Filmmaker Madeline Youngberg is working with the AUD to create a film documenting founder Herman Benson’s early involvement in the labor movement, the beginnings of the AUD, and how we evolved into the organization we are today. The film will be loosely based on Benson’s 2005 book, Rebels, Reformers, and Racketeers: How Insurgents Transformed the Labor Movement.
We are working on scheduling interviews with other labor reformers who know Benson and are hoping to bring some of them to New York at the beginning of June. For those who are unable to travel, we hope to find friends in their locales who are able to conduct interviews by proxy.
For over 40 years, the Association for Union Democracy has worked to encourage fair elections, free speech, civil rights, and unions free from corruption. We are thankful to be lucky enough to have someone as dedicated and experienced as Herman Benson still with us and still passionate about union democracy.
Benson began his labor-related career at age 15 when he joined the Young Peoples Socialist League. He has belonged to a number of unions while working as a toolmaker and machinist in his youth. Before chartering the Association for Union Democracy, he wrote Union Democracy in Action, a newsletter aimed at rallying support for reformers fighting for democracy within the labor movement.
Youngberg is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School and has been profiled by NewFilmmakers through the Anthology Film Archives in New York. In the summer of 2009, she conducted a series of interviews with Benson about the AUD. Please go to the AUD’s Facebook page (facebook.com/uniondemocracy) to view some of that material.
Please consider helping us offset the cost of travel and accommodations by earmarking your contribution for the AUD Documentary Project.