12/03/2007

AMPTP: "Union Busting" is Our Middle Name

Tim Lea wrote an email which Mike Royce and Steve Skrovan made us aware of. We’ve excerpted his analysis of the strike to highlight his truly inspired perceptions.

Hey all --

So the AMPTP has responded. Four days of 'meetings', and the resulting offer is a strange hybrid of calculated low-balling, contempt and picaresque fantasy that would better become a Voltaire novel than an early 21st-century labor negotiation.

The AMPTP and the studios and corporations they represent are not yet ready to negotiate. They calculate that they have time before this year's TV season is irrevocably damaged...and they want to create fatal divisions within our membership.

There is nothing irrational or random about any of this. The first entry in a Google search of the term Union Busting provides a link to the home page of a union-busting firm. They're quite up front: "It's about winning," they say:

"Since 1987, Adams, Nash, Haskell & Sheridan has
assisted hundreds of employers in thousands of engagements always protecting the employers' rights to continue to manage…unobstructed by unions or other outside third parties that can destroy productivity, profitability, and the joy of the direct relationship between an employer and its employees."

The point is clear: there is an entire industry devoted to union-busting with refined strategies for dealing with union activity.

The AMPTP strategy…is to gain control over 'New Media' by breaking the unions. First us, then the rest. Then the Internet will be a non-union town.

In his book Confessions of a Union Buster, Martin Jay Levitt details the techniques he learned in his many years attacking unions. A key element is the demoralization of the union members during any industrial action against the company. Taking away people's hopes, their aspirations for a quick resolution to any labor dispute – that was Levitt's job. "If you can, make the union fight drag on long enough, workers...lose faith, lose interest, lose hope."

According to Robert Muehlenkamp, an SEIU Local 1199 organizer at Harper Grace hospital in the 70's, where Levitt was hired to consult management:
"Union busters wield great power through a program of terror and manipulation – people don't, can't possibly know what's going on and who's telling the truth.... The first time this happens to regular people, they're terrified."
And terror is the goal. The union buster hopes to control employees by employing terror.

This is, of course, precisely the situation we find ourselves in today. We are the example that is being used to intimidate the other unions. The studios want the actors, the directors, the Teamsters, IATSE, all to look at our struggle and see us lose. See us fractured and divided. With the hope that they will be frightened by what they see, and accept whatever deal the studios offer.

The idea is also to make us appear demoralized, then divided. To the public, and to ourselves. Diminish the pickets (LA Times: the "relentless picketing" which was one element in bringing the AMPTP back to the table); split off core groups (oh no! Carlton Cuse has gone back to work! The Showrunners are all abandoning us!); fragment the internal leadership (the Captain's meeting Friday, although generally cordial, did show signs of strain as one writer, concerned for his laid-off production team asked "What do I tell them?" to be admonished by another member that "We are on strike!"); and create a sense that our strike is useless.

The most powerful tactic in strike-breaking is propagandistic. The union (and particularly the leadership) is portrayed as power-hungry, control-seeking, strike-happy, aloof. Leadership is described as detached from the membership and inaccessible to their demands (Patric responded to over 500 e-mails over the Thanksgiving break.) The strike is described as rudderless and futile, with declining numbers on the picket lines. The creation of a Strike Rules committee is described as fascistic. The companies are portrayed as avuncular and concerned: "We're just trying to get everyone back to work."

Divide and conquer. Divide and conquer. That's the union buster's strategy.

But unions have their own strategy. At the SEIU rally on Thursday, the marchers began and ended with a prayer. They bowed their heads and prayed for direction and guidance and thanked their God for the opportunity, the voice, the courage, the belief, to express themselves in their struggle.

They connect their struggle with their belief. They believe, and we must believe.

There is the obvious physical expression of the belief of the membership in being out in force, vocally, on the picket lines, and there is the emotional power of belief that underpins the leadership's work. The leadership can focus on the exhausting work of facing down the employers at the negotiating table because they are sustained by the knowledge that the membership is behind them.

