With the coming vote in Ohio on Issue 2, to repeal the union-busting Senate Bill 5, everyone should take time out to watch one of the more impressive labor films ever made. In these post-modern cynical times, the term “solidarity” seems outdated and quaint. Forget the Prozac or Zoloft – if you want an antidote to working class depression, watch “Locked Out 2010.”

Locked Out documents the Biblical clash, yes I’m talking David versus Goliath, between the soulless Rio Tinto multi-national mining company and the miners they employ in Boron, California. Rio Tinto goes through the standard union-busting handbook: bargaining in bad faith, demanding massive concessions, all designed to teach the workers a lesson and lock them out of the massive borate mine in the Mojave desert.

When workers continued to work without a contract, the company initiated a lock out on January 21, 2010 and brought in scab non-union replacement workers. The best part of the film is the battle in the first hours of the lock out.

With director Joan Sekler’s cameras rolling, we go from the contract expiration date November 4, 2009 through the long 107-day lock out of workers and the effect on their families. Predictably, Rio Tinto management talks about improving the work environment and quality of life in the factories while seeking to slash wages and benefits for its workers.

The story of the small town of Boron, population 2000, and its workers who actually believe that “an injury to one is an injury to all” inspires unions throughout California as Sekler catches food caravans from Los Angeles county AFL-CIO members arriving to keep the miners from hunger.

It reminded me of the old stories of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) when the mining bosses would hire scabs to replace workers and the IWW members would secretly join. As they approached the picket lines they began singing “Hold the fort for we are coming. Working men be strong” as they joined the picketing workers.

Also, Sekler captures leaders of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union that represented the miners coming in with practical assistance through their strike fund. Mortgages are paid, health care bills are paid, and the system is geared for the least of their brothers and sisters, locked out by Rio Tinto.

Locked Out, in many ways, is not only a current lesson in the power of solidarity but is reminiscent of historical documentaries that captured the past clashes between labor and management. Sekler is to be praised. This video continues in the tradition of her excellent documentary “Unprecedented” that depicted George W. Bush and Karl Rove’s stolen election in 2000 in Florida.

"Locked Out" will play for free at the Drexel Theater, 2254 E. Main St., Bexley, Ohio on Tuesday, September 27 at 7:30pm.