGH] He’s quite a character,
claims his grandfather once owned the land where the mine is now.
>>Wanna go up to your office, Mr Alexander?
>>Naturally. You think I parked here for
a cup of coffee?>>You’re welcome to one.>>No, thanks.>>The men would like to know who this gentleman is.
>>That’s none of their affair.>>It’s all right, it’s no secret. My name’s Hartwell. I’m from the company’s eastern office.
>>You mean Delaware?>>No, New York.>>New York? You’re not the company president, by any chance?>>No.
>>Too bad. The men have always wanted to
take a look at the President. Did you come out here
to settle the strike?>>Well, if that’s possible.>>It’s possible, just negotiate.
>>Are we talking to a union spokesman?>>Not exactly, but I wish he were one. He knows more about mining than those
piecards we’ve had to deal with. I mean it. I know your work record. You were in line for
a foreman when this trouble started. Did you know that? I’d say you had a real
future with this company, but you let those reds stir you up, and
now they’ll sell you down the river. Why don’t you wake up, Ray. That’s your name, isn’t it, Ray?
>>My name is Cantero. Mr. Cantero.
>>You gonna let us pass or do I have to call the sheriff?
>>There’s nothing stopping you. [SOUND] I was wrong. They don’t want Jenkins for
General Manager, they want me.>>[LAUGH]>>You should have heard that fellow. What a line.
I was up for appointment, he says. Be happy. What’s the matter? It’s nothing. Just a little touch.
>>Papa, papa over here.
>>Is that Luis? What is he doing, playing hooky again? Luis? Come back here.
>>Papa, we see them, two scabs over there.
>>They’re hiding over there in the gulley. Hold it brothers. You Antonio, Alfredo, Chente come with me. The rest of you tend the line.>>[MUSIC]>>Luis. Luis. Come back. [MUSIC] [NOISE] [SOUND]>>[MUSIC]>>That’s them there.
>>There they go. [MUSIC]>>There.
>>[FOREIGN]>>Lemone listen to me. For the love of God-
>>You, you.>>I’d expect you to finagle yes but you->>Lemone I mean explain I had to get a job.
>>You who the black sucker.>>Lemone my kids.>>[FOREIGN]>>My kids don’t have enough to eat.>>You think my kids have enough to eat you rat?
>>I don’t know it’s wrong. Just let me go, I’ll leave town,
just let me go.>>You think I was gonna work you over? I wouldn’t dirty my hands on your [SOUND] [MUSIC]>>Papa.>>Luis, the baby, get the women quick.
>>Why do you stop?
>>Wanna have a little talk with the way you cut that fellow back there.
>>But that’s a lie, I didn’t.
>>That’s no way to talk to a white man.>>No, no. Go back and get a blanket will yeah. Somebody’s getting hurt.
>>Hey, Vance. I thought you said this bull
fighter was full of pepper? Don’t look so peppery now.
>>But he is. He’s full of chili this one. He likes it hot. His taquita makes it good and hot for him. Don’t she Poncho? [MUSIC]>>Sheriff, we need a doctor quick, there’s a woman gonna have a baby.
>>What do you take me for, an ambulance driver?
>>There’s a company doctor. We don’t have a car,
if you would just get him.>>Are you kidding? Company doctor won’t
come to no picket line. [MUSIC]>>We can’t get her home,
there isn’t time, get her inside. [MUSIC]>>Hold your head up, Pancho. That’s no way to sit. [MUSIC]>>I will not leave you all you lies. [NOISE]
>>God.>>[FOREIGN]>>[NOISE]>>Help me I’m tired. [MUSIC]>>[SOUND]
>>My God. Esperanza.
>>Ramon. [MUSIC]>>[SOUND]>>Ramon was in the hospital for a week. And then in the County Jail for 30 days,
charged with assault and resisting arrest But I made up my mind to postpone
the christening til he got out of jail. We christened him Juan. That night we had a double celebration. Juanita’s christening, Ramon’s homecoming. We put all the children to sleep
in the bedroom, as usual, and the men took over the parlor, as usual.
>>$5,000.>>That beats.>>Bet your $10,000.>>All right, let’s see them. Aces wide. Come to Papa.