While we may all have notions of tactics or strategy or choices of which gate to picket or whether to have Christmas lunch on Peter Chernin's front lawn, it all boils down to this:

What are we striking for? What do we believe? Is our purpose singular and clear?

These are the questions that will decide whether we win or lose. Do we believe that this struggle, this sacrifice we are all making, is worthy? Are we of one heart? One mind? Do we look at each other on the picket lines and see brothers and sisters? Is our belief strong enough to carry us through to the end?

Only we can know. The companies hope the answer is no, and they will wage a psychological war to make us think the answer is no. The companies will try to convince us that we do not believe. And each of us, as individuals, must decide. Because if the answer is no, we have already lost.

Belief is victory.

In peace and solidarity,

TL

33 comments:

willow said...

Sorry in advance, I'm totally supporting the strike, but I had to laugh at this: "They bowed their heads and prayed for direction and guidance and thanked their God for the opportunity, the voice, the courage, the belief, to express themselves in their struggle."

Alert the media! Someone in Hollywood isn't Godless!

BTL Guy said...

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean their not out to get ya...

Divide and conquer may be the union-busting playbook, but what if the strike really is ill-advised? What if the leadership really doesn't know what it's doing?

We concerned strike victims shouldn't point this out?

I'm not buying what the AMPTP is shoveling -- I know they don't give a rat's ass about me or you anything other than the bottom line.

But that doesn't mean that because they suck, then the WGA must be honest, genuine saints.

I look forward to the WGA counter-offer which is reportedly coming out tomorrow. Let's hope there are some real numbers there.

In the meantime, the problems with the strike continue.

Mainly, wouldn't we be at least at this point of the negotiation if WGA was still at work?

Frostfire 2112 said...

Mainly, wouldn't we be at least at this point of the negotiation if WGA was still at work?

If you're completely ignoring the intangibles, then yes.

But if you're paying attention - public opinion as a result of the strike has shifted dramatically since the beginning of this process. We the writers now can show beyond a doubt the public, Middle America is behind us.

That "mandate" I guess you can call it is huge, a lot bigger than most people give credit for. That's why they're even talking to the WGA now. Before, they would have simply said "no, no one cares about you, go away."

Well, people care about the writers now, don't they?

The WGA doesn't claim to be saints. But when they're offering a 3% increase in writer's wages overall and the companies' earnings are going to increase by 10%, that, uh, should be a sign.

Evan Waters said...

No, because they're still waiting on the back half of the AMPTP offer- at least according to them. And it takes time to pick apart the legalese of something like this.

Anyway, I love the line about "the joy of the direct relationship between an employer and its employees." There's something Dilbert-esque about that.

Corey said...

I think those Strike Busting tactics are going to have a much harder time in the Internet Age. Ironic, isn't it?

This blog and others like it, emails direct from the leadership, etc. will have a great unifying affect on the union membership. It's harder for them to have propganda and misinformation stick and cause rifts when there is easy access to real information.

Stay strong.

David Grenier said...

"Anyway, I love the line about "the joy of the direct relationship between an employer and its employees." There's something Dilbert-esque about that."

Corporations love to talk about how they're "one big family" - until its time to send your job to China, then it's "we're not a charity."

But yeah, union-busters often try to portray unions as "an outside set of bosses." This is funny because a) it consists of bosses admitting no one likes having a boss, and b) its completely inaccurate. Membership votes in a union and elects officers to do a job. Employees do not vote in the existence of a corporation and get to elect their bosses. Their bosses do, however, get to fire them for any reason or no reason (unless they're protected by a union contract).

Captain Obvious said...

We will prevail.

Johan said...

I'm a writer, and I hope it is alright with the rest of my "brothers and sisters" in the WGA if I don't go completely batshit insane. Can we all take a breath?

Yes, the AMPTP wants to screw us with our pants on. And yes, I'm willing to stay out on strike until we get a fair deal.

