It’s been 71 years since the “strike heard round the world” – when autoworkers in Flint, Michigan, occupied a General Motors plant and and jumpstarted the union movement in the United States. But in recent years, as the power of unions in the US has wained, sit-down strikes have been more common in Latin America, Europe, and even Canada.
Things finally changed last December when immigrant Latino, African American, and white workers occupied the Republic Windows and Door Factory in Chicago.
Producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister spoke with the workers and organizers at Republic about their decision to stand up by sitting down – the first American sit-down action since the 1937-38 Flint strike. Their documentary, “Si Se Puede” (Yes We Can), is an intimate account of the occupation told by the people who participated in it. It includes original music by Jesus “Chuy” Negrete.