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Links, Books & Discussion Guide

Filmmakers' Website: Made in L.A.
The ongoing outreach campaign for Made in L.A. is well documented at the filmmakers' website. Read blog entries, find out how you can get involved, organize a screening of the film and learn more.

POV Discussion Guide (PDF)
POV creates discussion guides for all our films. Discussion guides offer background information about the film, a comprehensive list of organizations, websites and books recommended for further research and questions viewers can use to kick-start conversations about the themes and issues explored in Made in L.A..

POV Facilitator's Guide (PDF)
The Made in L.A. Facilitatator's Guide includes tips for screenings and facilitating discussion.

POV's Delve Deeper (PDF)
A list of movies, books and other media related to Made in L.A.

History of U.S. Garment Workers


History Matters: "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A History of American Sweatshops, 1820-Present"
"Paid by the piece, seamstresses worked 16 hours a day during the busiest seasons, but their income rarely exceeding bare subsistence. Making matters worse was, shop owners were notorious for finding fault with the finished garments and withholding payment." According to this article posted by George Mason University, those were the conditions garment workers endured in 1820. Find out what, if anything, has changed.

National Park Service: International Ladies Garment Worker Union (1900-1995)
Eleanor Roosevelt was a strong supporter of women garment laborers. The web site of the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, New York, features an article on the history of the ILGWU, "one of the most important and progressive unions in the United States."

Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations: The Triangle Factory Fire
In 1911, a fire erupted in a garment factory in New York City, killing 146 of the company's 500 employees. The tragedy became a rallying event for garment workers unions. Read all about the fire, including the original New York Times coverage, and check out slideshows of photographs of early 20th century sweatshops at this remarkable site.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum: Garment Industry
Much of New York City's history is rooted in decades as a garment manufacturing center. Learn more about how the industry evolved and relied on immigrant workers at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum's site.

U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Textile, Textile Product, and Apparel Manufacturing
What's the future hold for the apparel and textile industry? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, wages and salary employment will decline by 46 percent through 2014, while all industries combined are expected to increase by 14 percent. Find out why at the U.S. D.O.L.'s web site.

 

Organizations: Garment Workers


Garment Worker Center
Filmmakers Almudena Carrecedo and Robert Bahar followed the Garment Worker Center's boycott and lawsuit against retailer Forever 21. Find out more about the Los Angeles-based organization at its web site, which also has information on the Forever 21 campaign and current campaigns.

SweatFree Communities
Founded in 2003, SweatFree Communities helps local campaigns aimed at convincing school districts, cities, states, and other institutional purchasers to adopt "sweatfree" purchasing policies and stop tax dollars from subsidizing sweatshops and abusive child labor. The organization also assists sweatshop workers around the world in improving working conditions and forming strong unions.

Clean Clothes Campaign
Garment workers around the world suffer terrible working conditions and poor wages. Find out about campaigns to protect garment workers in India, Cambodia, Turkey, and the Philippines at this non-profit's web site.

United Students Against Sweatshops
This organization of students is active at over 200 campuses. Use its site to access organizing guides to launch a campaign to make your school free of products produced in sweatshops.

Worker Rights Consortium
This organization assists in the monitoring and enforcement of manufacturing codes of conduct adopted by colleges and universities to ensure that factories producing clothing and other goods bearing the schools’ names and logos respect the basic rights of workers. The website includes the codes of conduct, affiliate schools, a factory disclosure database and investigative reports.

 

Organizations: Immigration


American Civil Liberties Union
As one of the nation's leading advocates for the rights of immigrants, refugees and non-citizens, the ACLU has filed countless lawsuits that challenge unconstitutional laws and practices. Find out more at the ACLU's web site.

National Immigration Forum
The United States is a nation of immigrants. Established in 1982, the National Immigration Forum advocates and builds public support for policies that support immigrants and refugees.

American Friends Service Committee
Want to learn more about immigrants' rights and recent immigration patterns? Find out more at the web site of the AFSC, an organization founded in 1917 by Quakers. AFSC also maintains a blog covering the immigration policy debate.

National Immigrant Solidarity Network
The National Immigrant Solidarity Network is a coalition of immigrant rights, labor, human rights, religious and student activist organizations from across the country. The website includes legislative updates, information about local events and activities, and concrete ideas on how to get involved in the immigrants' rights movement.

