AFSCME, USW and a host of other NM and AZ Labor & Civic Organizations have announced they will hold a 60th Anniversary ‘Living History’ Commemoration of the benchmark 1951 movie ‘Salt of the Earth,’ and the 1951 empire Zinc Strike in to Silver City, NM on March 15th.
In recognition of this important date, the membership of the United Steel Workers, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees will host a series of events in the birthplace of the actual incidents which spawned film.
The film’s plot centers on the long and difficult 1951 strike, against the Empire Zinc Company in Grant County, New Mexico.
Salt of the Earth was blacklisted for many years as being too inflammatory in exposing issues the Federal Government wanted suppressed.
March 15 Events Include:
- Free public viewing of the film, – Panel discussion with surviving activists/family members, – Organized labor representatives, public officials and scholars. – Visual historical exhibit – reception to honor the remaining pioneers and their families, – Opportunities to TAKE ACTION and support today’s workers who continue to face issues of inequality at work.
- Bus tour visiting the Empire Mine site, the current Santa Rita Pit overlook, and the numerous historic murals depicting the struggle located in Silver City and at the Steelworkers’ Local 890 Union Hall in Bayard, NM.
Notables to date:
- USW will have hall open and murals viewable, buy coffee donuts AND LUNCH
- Gila / Mimbres Community Radio – KURU / 89.1 FM will ad us to programming
- AFSCME Manny Maldonado secured sponsorship from County Commissioners to fund County busses for tour
- Community stepping up to provide docents and historic voices
- WNMU sponsoring use of Fine Arts Center
- USW Educ. Erica Willis organizing panel discussion “From Women’s Auxiliary to Women of Steel”
- Planning Comm members and community stepping up to distribute flyers and free tickets in Grant Co.
Original Strikers and Children of Strikers, Rachel Valencia, Willie Andazola, and Juana Moreno Sierra have recorded video or portrait invitations.