>>Little Deputy’s luck tenty.>>Yeah. Been lots of provocation lately. They figure if they can lock up
the leadership on some phony charge maybe they can bust the strike.
>>Are we gonna let them play poker all night? I wanna dance.
>>With whose husband?>>With any of them, even my own.>>If you dance with my husband, you’ll have to put up with this. [MUSIC] [LAUGH]
[NOISE]>>And another thing, you’re attitude towards Anglos. If you’re gonna be a leader-
>>What attitude?>>You’ll lump them all together. Anglo workers and Anglo bosses.
>>He’s a guest in my house, isnt he?
>>You’re even suspicious of him.
>>Maybe. I think he’s got a few things
to learn about our people.>>Go on. Spill it.
>>Well, you’re the organizer. You work out strike strategy. And most of the time you’re dead right. When you figure everything the rank and file has to do down to the last detail,
you don’t give us anything to think about. Are you afraid we’re too
lazy to take initiative?>>You know I don’t think that.>>Maybe not, but there’s another thing. Like when you came in tonight, I heard you
ask your wife who’s that, his grandfather? That’s Juarez, the father of Mexico. If I wouldn’t know a picture
of George Washington, you would say I was an awful dumb Mexican.
>>I’ve never seen it fail. Try to give Ramon a friendly criticism,
and he kicks it right back in your face.>>No, he’s right, I’ve got a lot to learn.
>>Now we’ve got that settled, deal the cards. [MUSIC]>>Makes you feel any better,
he’s got even less use for women.>>What are they talking about in there?>>Discussing each other weaknesses.>>I didn’t know they had any.>>Right now, Ramon’s on the receiving end.
>>If we shut out the women from the life of the [CROSSTALK].
>>Come on. Bet. [MUSIC]>>Let’s break up that game.
>>We can’t think of them just as housewives but as partners and
we have to treat them as such.>>Well look who’s talking. A new world champion of women’s rights.
>>Cut it out, Ruth.
>>Me? I’m a camp follower. Following this organizer from
one mining camp to another. Montana, Colorado, Idaho, but
does he ever think to organize the women? No, wives don’t count and
the Anglo locals, either.>>[LAUGH]>>Not that I Iike the way you treat your wife, Ramon. I think you’re all wrong. But when Dr. Barnes here gives you
his cure-all for female problems, just ask him if he’s tried it at home.
>>Hey, Esperanza.>>Esperanza’s nursing the baby.>>There goes the game.>>Good, Consuela, turn up the radio. Come on, Papa, on your feet. [MUSIC]>>Look at him, a fighter?
>>He was born fighting and born hungry.
>>Drink, drink, Juanito, you’ll never have it so good.
>>He don’t have it good, someday. What were they saying about you in there?
>>They say I’m not good to you.>>You are no good to me in jail.>>I’d lie in my cell on my cot and I couldn’t sleep, with the bugs and
the stink and the heat. And I’d say to myself,
think of something nice, something beautiful, and
then Id think of you. And my heart will pound against
the cot for love of you. Not just Juanito,
you have it good, too, Esperanza. We’re gonna win the strike.
>>What makes you so sure?
>>Because if we lose, we lose more than a strike. We lose the union and the men know it. And if we win,
we win more than a few demands. We win something bigger, hope. Hope for our kids. Benito can’t grown strong on milk alone.
>>Is this Conterra Place?>>What do you want?>>We’ve got a court order.>>You can’t come in here without a warrant.
>>We’ve got the warrant, too.>>We don’t want no trouble. All we want’s this radio here. We hate to break in on
your folks like this, but this here fellow owns a radio store and he got himself a repossession order.
>>Don’t touch it.
>>We don’t want no trouble with you Quintero. We’ve got orders to
repossess this machine.>>I said, don’t touch it.>>Let them take it.>>Over my dead body.>>I don’t want your dead body. I don’t want you back in jail, either.
>>But it’s yours, I won’t let them. Can’t you see they want
you to start a fight so they can lock you all up at one time? [MUSIC] What are you so upset about?
>>Let’s have some real music. [MUSIC]>>But the strike did not end. It went on and on into the fourth month,
the fifth, the sixth. The company still refused to negotiate. They tried to turn the Anglo
miners against us. [MUSIC] They say that all Mexicans are to
be sent back where they came from.>>How can I go back where I come from? Check that I was born in this
place on the company property.>>Why don’t nobody ever tell the bosses to go back where they come from?