But no, I don't think a grand conspiracy exists that aims to bust our union. All the companies are looking to do is negotiate a deal that keeps all the money in their pockets. Are you surprised?? They're AMERICAN CORPORATIONS. They're greedy. But we're not locked in a death struggle fighting for the right to continue to exist as a guild.

And no, I don't think public opinion means a damn thing. So save the marching and the YouTube for the next presidential campaign. This time, the people don't get a vote. It's a CBA negotiation behind closed doors, not a homecoming queen election. Only the bottom line matters to the companies. They don't have feelings and they don't care what your mom thinks. They don't even care what their own moms think.

Just kick back, cinch up your belt, and try to enjoy some time off with your family and friends. We'll get the deal we deserve if we hold out long enough to hurt them in the balance sheet (and not before) - so try not to burn yourself out. THAT is how the AMPTP can win.

English Dave said...

Corey - 'I think those Strike Busting tactics are going to have a much harder time in the Internet Age. Ironic, isn't it? '

Ayep. Well said.

The simple truth is that the general public love writers. They might not know their names but neither the public nor the writers bother too much about that anyway. Writers don't do what they do for celebrity status.
It's a symbiotic relationhip between writers and public. If it's crap the audience are only too aware.

A writer's paymaster is the audience, no matter who writes the checks. Because a writer is the audience. And when a writer does it just for checks rather than because it means something to them then they aren't writers.

Yeah blah blah blah, cue the selfish, money grubbing, poor PA losing their job posts. All very specious because without the writer there wouldn't be that PA job to begin with. Kill the goose that lays the golden egg why don'tcha

Good writers do what they do. Something that connects on a deep emotional level. The audience get that. And that's why the AMPTP can go fuck themselves.

Johan said...

"And when a writer does it just for checks rather than because it means something to them then they aren't writers."

Wow, that's naive.

English Dave said...

Johan - "And when a writer does it just for checks rather than because it means something to them then they aren't writers."

Wow, that's naive.



Yeah? You ain't a writer. You're a hooker.

That's what the AMPTP would like all writers to be. Fighting on street corners to snare a John.

Dave Olden said...

But that doesn't mean that because they suck, then the WGA must be honest, genuine saints.

It's not about sainthood. (And being honest is a desirable thing.)

You don't have to be a saint to pray, and prayer is a highly effective method for clarifying intent.

Focus, Spiritual resolve.

It's a good thing, and anyone can do it.

All the more important when there are so many distracting and confusing things going on.

Or, put another way, "Eyes on the prize."

Brandon said...

I thank the Johan's of the world for their "down to earth" approach to this. While I don't particularly support either side of this fight, I am much more inclined to want to stand alongside a Johan, even though I don't explicitly agree with him. I think the studios are capitalist creations and well...welcome to America. If you're upset that the studio is getting a bigger cut of new media money than you are, get an executive job at the studio and write on the side. Or, create your own exclusive internet content, market, and stream it on your own. Then you get 100% of whatever it makes and you don't have to deal with anyone else working the numbers. Otherwise, deal with the reality that the entity that pays you HAS to make far more money more than you and always will. Until I was recently kindly offered an alternative to my way of thinking, I was pretty much against the writers, fairly sure they were just being overly greedy and holding my entertainment hostage for little reason other than to buy more cars, and secure their quarterly vacations abroad. I now don't think its entirely that and I am thankful that someone level-headed replied to my concerns rather than some Nazi-like WGA officer who would have been quicker to just toss me in a gas chamber than listen and understand that some viewers are just pissed that this strike is ruining the entirety of TV right now for a piece of an unfinished pie. I hate to say it, but the studios have no more control over the internet than the writers. If you want to capitalize off of the medium, I'd advise the writers to do what they seem to be doing now, creating their own exclusive content and marketing it on their own. The studios pay you for writing a show and you do that. Of course, I support you getting a fair share for producing that work. I'm not suggesting you take half of what your work has proven to be worth. But, if they pay you (in full) $450,000 for something you wrote and then they go on to make 450 million on that piece of work, you didn't get screwed...at all. They just made the most of that product. And, in doing so, got you more exposure and name recognition. Now take that and produce your own exclusive content and market it yourself. Studios don't own the internet, but if you require the studio's assistance to get your stuff out there, they would seem to be holding the mightier hand. That's just the nature of the beast. These writers should be individually working out better deals up front in light of what they perceive the value of their work is going to be. Stopping EVERYONE from writing is just aggravating and appears greedy to me. But, that aggravation is pointed more towards the WGA leadership than the writers at this point, as I now understand that there are actually many writers (who support the strike) but who also want to be able to continue to write and/or clean up what they've already written before it goes into production and some piece of crap with their name attached to it is released.

