The documentary, "No Contract, No Cookies", which began airing this month on HBO2, puts a very human face on what is becoming an all-too familiar and tragic story.
Byrnwood, a private equity firm bought the family-owned Stella D'oro bakery, which had been a part of the Bronx, N.Y. community since the Depression. Many of its 136 employees, members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Local 50, had worked there for decades.
The new owners forced workers to strike by demanding pay cuts of as much as $5 an hour and stripped-down benefits. For 11 months, the employees, who hailed from 22 different countries, marched together in unity and solidarity.
Finally, an administrative law judge ruled in the workers' favor and ordered all the employees reinstated. But the joyous victory was short-lived and bittersweet. Just one day after the workers came back to the job, the new owners announced they were closing the factory and moving the work to Ohio. Now, two years later, the factory stands shuttered like so many other plants in this country.
The documentary puts faces with the numbers. "No Contract No Cookies" is all about the workers and what their experience has meant for them. In about a half hour, the film makers Jon Alpert and Matthew Neill show us what happens to communities and lives when greed trumps everything else.
Learn more about the documentary
Check your local listings for times the documentary will air. (Click schedule in the bottom right corner of the screen)
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