Pierburg: Ihr Kampf ist unser Kampf

Federal Republic of Germany 1974/75, 49', Documentary
Edith Schmidt, David Wittenberg
Edith Marcello | edithmarcello@aol.com



»Does the Pierburg company actually still have serfs working there?«
Voice-over quote from the film

13 August 1973: Despite the arduous piecework they perform, women migrant workers at Neuss-based carburettor manufacturer Pierburg are in the lowest wage group 2 (DM 4.70 per hour): so, the women start a five-day »wildcat strike«. Out of all 3,800 employees, 70 percent are guest workers, the majority of them women. The women migrant workers demonstrate against the difference in pay between men and women, demanding »one more Mark«, and call for better general living and working conditions. Gradually, their German colleagues join in, and the atmosphere at the Pierburg site at times becomes a festive one. Things have to wait until it becomes clear that the strikers are paralysing the whole German automotive industry for serious negotiations to take place between the workforce and factory management: low-income wage group 2 is then abolished and wages increased.

The compilation film documents the strike. In consultation with the strikers, film-makers Edith Schmidt-Marcello and David H. Wittenberg assembled the material, filmed by various people who experienced the strike first-hand, and supplemented it with their own film footage. The film was shown at numerous solidarity events and was the public relations vehicle for the workers and the works council. It was never shown on television and was initially forgotten.

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Edith Schmidt, David Wittenberg
Federal Republic of Germany
1974, 1975
1234567-> Sektion