Home  » Collections A-Z  » WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection  » All Items  » WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Hosea Williams accusing the Reed Drug Company of unfair labor practices and racism as well as picketing by the Poor Peoples's Union, Atlanta, Georgia, 1973 March 28

WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Hosea Williams accusing the Reed Drug Company of unfair labor practices and racism as well as picketing by the Poor Peoples's Union, Atlanta, Georgia, 1973 March 28

 Click here to view the item
 Click here to view the item
Creator:WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
Title:WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Hosea Williams accusing the Reed Drug Company of unfair labor practices and racism as well as picketing by the Poor Peoples's Union, Atlanta, Georgia, 1973 March 28
Date:1973 Mar. 28

In this WSB newsfilm clip dated March 28, 1973, members of the Poor People's Union demonstrate against the Reed Drug Company in front of one of its Atlanta drugstores.

The clip begins with a shot of a group of African American protesters picketing Reed's Discount Drugs, taken from the opposite side of the street. The camera zooms in closer, and captures the signage on the entrance of the drugstore. Next, Hosea Williams, standing with a group of protesters in front of Reed's Discount Drugs, addresses the group's concerns to the camera; as he speaks, pedestrians continue to make their way down the sidewalk behind the group of protesters.

Speaking directly to the camera, Williams explains that a Reed Drug Company employee came to the Poor People's Union office after having complained to Reed's "many times" about grievances that were not redressed by the company's management. The Poor People's Union investigated the situation at the Reed Drug Company, and found the company to be guilty of unfair labor practices and racism. The Poor People's Union attempted to collect union authorization cards from Reed's employees; when management from Reed's found out that representatives from the Poor People's Union had been facilitating unionization efforts, the company retaliated against their employees by administering polygraph tests and fines. In response, the employees voted to wage a work stoppage strike and boycott of Reed Drug Company's twenty-six locations in the Atlanta area. Williams describes the strike as a "result of Reed's retaliating on these people because they tried to enter the Poor People's Union."

Next, a police officer crosses the street in front of Reed's Discount Drugs, walks around the picket line of chanting demonstrators, and enters the drugstore. This is followed by a closeup shot of several picketers in front of Reed's Discount Drugs, taken from the neck down. They are wearing protest placards around their necks; some of the signs include "Reed's pay slave wages," "Help the poor people's union," and "Poor people's union of America." As they picket, the protesters sing "We Shall Overcome."

Hosea Williams founded the Poor People's Union of America in 1972 in Atlanta, Georgia, while serving as the executive director of the DeKalb/Metro-Atlanta branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The Poor People's Union was established with the intent to organize Atlanta's working poor by negotiating grievances and securing job stability, pensions, and health care benefits. The Poor People's Union partnered with the Distributive Workers of America, formed in 1969 as the first multi-racial union led by an African American president and an executive board comprised largely of people of color. Although the Poor People's Union did not become as successful as it had endeavored to be, the organization supported significant efforts to aid underrepresented workers in Atlanta.

Title supplied by cataloger.

The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.

Types:News | Unedited footage | MovingImage
Subjects:Williams, Hosea, 1926- | Pharmaceutical industry--Georgia--Atlanta | Demonstrations--Georgia--Atlanta | Labor--Georgia--Atlanta | Lie detectors and detection--Georgia--Atlanta | Race relations | Picketing--Georgia--Atlanta | We shall overcome | Poor--Georgia--Atlanta | Poor--Employment--Georgia--Atlanta | Poor African Americans--Georgia--Atlanta | Poor blacks--Georgia--Atlanta | Urban poor--Georgia--Atlanta | Working poor--Georgia--Atlanta | Labor leaders--Georgia--Atlanta | African American labor leaders--Georgia--Atlanta | African American clergy--Georgia | Clergy--Georgia | Labor unions--Georgia--Atlanta | Labor union members--Georgia--Atlanta | Labor union members--United States | African American labor union members--Georgia--Atlanta | Labor unions--Organizing--Georgia--Atlanta | Grievance procedures--Georgia--Atlanta | Labor discipline--Georgia--Atlanta | Intimidation--Georgia--Atlanta | Labor unions--Press coverage--Georgia--Atlanta | Labor unions, Black--Georgia--Atlanta | Labor movement--Georgia--Atlanta | Civil rights workers | Civil rights workers--Georgia--Atlanta | African American civil rights workers | African American civil rights workers--Georgia--Atlanta | African Americans--Civil rights--Georgia | African Americans--Civil rights--Georgia--Atlanta | African Americans--Civil rights--History--20th century | African Americans--Employment--Law and legislation--Georgia--Atlanta | Blacks--Employment--Law and legislation--Georgia--Atlanta | Discrimination in employment--Georgia | Discrimination in employment--Georgia--Atlanta | Discrimination in employment--Law and legislation--Georgia | Discrimination in employment--Law and legislation--Georgia--Atlanta | Race discrimination--Georgia--Atlanta | Industrial relations--Georgia--Atlanta | Industrial relations--Press coverage--Georgia--Atlanta | Industrial management--Georgia--Atlanta | Collective bargaining--Georgia--Atlanta | Collective labor agreements--Retail trade--Georgia--Atlanta | Employment tests--Law and legislation--Georgia--Atlanta | Unfair labor practices--Georgia--Atlanta | Union busting--Georgia--Atlanta | Fines (Penalties)--Georgia--Atlanta | Labor disputes--Georgia--Atlanta | Racism--Georgia--Atlanta | Georgia--Social conditions--20th century | Social conflict--Georgia--Atlanta | African Americans--Georgia--Atlanta--Social conditions--20th century | African Americans--Georgia--Atlanta--Social conditions--1964-1975 | Protest songs--Georgia--Atlanta | Direct action--Georgia--Atlanta | Picketing--Law and legislation--Georgia--Atlanta | Strikes and lockouts--Georgia--Atlanta | Boycotts--Georgia--Atlanta | Signs and signboards--Georgia--Atlanta | Drugstores--Georgia--Atlanta | Drugstores--Management | Chain stores--Georgia--Atlanta | Chain stores--Management | Police--Georgia--Atlanta | Pedestrians--Georgia--Atlanta | Sidewalks--Georgia--Atlanta | Atlanta (Ga.)--Race relations | Atlanta (Ga.)--Race relations--History--20th century | Poor People's Union | Reed Drug Company | United States, Georgia, Fulton County, Atlanta, 33.7489954, -84.3879824
Collection:WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection
Institution:Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
Contributors:Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
Original Material:

Original found in the WSB-TV newsfilm collection

Rights and Usage:


Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Hosea Williams accusing the Reed Drug Company of unfair labor practices and racism as well as picketing by the Poor Peoples's Union, Atlanta, Georgia, 1973 March 28, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1921, 37:26/39:03, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.

Related Materials:

Forms part of: Civil Rights Digital Library.

Persistent Link to Item:http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/crdl/id:ugabma_wsbn_21368
Persistent Link to Item:http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/crdl/do:ugabma_wsbn_21368