>>There wouldn’t be any bosses in the state of New Mexico if they did.
>>Brother, live to see the day.>>Jenkins ain’t no boss.>>You mean we’re gonna let people like Jenkins stay here?
>>You can’t send him back to Oklahoma, it would be inhuman.
>>But I was borned in Texas.
>>No, that’s even worse.
>>[LAUGH]>>And the seventh month came. We couldn’t buy food at the company store. By now, the strike fund was nearly gone. A few families couldn’t
take it any longer. [MUSIC]
And where they went, we do not know. And so it was decided by the union that
hardship cases should seek work in other mines, and this was done. Strikers who found jobs divided
their pay with the union so the rest of us might eat. Ramon was not a hardship case,
only three children to feed. Even so, the mine owners might have
starved us out were it not for the help we got from the International
in Denver and from other locals. And we, who thought no one outside
our county knew of our troubles or cared if they did know,
found that we were wrong. [MUSIC] Letters came from our own
people of the Southwest, from far away, Butte, Chicago,
Birmingham, New York, messages of solidarity and
the crumpled dollar bills of working men. [MUSIC] We women were helping and
not just as cooks and cofee makers. A few of the men made jokes about it, but the work had to be done so
they let us stay. No one knew how great a change it
was until the day of the crisis. [MUSIC] The sheriff was smiling so
we knew he brought bad news. [MUSIC] The company had got a court injunction
ordering the strikers to stop picketing. A Taft-Hartley injunction, they called it. It meant heavy fines and jail sentences
for the strikers if they disobeyed. A decision had to be made at once for
them to obey the order or not to. [MUSIC]>>If we obey the court,
the strike will be lost. The scabs will move in as soon
as our picket line is gone. If we defy the court,
our pickets will be arrested, and the strike will be lost, anyway. So there it is brothers,
The bosses have us coming and going. I just wanna say this,
no matter how you decide the international will back you
up as it’s always backed you up. This is a democratic union,
the decision is up to you. Brother Chairman, if we give up now, if we obey this rotten Taft–Hartley,
we are fools and cowards. There is only one way,
fight them, fight them all.>>Come on, we don’t gain nothing. They’ll arrest us.
>>[FOREIGN]>>[FOREIGN]>>The men quarreled. They made brave speeches. It seemed that Brother Barnes was right. The company had been coming and going, it seemed the strike was lost.
>>Brother chairman, if you read the court
injunction carefully, you will see that they only prohibit
striking miners from picketing. We women are not striking miners. We will take over your picket lines.
>>[LAUGH]>>Don’t laugh, we have a solution, you have none. Brother King Quientero was right when
he said we’ll lose 50 years of gain if we lose this strike,
your wife and children, too. But this we promise. If women take your places
on the picket lines, the strike will not be broken,
and no scabs will take your jobs.>>[APPLAUSE]>>If that’s a motion, only members of the union
can make a motion.>>I so move.>>I second.>>You have heard the motion, the floor is open for debate.>>[FOREIGN]>>[FOREIGN]>>[FOREIGN]>>Lucy asked him which was worse. To hide behind woman’s skirt or
go down on his knees before the boss?>>[APPLAUSE]>>Brothers, we don’t count enough on our women. The bosses don’t count on them at all.
>>Well, the bosses win now, because there is no unity between the men,
their wives, and their sisters.>>[FOREIGN]>>Colata Sanchez said she didn’t think picketing was proper for ladies. It wasn’t nice. Maybe even a sin.
>>I say, let’s give the sisters a chance.
>>And what will happen when the cops come and
beat our women up? Are we gonna stand there and watch them? No, we’ll take over anyway. And we’ll be right back where we started,
only worse, even more humiliated. Brothers, brothers,
I beg you, don’t allow this.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Call the question.>>All right, the questions have been called. You brothers know what you are voting on. That the sisters of the auxiliary
take over the picket line. All those in favor so signify. Chairman, point of order.>>I don’t know anything about these questions of parliament. But you men are voting on something
the women are to do or not to do. So I think it’s only fair that
the women be allowed to vote. Especially, if they have to do the job.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Brothers and sisters, it would be unconstitutional to permit
women to vote at a union meeting.>>[APPLAUSE]>>If there’s no objection, we could adjourn this meeting.