National Network of Immigrants and Refugee Rights
The National Network of Immigrants and Refugee Rights is a national organization composed of local coalitions, immigrant, refugee, community, religious, civil rights and labor organizations, and activists. The website includes immigration fact sheets, curriculum and information about local organizations nationwide.

Enlace
A strategic alliance of low-wage worker centers, unions and organizing groups in the U.S. and in Mexico which provides leadership training and creates unique campaign strategies, Enlace is co-directed by Joann Lo, featured in "Made in L.A." The website for the organization is offered in both English and Spanish.

 

Also on PBS and NPR


PBS.org Websites

POV: Maquilapolis
Just over the border in Mexico is an area peppered with maquiladoras: massive factories owned by the world's largest multinational corporations. Carmen and Lourdes work at maquiladoras in Tijuana, where each day they confront labor violations, environmental devastation and urban chaos. (October 10, 2006)

POV: Farmingville
The hate-based attempted murders of two Mexican day laborers catapult a small Long Island town into national headlines, unmasking a new front line in the border wars: suburbia. For nearly a year, Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini lived and worked in Farmingville, New York, so they could capture first-hand the stories of residents, day laborers and activists on all sides of the debate. (June 22, 2004)

POV The Sixth Section
This POV film captures a dynamic form of cross-border organizing through the story of "Grupo Unión," a small band of Mexican immigrants in upstate New York devoted to raising money to rebuild the town they left behind. (August 31, 2004)

POV: Border Talk
During the first episode of POV's Borders, featured guests talked about the significance of borders in our world. Read discussions with Frank Sharry, executive director of the National Immigration Forum; Dan Stein, executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR); and Dennis Michelini, an agent pilot with the U.S. Border Patrol. (2002)

POV: Perspectives on a Living Wage: History of Workers' Movements in the U.S.
When POV broadcast Waging a Living, a film about the working poor in the United States, Democracy Now host Amy Goodman talked with historian Howard Zinn about working people's movements from colonial times to the current struggle toward a living wage. (August 29, 2006)

POV: Perspectives on a Living Wage: Beyond a Living Wage
Also as part of Waging a Living, Amy Goodman takes a national look at the struggle for a living wage, and talks with experts about the future of the living wage movement. The discussion covers Los Angeles’ Living Wage Ordinance. (August 29, 2006)

POV: Escuela
High school is a uniquely formative experience in American life, evocative of "happy days" nostalgia on the one hand and the pitfalls of teen angst on the other. But for vivacious Liliana Luis, her debut as an all-American high school freshman is immeasurably complicated by the fact that her Mexican-American family makes its living following the harvests from Texas to California. (August 27, 2002)

NOW: Debating the Central American Free Trade Act
While the debate over the Central American Free Trade Act (CAFTA) is related to those over globalization, job outsourcing and NAFTA, the CAFTA conflict has some new issues and new foes. Some worry about the vast difference between the U.S. and Central American economies (combined GDP of Central America is equal to 0.5 percent of U.S. GDP), labor and environmental concerns and the effects on small farmers on both sides of the agreement. (March 11, 2005)

Independent Lens: "China Blue"
Shot clandestinely in a denim factory in southern China where 17-year-old Jasmine and her friends work for only pennies a day, this 86-minute documentary reveals what international companies don't want us to see: how clothes are actually made. (March 2007)

Commanding Heights
A historical narrative of globalization and its influence on the current global economic system, "Commanding Heights" took viewers around the world. The companion website aims to promote a better understanding of globalization, world trade and economic development through a timeline of key events and in-depth reports of various countries. (2002)

Indepenedent Lens: "Los Trabajodores/The Workers"
This film explores the contentious issues surrounding immigrant labor in the United States through the perspective of day laborers in Austin, Texas. (2007)

Frontline World: "Coffee Country"
In the highlands of Guatemala and southern Mexico, verdant coffee fields were once the agricultural mainstay for millions of people. Now families who have grown coffee for generations are fleeing the fields for the city or the border, and entire estates stand empty, frozen in time. Frontline World's Sam Quinones went to Central America to uncover why this is happening and if there's any hope for change. (June 2003)

NPR Stories

Talk of the Nation: New Film Casts Doubt on 'Made in USA' Label'
"Made in USA" is a label that is meant to inspire trust in American manufacturing. But a new film about the Los Angeles garment district documents the struggles of immigrants who work long hours in poor conditions for sub-minimum wages. Filmmaker Almudena Carracedo talks to journalist Neal Conan about the film. (September 5, 2007)