English Dave said...

brandon - Jeebus, what a pile of shit. That wasn't even close to fooling anyone who actually earns their living as a writer. Can we all pretend we never saw that?

JimBob said...

Ever played tennis with a major-league successful typeA personality? Hey, we all want to win; you play hard and sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. You enjoy the game. But these guys are different. They're programmed to win. Not once in a while, not sometimes, not when they're having a good day. Every single fucking time they play, they have to win. If they play with their nine-year-old kid, they still have to win; they'll smash the ball into his little face to do it. And they'll cheat, too. Like you wouldn't believe: here's a guy worth fifty million bucks and he cheats on line calls in a game played with balls and pieces of hard plastic. He's got a hundred employees and a private jet and still, he'll cough just as you're tossing the ball up to serve to up his odds of winning by a half a percent.
So, you want to call it "union busting?" That sounds like something arising out of a philosophy, maybe Ayn Rand or someone high-minded like that. But it isn't philosophical, it's glandular. The companies are playing these infantile mind games and making offers they know are going to be refused and trying to wear us down by harming little people who are just trying to make a living -- because they're run by people whose entire charged-up existence is about needing to win. They have to win. They'll cheat to win. I don't know how this insight helps us to confront them, to negotiate with them, to force them to accept that we mean business. But calling them "stingy," "greedy," "union-busters," really misses the point, IMO. It isn't about money or theories of human capital. It's about winning for the sake of nothing but winning.

Johan said...

Jimbob, much of what you write is true, and should be remembered when we endure the coming days, weeks, hopefully not months of negotiations. But money does matter to these ultra-competitive freaks. It's the way most of them keep score. And if the investors in that game think the moguls are costing them profits, they'll chuck them and find new ones. Expect rational moves. Long term, they have billions for their companies and millions for themselves riding on this.

Englishdave, have you ever worked in TV?

I don't see what's so wrong about honoring the "professional" part of "professional screenwriting".

Some of us pay mortgages and put kids through school because we know more than one way to skin a cat, narratively speaking. We take notes. That's what we GET PAID FOR. And as long as crappy shows like "The Nanny" are paying for a portion of your healthcare and pension, maybe a little respect for the working class TV writers out here?

As long as we're all resolved to strike until we have a fair deal, I don't see why everyone has to be so shrill. I'll stay out on strike for 2 years if I have to. I'm that resolved. So if you don't want me on your side, maybe that's your loss.

By the way, I can afford to stay out on strike that long. Because I've had 10 eps of TV produced in the last 2 years.

Everyone is worried about the AMPTP whipping us onto an emotional rollercoaster. I merely ask if your kind of rhetoric, and the aggressive location picketing, and 9,000 e-mails a day from 7 strike captains, don't somehow maybe contribute to putting us all onto that dangerous coaster. Don't shoot the messenger.

m.o.i.@ warrior ant press said...

Brandon. This from 'middle America', a construct that only serves those outside it. I have no fcking idea what it means and could care less about such labels. About like I care if a few episodes of your favorite tv shows take a hiatus over the holidays. It's not important. Your rights as a worker are though, unless your penultimate aspiration is to be a shill in the game of 3-card montey known as AMPTP negoiations.

