Sitdowns, scabs, goon squads, unemployment, hunger marches, red baiting and finally the energetic birth of the CIO:  the 1930s were a landmark period for the American labor movement. Union Maids is the story of three women who lived that history and make it come alive today. It was the first film of its kind–an oral history, using a wealth of footage from the National Archives to chronicle the fight to form industrial unions as seen through the eyes of rank and file women. The film was widely distributed in 16mm, including theatrical dates in about 20 cities.

Sylvia, Stella and Kate are three naturals, characters whose hearts and minds leap off the screen with a kind of grace and nobility I haven’t seen in a documentary since Jerry Bruck’s I.F. Stone's Weekly.

Vincent Canby, New York Times


This inspiring film will be a classic. It makes the 1930s live. It makes you laugh, makes you cheer. It’s going to be shown through the years, to millions.

Pete Seeger

An inspiring film about three magnificent women. This is the best film on labor history I have ever seen. I plan to show it again and again.

Howard Zinn, Boston University, author A People's History of the U.S.

Union Maids is the most energizing, exhilarating labor organizing movie imaginable. For the first time I could see for myself there really is ‘joy in the struggle!’

Alice Walker, MS Magazine

Union Maids is an excellent film which gives the facts and feeling of the role of women in the American labor movement.  At a leadership training school, the film received a standing ovation.

Bonwen Zwerner, Education Department, Amalgamated Textile and Clothing Workers

We feel Union Maids has a wide variety of applications and we are making it available to our districts for their use.

John Kulsted, National Training Center, Communications Workers of America

Union Maids is a work of art. Brilliantly edited, it is a piece of oral history so superbly shaped that it leaves you proud to be a human being.

Vivian Gornick, Village Voice

Union Maids is an important, compelling, and happy new film, product of a new class conscious socialist movement that is emerging out of the strengths of both the New and Old Lefts.

Linda Gordon, Professor of History and University Professor of the Humanities at New York University