>>No.>>No, wait, and reconvene this meeting as
a community mass meeting with every adult entitled to a vote.
>>I so move.>>All right, on the motion to adjourn, all those in favor raise their hands.
>>Aye.>>All those opposed?>>The ayes have it, now every adult is entitled to a vote.
>>Want the original question.>>[CROSSTALK]>>All those in favor that the sisters take over the picket line will so
signified by raising their hands.>>Aye.>>All those opposed? The motion has carried a 103 to 85. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] And so they came, the women. They came from Sink town
in the hills beyond, from other mining camps 10,
20, 30 miles away. Women we have never seen before, women
who have nothing to do with the strike. Somehow they heard about the women’s
picket line and they came. [MUSIC] And the men came, too. I think they were afraid. Afraid the woman wouldn’t stand fast. Or maybe afraid they would. But not all the woman
went to the picket line. Some were forbidden by their husbands. I was one of them. It’s not fair. I should be there with them. Afterall, I’m the one who
got the women to vote.>>The union don’t run my house. Those anglodames stirred you
up to make fools of yourself. But you don’t’ see any of them down there.
>>Yes I do. There is both Ruth Barnes.
>>She’s the organizer’s wife. She’s gotta be there.
>>No, she wants to be there. And there is Mrs. Kalinski.
>>There is Jenkins’ wife. You don’t see her on no picket line.
>>And their husbands can also be backward.
>>And be what?>>Backward. Can’t I even put in an appearance?
>>With a baby in your arms?>>The baby likes to be walked. It helps him burp. [MUSIC] [SOUND]
>>Hey, girls, wait a minute, don’t you wanna see my pistol?
>>Shut up.>>[LAUGH]>>What’s so amusing? They’re following a court order.
>>I’m not so sure about that, Mr Alexander that ain’t a law, you know. And Jackson says, he hears there’s no picketing by minors.
>>Whose side are you on, anyway?
>>Don’t get excited. They’ll scatter like quail.
>>Well, let’s get at it before another 100 dames shows up.
>>All right, boys. [MUSIC]>>What about these?
>>Forget it, they’ll scatter like quail. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [SOUND] [INAUDIBLE]>>[INAUDIBLE]>>They can’t have my wife.>>[INAUDIBLE] They’ll start shooting you. They’ll throw you into jail, stand back! [INAUDIBLE] [CROSSTALK] [NOISE] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] Why are you standing there, do something!
>>Relax.>>But women are getting hurt, we’ve gotta take over!
>>They’re doing all right. [MUSIC]>>Anyway,
it looks like you’ve got your hands full. [MUSIC] [SOUND]
>>Papa, I’m hungry.
>>So am I.>>[SOUND]>>Where’s your mama?>>She’s gone. Harvey, did you see the way mama whipped
that ceputy, knocked the gun right out of->>I don’t want you hanging around there, hear? You all right?
>>Sure.>>[SOUND]>>Must have been some experience for you?
>>Yes.>>I guess you better not take the rest of your lifetime.
>>I’m going back tomorrow.
>>Listen, you might get hurt.
>>I might.>>If you think I’m gonna play nursemaid to no one, you’re crazy. I’ve had these kids all day.
>>I have had them since the day they were born.
>>I’m telling you, I don’t stay home with these kids tomorrow.
>>Okay, then tomorrow I take the kids
with me to the picket line. And so I came back the next day and
every day for the next month. I kept Juanita in the coffee shack and
when the weather was good and there was peace on the lines,
I brought his crib outside. [MUSIC] Estella played with the little ones and
Bruce, Bruce was in school. [MUSIC] Someone came everyday, just watching. The ladies, well, they criticized
someone for not keeping the kids. [FOREIGN]
[MUSIC] [LAUGH]>>[CROSSTALK] left us, but then they cursed us, insulted us,
called us foul names. It started again. [SOUND]
They used teargas again. This time the wind was against us. We spread out as we had planned and
I took the baby away from the danger as we had planned.
>>[FOREIGN] [MUSIC] But they couldn’t break our line,
they couldn’t break it.>>Well.>>I tried everything but shooting them down.
