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Ken Loach Expresses His Solidarity with PepsiCo Workers

The celebrated British film-maker Ken Loach has tweeted his support for the struggle of the PepsiCo workers in Buenos Aires to defend their jobs and keep the factory open.

Alejandra Ríos

July 19, 2017
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Image of Ken Loach from the-latest.com

The celebrated British film-maker Ken Loach has tweeted his support for the struggle of the PepsiCo workers in Buenos Aires to defend their jobs and keep the factory open. He also retweeted the petition circulated by the workforce calling on people to express their solidarity.

Loach’s directorial career spans more than five decades since his Wednesday Plays in the 60s. Among his most acclaimed films are Cathy Come Home (1966), a drama about homelessness; Poor Cow (1967), a portrait of a young working-class mother forced into prostitution; Kes (1969), a story about a boy from an alienating and disadvantaged background who trains a kestrel; Hidden Agenda (1990), a Belfast-set thriller about the British army’s ‘shoot to kill’ policy against the Provisional IRA; and Land and Freedom (1995), a tale of a young man from Liverpool who joins the International Brigades to fight Franco’s fascists during the Spanish Civil War. Loach is Britain’s foremost social chronicler, a committed socialist who gives voice to those marginalised by our society.

Loach’s latest film I, Daniel Blake (2016), which won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, is a testament to the power of cinema. It follows the life of a 59-year-old carpenter who, despite having suffered a heart attack, is deemed fit to work by his local jobcentre. Blake is soon trapped in a Kafkaesque sequence of attempts to obtain social security payments, without success.

I, Daniel Blake is a realistic portrait of the lives of working class people in this period. Faced with the bureaucratic nightmare of the benefits system, Blake says: “I am a man, not a dog. As such I demand my rights. I demand you treat me with respect.”

These words could be easily spoken by the PepsiCo workers. They, too, are demanding to be treated with respect, for their rights to be recognised, and not to be treated like robots or animals.

The PepsiCo workers, who are mainly women, are the real Daniel Blakes. They have tweeted their thanks to Ken Loach for his support.

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