New Film “Working Man” Shows Factory Life is About More Than Just Factories

By Monique Mansfield
Image courtesy Workingman Partners LLC

Movie captures the close bonds that can endure even after a factory closes its doors.

The new movie Working Man is a fictional film, but it depicts real life situations of how factory layoffs and plant closures can affect businesses, customers, and most importantly, American workers and the communities they live in.

Working Man stars Peter Gerety and Billy Brown as two factory workers from different backgrounds who are both impacted by a recent factory closure in their small Industrial Heartland town. The two come together to continue working in the factory after the shutdown, along with their former co-workers, in an effort to send a strong message about the importance of American manufacturing.

The movie begins with Allery Parkes (Gerety) as he navigates the day as the plastics factory that he has worked in for years closes its doors. Gerety makes a strong statement without uttering a word, as his body language and facial expressions capture the sadness, despair, anger and hurt after Allery receives his last paycheck.

But Allery is unwilling to leave the plant at the end of his shift. He stays and continues to work until he is the last worker remaining in the factory on the last day.

What’s to follow is certainly something millions of American workers who have (or are currently) experiencing layoffs and plant closures can what relate to: What happens next?

Allery grapples with what to do with himself the day after the closure, as he sits at home and tries to keep busy with his wife, Iola Parkes (Talia Shire). It doesn’t work.

The next day, Allery continues his routine as if he were getting up to go to work at the plant. He breaks into the padlocked factory, and even after he discovers that there is no electricity in the plant, he proceeds to clean and keep busy while simulating a normal working day. He even takes his lunch breaks.

Unable to accept the plant closure, this becomes a routine until after a few days later, when Allery’s plant manager comes in with Sheriff troopers, escorts him off of the property and takes him back to his house.

But the film isn’t just about Allery. The movie shares another story about comradery.

Many people, including myself, might not realize that factory workers often become close friends, family even, as they work together during the day. They come together after work to enjoy each other’s company and talk about the day, and things only others in their line of work would understand.

Allery establishes a close relationship with his colleague Walter Brewer (Brown) and together, they reunite the American workers who were affected by the plant closure. Walter uses the key that was given to him by the plant manager and unlocks the padlock for himself and Allery to enter through the front door. Upon entry, Walter has the electricity and water turned on, and he and Allery begin to use the machines to work.

"Working Man" gives viewers more than what is seen or heard on the news and radio about factory life, from interactions with colleagues, to management, buyers and contracts. It also offers a perspective on what happens after plants close, and how individuals and families are affected.

Working Man is available on demand and via select streaming services.