Funny Competition Between Labor and Management: You Have Me in You

TAIWAN / 1998 / Taiwanese / Color / Video / 136 min

Director, Photography, Editing: Lo Shin-chieh (A-KAI)
Script: Wang Hsiu-ling
Sound: Chen Guo-wei
Source: Lo Shin-chieh
209, Kong-Yuan N. Rd, Tainan City TAIWAN
Phone: 886-6-2227422
Fax: 886-6-2215122
E-mail: akai8128@ms32.hinet.net

Lo Shin-chieh (A-kai)

Even before the lifting of martial law, A-kai was already active in Taiwan's opposition politics. Over the last ten years he took part in numerous demonstrations and protest rallies. He is an independent filmmaker who has recorded Taiwan's political events and social movements over this period on film. Before taking up the camera, he was a salesman of photographic equipment, a performer in labor activist plays, and had experience as a hair stylist and makeup artist. A-kai's dedication to documentary filmmaking probably derives from his pursuit of social justice. This is his second film on labor issues to win an award in Taiwan. It was almost two years in the filming.

An engaging film, as the title suggests, depicting the complex relations between parties involved in a labor dispute. A self-organized non-union group of workers struggles to regain infringed rights in the wake of a factory closure. A soft-spoken woman is pushed to the front as its leader, while bigshots in business suits from political parties and bureaucracy come and go, all claiming to be sincerely concerned with the workers' plight. Amidst confusion and shifting opinions, the dispute goes on, and the camera continues to record a very affectionate portrait of the people involved.

Director's Statement

Taiwan's industrial development of the last three decades has been called an "economic miracle." However, in the last decade, labor-intensive industries have been closing in numbers and moving production to Southeast Asia and China, while claiming bankruptcy in order to avoid paying pensions and other benefits to maturing workers. The Oriental Knitting Corporation of Tainan is such a case.
Due to crippled execution of the law and inept bureaucracy, as well as exploitation by capitalists, labor struggles have never ceased in Taiwan. A laborer cried out loud in protest, "We have our own rights, and we do not want anybody from the government to kill our rights!"
The issue in this film is the struggle of 300-some workers, mostly factory workers, for their full pensions and severance pay after the closure of Oriental Knitting Corporation in November 1996. At the end of the film, an agreement is reached - but their pensions remain to date unpaid.
Two years and three chairmen of the Council of Labor Affairs later, the Oriental dispute continues. Each time Ms. Chu, the leader of the worker's self-help group calls, she is asked to wait. Three labor movement representatives have come and gone, as have numerous assembly representatives. "We really have to help ourselves," say the workers. The road is long, but they are still here.
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COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee