10/29/2007

Our Voice, Our Town:

My name is Kate Purdy and I’m a writer. This is my first season on staff of a tv show, and my first year as a full-fledged union member. My parents are public school teachers, so unions have always been a part of my life. I know how important they are, and how powerful they can be.

I’m also a contract captain. Meaning, I attend union meetings, and report back to my team of writers. They ask me questions. I get answers. It’s a grassroots, member to member dialogue.

Several of us captains huddled, and decided to create this website. Why? Because we want to share our perspectives to, and beyond our membership.

Considering that the corporate conglomerates that comprise the AMPTP (the studios and networks) own the newspapers we read, we know we won’t win our battle in the press. However, while the AMPTP is great at PR and spin, we are great at communicating with each other.

Will there be a strike?

In my opinion, yes. Yes, there will be a strike. I don’t want a strike. No one wants a strike. But, the AMPTP refuses to engage us on any real issue. This week, in an attempt to jumpstart negotiations, we conceded on a few of our proposals. The AMPTP went away to discuss and when they returned, instead of budging on any of their egregious rollbacks, they slapped more rollbacks on the table – this time going after our health and pension. Knowing this would make an unfavorable headline, they then proposed a Federal Mediator. Our leadership accepted the mediator understanding that if we didn’t, next day’s paper would read: “Guild Declines Mediator.” The truth is the mediator is a young guy, with no experience in our industry. It’s just another spin stunt by the AMPTP. They aren’t taking us seriously, and they think they can win by crafting headlines intended to separate the membership from the leadership – create and spread fear amongst our ranks. But, that’s not gonna happen. We won’t let it.

If there is a strike we all want it to be as short as possible. Making movies, and tv shows is a miraculous collaboration. We couldn’t do it without each other. THE TEAMSTERS, SAG, AFTRA, DGA, and so on -- we all need each other. This negotiation will set the standard for all coming union negotiations. We need to get it right. We’re fighting for the future of the industry. New media is the format of the future, and we’re simply seeking fair compensation.

If we get a fair deal, the other unions get a fair deal, too.

Our unions are doing a knock up job of forming alliances. For the first time, THE TEAMSTERS have joined us at our negotiating table -- we are thankful. We are also thankful for SAG who is backing us and has pledged to help us picket.

We are all in this together, and together we can show the AMPTP that this is a unified, union town. They can’t stomp us out.

Here’s to discussion. Here’s to our future. Here’s to a United Hollywood.

2 comments:

Alyx said...

As someone who lives in the mid-West, is still a student, and incredibly nosy, I appreciate your blog immensely. I wish that I could pack up tomorrow and march the picket lines.

Thanks for everything you guys are doing to ensure a future for writers (and everyone else involved) still exists by the time I graduate. If there is anything I can do from the state of Oklahoma, please let me know. I would be honored.

Alyx

HERO said...

Hey there- You probably won't notice this comment, after all of your blog entries, but check this out... A bunch of HEROES fans are organizing a way to send "1000 Cranes for HEROES" writers, prompted by this post.

What would be the best way for the fans of HEROES to show their support for the writers, and where do you think those 1000 cranes should be sent?

Thanks!