Fight For the Living - a case study
The instructor introduced the materials in late March. Since the Day of Mourning takes place
on April 28, the timing was appropriate. The instructor handed out the set of materials and
the participants carried out some of the activities. The discussions were lively and the group
took various actions as a result. These actions were not planned in advance by the instructor
but one action just seemed to lead naturally to another, as the group engaged in a variety
of interactions with others in their workplace and community. The instructor facilitated this
process by responding positively to the group's impulses toward action and by providing
practical and technical support as necessary.
The sequence of activities emerged, as follows:
- When the group investigated and found out that there were no local activities
planned for April 28, they decided to take the initiative and write a letter to the
company requesting that they lower the flag to commemorate the Day of
- The company responded positively to the request and they, in turn, asked that the
group make posters to let their fellow workers know about the Day of Mourning
and the lowering of the flag. The group created posters which were displayed on
bulletin boards and walls throughout the workplace.
- The group invited the local union health and safety rep to attend a class to discuss
health and safety. During this discussion, participants learned about the joint
health and safety committee and how it worked. With the rep, participants
engaged in a discussion about the workplace and identified health and safety
issues in the departments where they currently worked.
- As a follow-up to the discussion with the rep, the group wrote letters outlining the
problems they had identified and sent these letters to the rep so that he could
present them at the next meeting of the joint health and safety committee. As a
result of this meeting, a company memo was distributed describing action to be
taken on one of the issues identified by the group.
- Next, the group wrote an article about the Day of Mourning and the lowering of
the flag for the union newsletter.
- The group also wrote a letter to the local newspaper to inform members of the
wider community about the Day of Mourning and the activities taking place at the
plant. As a follow-up to this letter, a reporter from the newspaper published an
article on April 26 about the activities that would be taking place at the plant on
April 28 to commemorate the Day of Mourning.