The studios (and advertisers) don't own the internet. Yet. They are trying mightily and making some pretty significant in-roads in how content is distributed and viewed and only those folks who have been glued to their televisions for the last 20 years (read 2 years in internet time) don't see it.

Don't believe middle America?. Check out foxsearchlight.com. Wonder how the writers of those shorts are/were compensated? For each time I viewed them online? Or was it a one-time payment? These aren't YouTube videos. These are studio shorts. My guess is that AMPTP sees them as ads for foxsearchlight and nothing else.

Yes, the internet is big enough that AMPTP will never be able to wrap their arms around the whole thing, but they won't need to because most entertainment dawgs grab the first bone thrown their way. Whatta ya' wanna' do? Sit? Fetch? Or play in your own yard?

Ruff.Ruff.

English Dave said...

Johan - Englishdave, have you ever worked in TV?

I don't see what's so wrong about honoring the "professional" part of "professional screenwriting//

a] For the last 10 years

b]'Wow that's naive' is not a post about honoring the professional part of professional screenwriting

c] The public can decide if you are a troll asshole or not. My verdict is in.

Johan said...

I'm a troll and a hooker?

I'm willing to sit out for 2 years until a fair deal is struck (internet pay that will fully replace eroding residuals), and I'm a troll?

I think "writer's who do it for money aren't writers" is naive and I'm a hooker?

I hope we never staff together. I'll be the guy who has to rewrite you (for free, mind you) because you a)don't get it and b)apparently will refuse to work and make changes if anyone dare question your perfect creative vision.

Are you a douche? The public can decide, but my verdict is in.

Evan Waters said...

I don't think it's a binary thing. As Scott McCloud said, rare is the artist who cares nothing for success, and rare is the person who expresses nothing in their work.

Johan said...

Thank you, evan. Sanity is always appreciated.

Jake Hollywood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jake Hollywood said...

For the WGA not only should they stick together but those who are doing the negotiation should think about reversing the AMPTP plan. That is, though Nick Counter is their spokesman/negotiator, the Big Seven also have a stake in the outcome of the negotiations, and maybe the WGA should come up with a "divide and conquer"plan of its own. Start working on the weak links, negotiate a plan to settle with each company individually. Maybe even allow writers to work with non-signatories (at least on a temp basis), work on internet deals to stream WGA backed shows (since the AMPTP doesn't "own" the internet (yet, that is) then it would be an "open territory" and available to anyone, right?Break the AMPTP, destroy their unity and resolve. Go on the attack, take the fight to the AMPTP, don't wait for them to act.

Until then stand strong and man the picket lines.

Caitlin said...

Johan, thank you. I really hope there are other ways to win this than just sitting back, though. I'm thinking court. I'm thinking locking them in a room with no bathrooms and a running faucet. I'm. . .going to go try to get some sleep and hope something comes of this "rest of the offer/counter offer" thing tomorrow.

English Dave, you are the classic example of the kind of writer that makes people not want to support this strike. There's a difference between deserving support and being entitled to it. You're taking the public for granted. Frustration is already setting in, and we're only starting to feel the heat. Yes, it's petty to pitch a fit over television programs. But guess what? We're petty people. And this whole "there would be no jobs for BTL-ers if there were no writers". True. Writers could also never sell a show if there was nobody to keep things running. How do you expect to get support from people you don't even respect? And name calling? Automatically labeling something as a pile of shit because it expresses disagreements with your point of view? If you're a writer, surely you can come up with something better, having the free time and all.

To the post: Yes, I get it. The AMPTP are assholes. But they're still assholes you need to negotiate with, because if you never go back to work, you'll get nothing, and that's the worst deal of all. I'm not saying give in, I'm saying fight. Fight and win. But you say in another post that it's one of AMPTP's tactics to make you angry. Aren't you kind of showing off their success in this? Everything you say is valid, but it's also been said before. We should stand in solidarity because you're right, not because they're wrong. And you are right, so get in there and don't back down. If you're as fierce in negotiations as you are on here, I honestly believe jobs can still be saved and the TV season at least salvaged. Because, as you say, belief is victory.