>>You haven’t tried locking them up.>>You want them all arrested?>>No, just the ring leaders, the fire eaters, and
the ones with the big families. Barton, where’s that boy?
>>Hey, you, come here. [MUSIC] Alright girls I’m going
to give you a choice. You can go home or you can go to jail. No ifs ands or buts. Get off the picket line or get arrested. [MUSIC] Okay, point them out.
>>That one. She is the leader.
>>You are under arrest what will it be?>>Keep marching sisters, let’s show some decency.
>>But Theresa!
>>They’ll charge us with resisting arrest. Keep marching sisters, keep marching. [MUSIC] Mrs.. [MUSIC] that one in the blue dress. [MUSIC] that one. Mrs. the Anglo. [MUSIC] Ruth Varne, she’s the organizer’s wife. [MUSIC] And the pretty one and that one, with a baby?
>>She’s wife. He doesn’t like her being here. [MUSIC]>>She has a baby.
>>Don’t worry about Juanito. She can take care of Stella too.
>>No, the baby stays with me. [MUSIC]>>Solidarity forever. Solidarity forever. [MUSIC]>>[FOREIGN]>>[NOISE] I told you 10 times. We have no food. We have no beds. We have no beds. So will you please, please shut up?
>>[FOREIGN]>>[NOISE] She can’t drink this milk, it will make her sick. He sent in formula. I was a fool, I shouldn’t, [NOISE]
>>Don’t feed her, we’ll get some->>[FOREIGN]>>The baby can’t drink this stored milk, we want the formula.
>>You want the what?>>The formula, the formula.>>We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula.
>>Well, you can get the JP to swear out
peace bonds, or you can heist the bail high enough to keep him in jail.
>>Keep him? What am I supposed to do? Feed him out of my own pocket?
>>What I wanna know Mr. Harther is,
when are you going to settle this thing? You won’t negotiate with him. What do you want anyway?
>>Company has the mines, it’s tough to see the larger picture. Once these people get out of hands->>We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula.
We want the formula.>>What are you doing here? Ain’t you seen enough of me?
>>I’ve come for my kids. They’re in your jail.
>>We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula.
>>But you’ve played every trump in your hand.
>>They’re not dead yet.>>Not every trump. Which is what?
>>I can’t shut them dames up. They keep yelling about a formula.
>>A what?>>A formula for that baby or something, his kid.
>>We want the formula. We want the formula.>>[FOREIGN] [NOISE]>>Look at here. I got you some milk for the baby, so
what’s all the belly aching about?>>That milk is no good.>>They want the formula.>>They want the formula.>>That baby has no formula.>>If Juanito get sick, you’ll be responsible. [NOISE]
>>I am not running a drug store. You girls got only yourselves to blame for
this, you’ll be back with your
families in an hour. All you got to do is to sign a pledge
not to go back on the picket line.>>Don’t sign nothing for this stinker, no, [NOISE]
>>We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula.
We want the formula. We want the formula.
>>[INAUDIBLE]>>[NOISE]>>Hey, Panther, come here.>>We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. [SOUND]
>>All right, where’s this baby, you little girl? [SOUND] Her name is Comida, [FOREIGN]>>[NOISE] [MUSIC]>>Will you kids get out of those baskets? [MUSIC]>>[FOREIGN]>>[FOREIGN] Three hours just to get enough water to wash this stuff. I’m telling you something, if this strike
is ever settled which I doubt, I’ll never go back to work for that company unless
they install hot running water for us. It should have been a union
demand from the beginning.>>You’re telling me. [MUSIC] Like Charlie [INAUDIBLE] there are two
kinds of slaving, work slaving and domestic slaving. The woman’s question, he calls it.
>>The woman question?
>>Yeah, the problem’s what to do about it.
>>So what does he wanna do about them? He says, give me equality,
equalities in job, equalities in home, and also sex equality.
>>What do you mean, sex equality?>>You know, [FOREIGN]. [MUSIC] He’s some organizer, that Charlie. He can sure organize a wife
right out of your home. [MUSIC] Papa, can’t I leave now? There’s a meeting of
the junior shop stewards.>>The what?>>The junior shop stewards. There’s lots of ways we can help.
