Taylor Chain

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Taylor Chain I & II & III
Taylor Chain Poster.jpg
Directed by Jerry Blumenthal
Gordon Quinn
Produced by Vicki Cooper
Richard Schmiechen
Jenny Rohrer
Written by Gordon Quinn Junior
Cinematography Gordon Quinn Senior
Edited by Jerry Blumenthali
Distributed by Kartemquinn Films
Running time
64 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget 454,000

Taylor Chain I & II are a pair of documentary films, produced by Kartemquin FIlms, that first examine a seven-week workers' strike at a Hammond, Indiana, chain manufacturing plant and then follow the collective bargaining process of the same plant one decade later. Originally released by Kartemquin as two separate short documentaries in 1980 and 1984, Taylor Chain I & II were released together to show how the decade-long labor movement was affected by the recession and anti-union legislation of the early 1980s.[1][2]

Taylor Chain I: The Story in a Union Local begins in the 1970s, as workers at the Taylor Chain manufacturing plant begin negotiations with management for a new contract. Cameras go from the factory floor into the union hall, as workers both young and old argue about stipulations within proposed contracts. The negotiations lead to a seven-week strike, as the union takes to the picket line. Eventually, both sides make concessions and the workers return to work.[3][4]

Taylor Chain II: The Story of Collective Bargaining begins ten years later, in the early 1980s, as both workers and management are attempting to save the plant as recession and globalization have reduced the factory's workforce drastically. The union and management sit across from one another in a Holiday Inn conference room, trying to come to a compromise that will both save the plant as well as take care of the workforce. In the end, the two sides come to an agreement, but it is not enough to save Taylor Chain from closure.[5]

Directed by Jerry Blumenthal and Gordon Quinn, Taylor Chain I was the winner of the 1980 William Friedkin Award at the Chicago International Film Festival. Also directed by Blumenthal and Quinn, Taylor Chain II won the First Award at the 1985 International Labor Communications Association Film & Broadcast Competition. Broadcast on public television, Taylor Chain I & II have been praised for their realistic glimpse into the lives of blue-collar workers.[6]


  1. ^ Work In America: An Encyclopedia of History, Policy and Society Horn, Carl E. and Herbert A. Schaffner. Work In America: An Encyclopedia of History, Policy and Society. ABC-CLIO Inc. pg. 618. 2003. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  2. ^ "History of a Great Union-Pace" United Steelworkers.org. Retrieved 21 January 2011.
  3. ^ Taylor Chain. Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Retrieved 21 Jan. 2011.
  4. ^ New Challenges for Documentary ed. Rosenthal, Alan. University of California Press. pg 460. 1988. Retrieved 21 Jan. 2011.
  5. ^ Taylor Chain II Kartemquin Films. Retrieved 21 Jan. 2011.]
  6. ^ Independent Critic Propes, Richard. The Independent Critic. Retrieved 21 January 2011.

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