Showrunner said...

This "Union Busting" post is over the top, shrill, and doesn't advance our cause. We cringed upon reading it.

It doesn't say anything we don't already know, and that hasn't been said many times, so let's marshal our energies for the constructive and the effective.

Let's maintain focused, shrewd posts, and leave the screaming mimi's for another time and place.

Thanks, all.

JimBob said...

Showrunner --

Who died and made you God?

Tom Conrad said...

If you want something to happen you make it happen. It's that simple.

Of course they'll try to discourage you, that's the oldest trick in the book.

If you try to hire a lawyer they will steal him from you and stall u for months him, if you hire another lawyer the same but if you study the law yourselves(Title 17 Copyright Act and Title 18 RICO Act, the law made especialy for the Mafia) and learn your rights and how to ensure and enforce them then you can sue them for every penny they're worth.

Stop writing screenplays and start writing complaints.

Lawyers are idiots, bypass them and go straight into the DA's office or contact the Department of Justice.

Don't be chickens, stand up for your selves. YOU ARE RIGHT.

(The writers who have been severly wronged over the years know what I'm talking about)

Keep up the good fight.

Occasional Showrunner said...

Brandon said: I am thankful that someone level-headed replied to my concerns rather than some Nazi-like WGA officer who would have been quicker to just toss me in a gas chamber than listen...

+++++++

Did I not tell you people about Godwin's Law? Did not Captain Obvious demonstrate its power? Brandon loses. Whomever he was debating wins.

Captain Obvious said...

So it is WRITTEN, so it SHALL BE DONE.

How's this B*%tch? said...

"Anyway, I love the line about "the joy of the direct relationship between an employer and its employees." There's something Dilbert-esque about that."

Yeah, I know that joy. Having your salary stay the same while your hours nearly double. Having your insurance pared back. Living your life for those 5 days a year that you can go to the bathroom without worrying about leaving your desk for too long. Those were the days!!!

Pete said...

I got TL's original email. It was funnier. This sounds a little more earnest and god-dy. Why did you take out all the funny stuff? His original email was better.

Tom Joad said...

As regards Tim Lea's email being "shrill" --

This excerpt is from “FOMC Alert” --

[FOMC Alert is published by the Financial Markets Center, an independent,nonprofit institute that provides research and education resources to grassroots groups,unions, policymakers and journalists interested in the Federal Reserve System and financial market.]

“When the refined New York Fed hired a coarse union buster from the provinces to combat its guards’ organizing drive, the practical consequences of this difference quickly became evident. According to Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, the New York Bank paid Kentucky-based ADAMS, NASH & HASKELL and an outside counsel at least $48,500 to thwart the guards.
Now known as ADAMS, NASH, HASKELL & SHERIDAN after a 1999 merger, the anti-union consulting firm derives approximately three-quarters of its revenues from health care companies, on whose behalf it has battled nurses’unions. The firm’s web site
(www.anh.com) offers subscriptions to ANH&S’ online LaborBase, which is capable of identifying ‘the most union-free zip code in America,’ according to company founder William Adams.”


==========

This excerpt is from “Working Families Network:”

[The Working Families Network (WFN) is a network of unions that utilize the Internet to get timely news updates and information to those interested in issues concerning America's workers.]

[My side note: A recurring theme in the healthcare industry is management using Medicare money to pay for anti-union activities, which is illegal, of course.]

