In THE HAND THAT FEEDS, shy sandwich-maker Mahoma López unites his undocumented immigrant coworkers to fight abusive conditions at a popular New York restaurant chain.

En LA MANO QUE ALIMENTA, tímido sandwichera Mahoma López une sus compañeros de trabajo de los inmigrantes indocumentados que luchar condiciones abusivas a una cadena de restaurantes populares de Nueva York.

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At a popular bakery café, residents of New York's Upper East Side get bagels and coffee served with a smile 24 hours a day. But behind the scenes, undocumented immigrant workers face sub-legal wages, dangerous machinery, and abusive managers who will fire them for calling in sick. Mild-mannered sandwich maker Mahoma López has never been interested in politics, but in January 2012, he convinces a small group of his co-workers to fight back.

Risking deportation and the loss of their livelihood, the workers team up with a diverse crew of innovative young organizers and take the unusual step of forming their own independent union, launching themselves on a journey that will test the limits of their resolve. In one roller-coaster year, they must overcome a shocking betrayal and a two-month lockout. Lawyers will battle in back rooms, Occupy Wall Street protesters will take over the restaurant, and a picket line will divide the neighborhood. If they can win a contract, it will set a historic precedent for low-wage workers across the country. But whatever happens, Mahoma and his coworkers will never be exploited again.

En una delicatessen popular en el Upper East Side de Nueva York, la clientela compra bagels (roscas de pan) y café, todo servido con una sonrisa 24 horas al día. Pero detrás del escenario, trabajadoras y trabajadores inmigrantes indocumentados enfrentan salarios sublegales, maquinaria peligrosa y una gerencia abusiva. Mahoma López, un apacible preparador de sándwiches, nunca se ha interesado en la política pero en enero de 2012, él convence a un pequeño grupo de colegas a luchar y resistir.

Arriesgando deportación y la pérdida de su sustento, las y los trabajadores se juntan con un grupo de jóvenes organizadoras y organizadores para formar un equipo y tomar el inusual paso de formar un sindicato independiente, emprendiendo un camino que pondrá a prueba los límites de su determinación. En un año de altas y bajas, ellas y ellos deben superar una traición inesperada y un cierre de dos meses. Abogados batallarán en negociaciones tras puertas cerradas, manifestantes del movimiento de Occupy Wall Street tomarán el restaurante y una línea de piquete dividirá al vecindario. Si logran ganar un contrato, establecerán un precedente para las y los trabajadores a lo largo del país. Pero pase lo que pase, Mahoma y sus compañeras y compañeros no volverán a ser explotados.

DVD includes two versions of this program on the same DVD: 84 minutes and 56 minutes
Language options: English, Spanish, Bilingual, and English SDH captions (subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing)

Directed by Rachel Lears, Robin Blotnick
Executive Producer: Alex Rivera
Co-Producer: Patricia Benabe
Director of Photography: Rachel Lears
Editors: Robin Blotnick, David Meneses
Original Score: Ryan Blotnick
Executive Producer for LPB: Sandie Viquez Pedlow
A production of Jubilee Films in association with Latino Public Broadcasting, Chicken & Egg Pictures and Vineyard Point Productions with major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

El DVD incluye dos versiones de la película en el mismo disco: 84 minutos y 56 minutos
Opciones de idioma: Ingles, Español, Bilingüe, y Ingles con
subtítulos para los sordos e hipoacúsicos

Directores: Rachel Lears, Robin Blotnick
Productor ejecutivo: Alex Rivera
Co-productora
: Patricia Benabe
Directora de fotografía: Rachel Lears
Editores: Robin Blotnick, David Meneses
Música original: Ryan Blotnick

Una producción de Jubilee Films en asociación con el Proyecto Latino de Transmisión de Servicio Público y Chicken & Egg Pictures, con principal financiamiento brindado por la Corporación para Transmisión de Servicio Público

The Hand that Feeds

Screening options (with license to charge admission):
$100 Small Community Screening (1-50 people)
$200 Medium Community Screening (51-100 people)
$350 Large Community Screening (100+ people)


"A crowd pleaser...A well-plotted and captivating David and Goliath story."
Anthony Kaufman, Indiewire

"It is a story that has to be told and retold, in the classroom and in community centers. The vagaries associated with labor organizing, particularly among immigrant and low-wage workers is poignantly lucid. The challenges associated with the struggle for dignity and power in labor relations is presented with stark clarity and detail, and includes important context about the push and pull of immigration. The film is inspiring. One could not view this film without arriving to a deeper understanding of labor organizing, immigrant workers, and the lessons of a sustained movement for social justice."
Deborah Weissman, Professor of Law, University of North Carolina


"The Hand That Feeds is not just a story of their fight for better wages, benefits and a right to unionize. As 'Fight for $15' rallies kick off around the country...the documentary is now being used to inspire workers everywhere - especially at small businesses."
Jana Kasperkevic, The Guardian


"My strongest possible recommendation is to see this film...to be reminded of how good a victory can feel. This film is a shot in the arm to a movement that can sometimes forget what power we have, even in the darkest of times...It is best for us to think of ourselves as the future vanguard of a mass movement that cannot only give workers a sense of their 'dignity and respect' as Michael Yates puts it, but everybody in the 99 percent."
Louis Proyect, Counterpunch


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