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Undocumented Workers: The New Labor Movement?

The new documentary “The Hand That Feeds” follows a group of undocumented immigrants who work at the Manhattan deli chain Hot & Crusty.

Because of their immigration status, these employees are taken advantage of. Many are working seven days a week without a break and making less than minimum wage.

The film follows the workers in their struggle to organize their own union. It’s a story that shows how despite the decline of labor union membership, new kinds of worker groups are forming.

These nontraditional labor groups are demanding better wages and benefits, and sometimes they’re succeeding. The film’s director, Rachel Lears, and one of the workers featured in the documentary, Mahoma Lopez, speak with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.



  • Rachel Lears, director of “The Hand That Feeds.”
  • Mahoma Lopez, deli worker and member of Hot and Crusty Workers Association.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rachel Lears is director of "The Hand That Feeds." (Courtesy)
Rachel Lears is director of "The Hand That Feeds." (Courtesy)