>>Don’t I have enough trouble without them shipping you off to reform school?
>>But you need all the help you can get.
>>You’ve got to help around the house.>>But you’ve got me doing everything. Mama never used to make me dry the dishes.
>>You should have helped her without being asked. [FOREIGN] [MUSIC]>>How do you feel.
>>I’m okay.>>Four nights. How did you sleep?
>>We raised so much fuss they finally brought cots in. I nearly lost my voice from yelling so
much. How’s Estellita? And the baby?
>>They’re asleep. [MUSIC]
Did you have to sign a pledge not to go back to the picket line?
>>No, no, we wouldn’t do it. [MUSIC] But if you go back they’ll lock you up again.
>>No, no. The sheriff has had enough of us. We drove him crazy.>>[FOREIGN]>>Hi.>>Hi.
[FOREIGN] Hello. Well?>>It’s all set. Consuelo’s squad can take the day off tomorrow.
We’re taking over.
>>All right. We’ll work it out.>>We’ve gotta have a talk, you and me.
>>All right, but later. We have got a meeting now.
>>A meeting?>>Yes, to plan for the picket line tomorrow. You can sit in it if you want. [SOUND] Now, let us see. Who’s available? Delegation to see the governor. And a whole lot of men going on
a fuel hunting expedition tomorrow, 30 or 40 of them, and
their wives are out too. But we can ask them to so
the rest of us can. [MUSIC]>>He was heartbroken.
>>What are we gonna do about?>>Maybe if a delegation of us talk to him. [MUSIC]
>>I have to work it out with him myself. [MUSIC] I’ve got a friend,
he’s got a friend in the bureau of mining. You know what he says? They ain’t never gonna
open that mine up again.>>How come?>>He said it’s over now?>>Bull, a lot of bull. That’s a rich mine. I know.
>>What’s the difference? They’ll never settle with it, never.
>>What you know? It’s him, it’s him, El Presidente. The president of the company. [CROSSTALK]
>>Listen to this. Man of distinction,
J Hamilton Miller, financier, business executive, Board Chairman
of Continental Tractors, and president of Delaware Zinc Incorporated.
>>Let me see.>>Wait a minute, wait a minute now, there’s some more. An enthusiastic sportsman and
expert marksman, Mr. Miller manages to find the time
every year for our African safari. He leaves this month for Kenya,
where he hopes to bag his thirteenth lion. [MUSIC] I’m gonna frame this. Look, Ramon.
>>I’d rather look at the larger picture.>>So the guy’s a lion hunter.>>What do you expect him to hunt, rabbits?
>>Boy, boy would I like to get me some venision. I ain’t tasted meat in four weeks. How about it, Ramon? Let’s take off for a couple of days.
>>Why ask me? Am I running this strike? If you want permission to go over the hill go ask the Ladies Auxiliary. [MUSIC] I waited up until midnight.
>>You weren’t waiting for me.
>>That meeting only lasted ten minutes. The first night I am home, you’ve
gone to the beer parlor, what is it? Can’t you bear the sight of me?
>>Be still.>>If you wanted to talk, tell me. [MUSIC] Tell me.
>>We can’t go on this way. I just can’t go on living with you,
not this way.>>No, we can’t go on this way. We can’t go back to the old way, either.
>>The old way? What’s your new way? What’s it mean? You’re right to neglect your kids? [MUSIC] Where are you going?>>Hunting.
>>When?>>Right now.>>Alone?>>No. Ramon, you can’t.
>>Why not? I’m not needed here.
>>But you are needed. Especially now with most
of the other men away. You are the captain of this standby squad.
>>Sure, the standby squad. Standby for the funeral.
>>Whose funeral? We are doing all right. There hasn’t been a scout
near their picket line for three days.
>>And you know why? Because the company knows
they can starve us out. Even if it takes them another two or
three months. What’s it to them if the mine’s
shut down a little longer?>>It’s a lot to them. They’d do anything to open that mine.
>>They’ve got other mines. You don’t see the larger picture. They’ve got millions, millions. They can outlast us and they know it.
>>You mean you are ready to give up?>>Who said anything about giving up? I’ll never go back to that company and money, never.