All Things Considered: "Border Talks on Tap as 'NAFTA' Leaders Meet in Mexico"
President Bush meets with Mexican President Vicente Fox and new Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Cancun, Mexico, for talks. Immigration and border security — and the balance between the two — are expected to dominate the two days of meetings. (March 30, 2006)

The Tavis Smiley Show: "'American Jobs' Documents Laid-Off Workers"
The dirty word of 2004 when it comes to labor is outsourcing. The angst of some of those without work is captured in a powerful, new documentary titled American Jobs. NPR’s Tavis Smiley speaks with Greg Spotts, who profiled workers laid off as a result of outsourcing. (Sept. 6, 2004)

Morning Edition: "NAFTA at Ten"
A decade of free trade has delivered mixed blessing in towns along the U.S.-Mexico border. Factories in Tijuana, Mexico, show some of the most visible gains and losses of the North American Free Trade Act. (Jan. 1, 2004)

Morning Edition: "NAFTA at Ten: Winners and Losers"
Ten years ago, the United States, Canada, and Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, to the elation of some and the horror of others. The trade accord has created winners and losers. (Dec. 8, 2003)

All Things Considered: "Ciudad Juarez — Water"
Independent producer Sandy Tolan reports from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico that the towns along the U.S.-Mexico border continue to swell with immigrants from the impoverished south. The NAFTA free-trade zone has made border towns into magnets for people seeking work. But concerns have been raised about where water will be found to support the exploding population. Juarez is an example — its sole source of water is an underground aquifer that’s quickly drying up. ( July 2, 2001)

Morning Edition: "FTAA Agreement"
NPR's Don Gonyea reports on the goal-setting agreement signed at the Summit of the Americas this past weekend. Thousands of protesters outside the conference did not seem to distract the leaders of western hemisphere nations from planning a "Free Trade Area of the Americas" that would expand NAFTA to include 34 countries. (April 23, 2001)

Morning Edition: "U.S. Factory in Mexico"
NPR's John Burnett reports that workers in a U.S. owned factory in Mexico, are trying to form a labor union. Their demands include a ventilated working area, and compensated overtime. In the past, the company has fired workers for attempting to unionize. (March 2, 2001)

Morning Edition: "Retailers Sued"
NPR's Kathy Schalch reports that some major U.S. retailers are being sued for allegedly selling clothing made in sweatshops located outside the U.S., under conditions that violate U.S. laws. Convictions could result in billions of dollars in fines. (January 13, 1999)

Morning Edition: "Garment Industry Workers' Rights"
Jessica Smith reports from New York City on a ruling this year by a federal judge which may make it easier for garment industry workers to recover wages owed to them by clothing factory owners. Many of the workers trying to recover lost wages are immigrants. (December 24, 1998)

Talk of the Nation: "Saipan"
Saipan is the largest in a scenic chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean. It's also a U.S. territory, acquired from Japan after World War II. Yet all is not well in paradise. The garment industry, the island's largest employer, is accused of tolerating sweatshop conditions in their factories and violating U.S. labor laws. Now Congress is re-examining how much federal oversight the island needs. (August 12, 1998)

All Things Considered: "LA Sweatshops"
NPR's Mandalit Del Barco reports on a multi-million dollar settlement in the case involving dozens of Thai and Latino workers held and forced to work in sweatshops. Raids, by federal and state agents in 1995, exposed appalling conditions -- workers were forced to stay in compounds, working 20 hours a day for less than one dollar an hour. (October 24, 1997)

Morning Edition: "Debbie Elliot Reports on the Decline of the Apparel Industry in the South"
Garment workers have suffered massive layoffs as apparel companies are moving overseas to find cheaper labor. The loss of jobs is devastating local economies. (October 1, 1996)

Morning Edition: "American Apparel, an Immigrant Success Story"
A profile of Dov Charney, founder of American Apparel, the largest single garment factory in the United States. It's not your typical garment factory. There's electronica music playing in the showroom, hip, edgy, sexually suggestive photo ads on every wall, and a thriving team spirit among the workers. (April 28, 2006)





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Made in L.A. is an intimate portrait of an all-American experience: the struggle of recent immigrants to get a foothold, to assert their voices, to say, 'I exist. And I have rights.'”

— Almudena Carracedo, Filmmaker

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