The view from the corner office is of a region that weathered the most recent recession better than a number of other parts of the country. Profits are increasing and Pittsburgh is beginning to climb back into the national spotlight with a glow of self-confidence. The “Eds and Meds” that replaced the traditional manufacturing base here have been mentioned as one of the possible reasons for the good fortune.
The view from the service entrance, not unexpectedly, is quite a bit different. It is a view of growing wage inequality, in step with national trends. This trend is particularly hardest on low-wage workers, who struggle to keep pace, and have little to no chance of improving their lot in the employment market.
I am reminded of Dickens’ opening lines in A Tale Of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
In an attempt to put faces on the stories that get relegated to the margins of the Business pages, the documentary film will focus on the Adjunct Faculty Association’s organization effort at Duquesne University and other higher ed institutions in the region, and UPMC’s campaign against its own workers attempts to unionize. The film will examine real-world issues, avoid the abstract and place the struggle into a historical context.
Through access to people who wish to tell a different story, I hope to do so in a manner that will start a meaningful conversation in our community about shared struggles and what might be done about the widening disparity in our “two cities.”
Learn more about Tale of Two Cities at johnricefilms.com