>>You want to go down fighting, is that it? I don’t want to go down fighting. I want to win. Ramon, we are not getting weaker. We are stronger than ever before. They are getting weaker. They thought they could break
our picket line and they failed. And now the will know
that something big we.>>Like what?>>I don’t know. But I can feel it coming. It’s like the lull before the storm. Charlie [INAUDIBLE].
>>Charlie [INAUDIBLE]. Tell [INAUDIBLE] to leave it all up to me.
>>Charlie’s my friend. [MUSIC] I need friends. Why are you so
afraid to have me as your friend?>>I don’t know what you’re talking about.>>No, you don’t. [MUSIC] Have you learned nothing from the strike? Why are you afraid to
have me at your side? Do you still think you can
have dignity only if I have none?
>>You talk of dignity after what you’ve been doing?
>>Yes, I talk of dignity. The Anglo bosses look down on you and
you hate them for it. Stay in your place, you dirty Mexican. That’s what they tell you. But why must you say to me,
stay in your place? Do you feel better having
someone lower than you?>>Shut up, you’re talking crazy.
>>Who’s next in line to make me feel superior and what will I get out of it? I don’t want anything lower than I am,
I am low enough already. I want to rise and
to push everything up with me as I go.>>Will you be still?>>And if you can’t understand this, you are a fool. Because you can’t win
this fight without me. You can’t win anything without me. That would be the only way. [MUSIC] Never try to hit me again. Never. [MUSIC] I’m going to bed now,
sleep where you please but not with me. [MUSIC] So they had a little taste of
what it’s like to be a woman. And they run away. Romone is right. I spoke out of the bitterness in me and he was hurt.
>>Anything worth learning is a hurt. These changes come with pain for
other husbands too, not just Romone. [MUSIC] You mean you’re ready to give up? You want to go down fighting, is that it? I don’t want to go down fighting,
I want to win. [MUSIC] Ramon, we are not getting weaker. We are stronger than ever before. They are getting weaker. [MUSIC] Have you learned nothing from this strike? [MUSIC] I can feel it coming. It’s like a lull before the storm. They thought they could break our
picket lines and they failed. And now they can’t win unless they pull
off something big and pull it out fast.>>[SOUND] Brother, we’ve got to go back.
>>Esperanza, where’s Ramon?
>>Did he go hunting with the others?>>Where can we find him, do you know?>>No.>>Deer hunters, deserters, that’s what they are.
>>Something’s wrong, Charlie tell us.>>The company has the eviction notice.>>Eviction!>>Where?>>[FOREIGN]>>[FOREIGN]>>In the.>>Eviction! Eviction. Eviction. [MUSIC]>>Eviction.
>>Don’t worry, Quintero’s gone hunting with the others.
>>Evict him first, the rest will be easy. Let the neighbors watch,,
It’ll scare some sense into them. [MUSIC]>>Can’t we do something? [MUSIC]>>Alright girls get back, get back.
>>[SOUND] [MUSIC] [CROSSTALK] Not being, Wait up [CROSSTALK] [MUSIC]>>Hey, hey, hey.
>>Get him.>>Hey, leave them brats alone, go on, let’s get our work done. Don’t pay any attention to them, let’s
go back and get the rest of the stuff.>>[SOUND]. [MUSIC] [SOUND]
>>This is what we’ve been waiting for.
>>What are you saying?
>>This means they have given up trying to break our picket line. Now we can all fight together, all of us. Go get the kids, pick up the. [MUSIC]>>Now see here Quinto,
these women are obstructing justice. You make them behave, savvy?
>>I can’t do nothing Sheriff, you know how it is,
they won’t listen to a man anymore. Want me to lock him up again? You want him in your up again? [MUSIC]>>Hey, that’s an open pit.
>>Yep, the guys from. [MUSIC] [SOUND] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [NOISE] You got any more ideas?
>>I don’t make policy.>>I’ll talk to New York. But I think maybe we’d better
settle this thing, for the present. [NOISE]
>>We didn’t know then that
we had won the strike. But our hearts were full. And when Ramon said,
>>Thanks, sisters and brothers. Esperanza, thank you for your dignity. You were right. Together we can push everything
up with us if we go. [MUSIC]>>Then I knew we had one something
they could never take away, something I could leave to my children and they,
the salt of the earth, would inherit it. [MUSIC]


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