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Livelyhood is a public television series about work life and it's relationship to our families, communities and the larger questions the country faces as the economy shifts at light speed.

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About the Working Group

The Working Group has been bringing the stories of extraordinary, ordinary Americans to public television for over eight years. Videos from our long-running series, We Do The Work, are available for school, library, community, union and business use through our educational distribution department and season subscriber program.

For more information or a copy of our video catalog, please contact us at:
1611 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 1550
Oakland, CA 94612
phone: 510-268-WORK
fax: 510-268-3606
email: livelyhood@theworkinggroup.org


Best sellers from "We Do The Work" include:

Not In Our Town
"Not In Our Town" tells the uplifting story of how the residents of Billings, Montana joined together when their neighbors were threatened by white supremacists. Townspeople of all races and religions swiftly moved into action -- religious and community leaders, labor union volunteers, law enforcement, the local newspapers and concerned individuals stood united and spoke loudly for a hate-free community, proclaiming in no uncertain terms, "Not In Our Town!" This critically acclaimed PBS special sparked a national campaign against hate crimes that continues to grow each year.


Not In Our Town II
Not In Our Town II briefly recaps the Billings story and tells six compelling new stories about people working to create hate-free towns, cities, workplaces and schools. Featured stories include: How one town countered a Klan rally with a diversity celebration; citizens in another town working with police to address hate crimes; office workers in Ohio discovering that improved communication skills can erase racial tensions and create a more harmonious workplace; and people from all walks of life coming together to rebuild burned churches in the South.


When Children Do the Work
In spite of tough laws enacted early in the century, child labor has re-emerged as a serious concern in the era of the global economy. This program explores the connections between products on American shelves and the exploitation of children and teens.

A union women's group outraged by the use of child labor in Bangladesh; Charles Kernaghan's exposé of abuses in US "free-trade" zones and maquiladoras; and the dramatic story of Iqbal Masih, a ten year-old activist who was assassinated for drawing international attention to the plight of indentured carpet children in Pakistan, remind us that consumers need to know the true cost of the products they buy.


Prison Labor/Prison Blues
This award-winning investigative report goes behind penitentiary walls to look at the growing controversy over the increasing use of prison labor in the United States. We hear from prison officials, inmates, and business and labor leaders. Does inmate labor provide rehabilitation and a way to finance prisons, or is it just a cheap source of labor for private companies? What is the impact on people competing for the same jobs outside the prison system? Also includes rare footage of a prison factory in Shanghai, China.


Ties that Bind
This popular program examines workers efforts to gain union representation in the workplace by looking at two organizing drives that had very different results.

The first looks at the 1993 vote by workers at Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans to unionize. Opposing visions of what's best for employees resulted in a bitter two year dispute involving the National Labor Relations Board, the company and the union that eventually resulted in a new contract for the workers.

The second case study involves textile workers in Martinsville, Virginia who won a union contract after sixteen years and five union elections. Through on-going coverage and competing advertisements broadcast on the local cable channel, issues raised by labor and management were debated by civic and religious leaders, families and neighbors. education.