Like a lot of her family before her, Norma Rae works at the local textile mill, where the pay is hardly commensurate with the lousy working conditions. But after hearing a rousing speech by labor activist Reuben, Norma is inspired to rally her fellow workers behind the cause of unionism.
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On this viewing, what struck me even more strongly was the movie’s suggestion that no struggle can take place alone. Norma Rae is heroic, but she comes into her own, as a woman, because she is fighting for class solidarity.