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BRD 1974/75 | Director: Edith Marcello, David Wittenberg | Editor, Production: Edith Marcello | Photographs: Peter Leipziger | Colour & b/w | DCP of DVD | 49 min | german OV
Someone wonders off-screen whether serfs still exist in Pierburg: the speaker expresses solidarity with the strike, as does Ihr Kampf ist unser Kampf as a whole. Employees and committed filmmakers recorded the events at the Alfred Pierburg company in August 1973 on Super 8 and 16 mm cameras. For one week, female workers demonstrated for the elimination of a low-wage category that applied only to women, and against wage discrimination in general. At the time, the women earned DM 4.70 an hour. [...] Of a total of 3,800 employees, approximately seventy per cent were migrant labourers, and most of those were women. They demanded equal pay of women and men for equal work, and one more mark per hour for all. They also supported better working conditions overall. In the film, the wokers describe their miserable living conditions in company-owned housing. Little by little, the women gained the complete support of their German (and) male colleagues. The Pierburg strike is legendary because it was initiated primarily by women migrant labourers and because it was successful: for the first time, Pierburg abolished the low-wage category, and they never reinstated it. No one was fired, and the collective bargaining policies of unions were even called into question.
Pierburg – Ihr Kampf ist unser Kampf [...] was made in close consultation with the strikers and was produced as a promotional tool for, and with, the workforce and the works council. It was conceived primarily to serve as a discussion point for events and intended to connect companies nationwide on a grass-roots basis. Though it was never broadcast on TV, it did play at numerous solidarity events. (Freiraum Neuss e.V.)