Earl is a small, quiet town in the old sharecropping country of eastern Arkansas. But on October 25, 1991, a noisy drama was taking place in the parking lot of Earl Industries, the town’s leading employer. Staging a grim parody of a strike in an effort to scare workers out of voting for a union in the federally supervised election being conducted that day, supervisors from the factory were marching around, wearing company tee-shirts, carrying picket signs, and shouting slogans. Nearby, the
company had set up an exhibit of photographs of scenes from actual labor disputes. Meanwhile, to show that they weren’t intimidated, a group of workers from the factory were wearing union tee-shirts, holding hands, and
singing gospel music.
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