“200 Direct Care workers at Lifelinks filed for a union election with SEIU Local 509 on Monday, December 5, 2005.   
Lifelinks runs group homes and day programs for individuals with developmental disabilities.
The workers who are unionizing take care of the developmentally disabled individuals and help them with the activities of daily living.
Direct care workers make between $7.00 and $11.00 an hour.  Most work at least two jobs because they cannot live on the wage that Lifelinks pays. 
This year, a majority of Lifelinks workers have had all their benefits cut.  When Lifelinks increased the hours to qualify for benefits and simultaneously cut workers’ hours, workers lost their health insurance, sick time, vacation time, and holiday pay. 
LaGarde (Exec Director of Lifelinks) is paying a UNION-BUSTING LAW FIRM from Kentucky, (ADAMS, NASH, HASKELL & SHERIDAN, who charge at least $300 an hour) to run an offensive and illegal campaign to intimidate workers DIVIDE THEM BASED ON THEIR RACE AND NATIONALITY.”


==========

From a column by Jonathan Tasini, president of the Economic Future Group:"

“Corporate America has created a multi-billion dollar industry of anti-union lawyers and consultants who abuse Americans every day by twisting or breaking the law, which, in theory, gives people the right to democratically vote for a union. This union-busting industry, operating outside the public eye, has become the tool that has successfully made a shambles of a national policy that declared collective bargaining a social good ...

“... mostly these modern-day Pinkertons inflict pain not with brass knuckles, but with psychological warfare aimed at creating a war-like atmosphere and dragging out conflict in the workplace as long as possible. ... There are more than 7,000 attorneys and consultants across the nation, who make their living attacking workers and their unions, billing at rates of up to $1,500 per day.

“... a company may just want a video on how to scare workers with a threatened plant closing. Kentucky-based ADAMS, NASH, HASKELL AND SHERIDAN, for example, charges $12,500 for a set of slide presentations to show employees, who are forced to attend "captive audience" meetings.

“The basic goal is to create fear and doubt"every hour of the day, every week, every month until the workers give up.”

Ayem Petey Peetrole said...

If I may, I’d like to voice my agreement with some of the more sensible comments I’ve read here.

First of all, thank you, btl guy, for asking the obvious:

<< ... what if the strike really is ill-advised? What if the leadership really doesn't know what it's doing?
We concerned strike victims shouldn't point this out? >>

Then, there’s johan, who I thank for stating the beyond-obvious:

<< I don't think a grand conspiracy exists that aims to bust our union. ... we're not locked in a death struggle fighting for the right to continue to exist as a guild. >>

Of course there is no intent to “bust” our union. How do we know that this alleged firm, “Adams, Nash ... blah, blah” has really been hired? Or who they really are? Please.

<< Just kick back, cinch up your belt, and try to enjoy some time off with your family and friends. >>

Again, you are the refreshing voice of reason, johan. A large segment of our union is giving over to the militant camp.

However, as regards english dave’s comment:

<< ... when a writer does it just for checks rather than because it means something to them then they aren't writers ... >>

I have to agree. Writers should never be doing it for the money. Writers should not even be concerned with money, period. Writers are pure artists. Only the work, and how good it is, should concern writers.

But, at the end of the day, the greatest thinking came from brandon. brandon is my new hero:

<< If you're upset that the studio is getting a bigger cut of new media money than you are, get an executive job at the studio and write on the side. >>

Yes, yes! -- on the nose! How can writers possibly be stupid enough to demand to make exactly the same amount of money per project as the studio does? Fifty percent of the gross profits? How idiotic can writers be? That demand makes no sense!

<< ... fairly sure they (the writers) were just being overly greedy and holding my entertainment hostage for little reason other than to buy more cars, and secure their quarterly vacations abroad. >>

Absolutely right!

<< ... some Nazi-like WGA officer who would have been quicker to just toss me in a gas chamber than listen and understand that some viewers are just pissed that this strike is ruining the entirety of TV right now for a piece of an unfinished pie. >>

I hate to admit it, but, damn, brandon, that describes the current administration of this union. Heartless Nazis.

<< Stopping EVERYONE from writing is just aggravating and appears greedy to me. But, that aggravation is pointed more towards the WGA leadership than the writers at this point ... >>

Yes, yes, absolutely correct! I couldn’t have said it better! The union was taken over by militants! They do not represent the rest of us!