12/07/2007

Union Solidarity - We're All on the Same Page

35 comments:

Not-A-Troll said...

You cry for solidarity and support but then you dont return the favor. The last time the teamsters went on strike the WGA didn't step up and support them. Instead they drove on the lot, continued making their money while the teamsters paced the gates.

Also if you really were about unions backing you up you would have discussed this ahead of time with them, rather than dropping the bombshell. Stop with the self righteous crap and end this!

BobbleheadBen said...

not-a-troll. Well that is an ironic username. Your comment sounds like AMPTP bs. Check out the latest from the AMPTP. It is rediculous. Only an idiot would buy it. Did anyone see the South Park about the record for the worlds largest crap. Bono, the record, has just been surpassed by the AMPTP. Congrats are in order I believe.

Not-A-Troll said...

The name is a response to being pissed off from every time I posted as anon I was called a troll. So it's just a title to prove I'm not here reposting a million times. My opinion is my own.

And I love that South Park episode but you are wrong. The biggest load of crap is the WGA's refusal to talk to other unions or set meetings prior to July.

399 Locations Sam said...

not-a-troll You might want to take a look at the Teamster video from the Hollywood Rally & March on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1XYaR-C0dA
I believe the majority of Teamsters realize we are all in this together. This one certainly does!

Not-A-Troll said...

You just said the key word, one! I work and talk with teamsters everyday. As a whole the 20+ I speak with on a weekly basis are against it. And for the record 6 of them started supporting the writers and now have turned from watching how things have been handled by the WGA

Kate Purdy said...

Dear not-a-troll,

The WGA did talk with the Teamsters and other unions far before the strike was called. In fact WGA negotiators sat in on the most recent negotiations between Teamsters and the AMPTP. The Teamsters have returned the favor and they have sat in on our negotiations. Our unions have done much to build bridges.
We also reached out to SAG, DGA, IATSE and other unions.

Also, the last time the Teamsters went on strike was 20 years ago, and the reason writers crossed the picket line then was because the AMPTP has cleverly put into our contracts and the contracts of SAG that we are not allowed to honor other union picket lines. You better beleive we are fighting to change this, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the AMPTP will NEVER accept that. You know why? Because they want this kind of fighting between the unions.

How come they all get to negotiate as one entity, The AMTPP, but they don't want us supporting and working with each other? It's divide and conquer not-a-troll, divide and conquer.

Jeffrey said...

Dearest Darling Not-A-Troll:

When you say talk to you, do you mean like when the head of the Teamsters came and spoke with and to the WGA membership at that pre-strike meeting or do you mean talk to YOU personally, because if you can down to the lines we could talk to you (I'll be at Sony) and then you can explain to me how ww could have avoided the strike. See, we said, "Please" and the AMPTP waited two months and said "Go Fuck Yourself." So we said, "How about this?" and they waited another five weeks before saying, "Um, go fuck yourself." Rinse and repeat until strike date. So, unless you think we should have just accepted "Go fuck yourself" I'd love to hear the better plan.

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

not-a-troll,

Trust me. Everything that you are saying...it's falling on deaf ears. Timing, consideration for other workers, minimizing collateral damage...forget about it. It's over.

We have to deal with things as they are now. You may feel that the writers were heinously inconsiderate in this matter. But the conglomerates really are far worse. The best way that we can get back to work is to support the writers and make the AMPTP offer them a fair deal. You don't have to like the writers. Let's just get on with it and go back to work.

Bonnie said...

Let's hope we can learn from past mistakes. As a result of the support the Teamsters, SEIU and others have shown, I will most certainly return the solidarity! This isn't 1988. Not a troll needs to move on. Why bitch about what was? This is what is! If enough of say we were sorry will that be enough for "not"? Even if we're total hypocrites the fact remains IATSE and others benefit from our getting a fair contract.

Not-A-Troll said...

*Tried to just post this on the blog above this one but it was pulled, wonder why????*

The WGA doesn't want anyone to know how bad crew members are hurting. They would rather sit here and tell us that we are supporting them when the opposite is true.

Let me just share this one story:

I was walking by the Sony lot yesterday and at 2:30 all the writers in front of the Madison gate (the one the studio execs drive in) call it a day. AT 2:30!!!!!!!! COME ON?

How can you even consider that an effort? What it was to cold for you? You felt the drizzle coming on? No rather it was a line I heard as I walked by "So we'll meet at Backstage and bond some more"

For those of you unaware Backstage is the local dive bar by Sony. So instead of putting in a full day of fighting their cause they would rather go drink a Bud Light and stay warm.

I have said it before and will say it again, PATHETIC!

Catherine B said...

Not-a-troll, assuming you really are you who say you are, why would you want to give up future residuals? Why are you so eager for writers to cave and make your future so dim? Are you an old guy whose already racked up all the health and pension you need? You must be, because otherwise your lack of self-interest doesn't track...

Kate Purdy said...

Dear Not A Troll,

If it's true that a few striking writers left a little early from their striking shift, that's fine - it's their choice. But, if you want to make a difference - why don't you approach them, tell them your name, your union, and what you'd like to see from them and why? Why not open a face to face dialogue?

It's easy to see what you want to see. It's easy to assume what you want to assume.

I appreciate that you are posting comments here. And, I like discussing with you - I think it's healthy to have this dialogue.

Thanks for being part of it.

Jeffrey said...

Dear Not-A-Troll:

This is fun, no? Still haven't answered the question: Given the fact that the AMPTP would not negotiate for the months before the contract was up, refused to make a single offer... how... other than a strike would you have liked us to get a fair deal?

As for SONY, we're out there at 6AM and there until 3PM. Are you saying that if we were there until 4:15 then you'd come join us? Or until 4:23? Or, really, it doesn't matter because the character you're being paid to play is the "disgruntled BTL guy!"

*Not that I doubt there aren't disgruntled BTL guys, just the ones I've talked to on the line, friends, co-workers all GET COMPLETELY THE STRIKE they just don't like the hardship of not working. As I don't like the hardship of not working. (You should incorporate this into your character going forward.)

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

"I appreciate that you are posting comments here. And, I like discussing with you - I think it's healthy to have this dialogue."

Kate Purdy has the right attitude! I agree Kate. It's very difficult to set your anger aside when you are afraid and you see your family suffering. Those writers who understand that and reach out instead of getting defensive, offer the greatest hope of building solidarity.

Frustrated grip said...

We are all in this together>Crew members aren't making residuals from re-runs.Put your residual checks in an escrow account to help below the line workers survive,and then we'll talk.All we benefit at the end of the strike is a chance to earn a living.Both sides are trying to be the toughest kid on the block,but in truth it's a squabble between two spoilt rich kids.If you want real injustice study the HBO contract imposed on IATSE.Get back to the table and start acting like the intellegent professionals you claim to be

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

"Put your residual checks in an escrow account to help below the line workers survive"

I've suggested this myself. A "put your money where your mouth is" kind of thing. It might be a nice gesture...not asking other people to do without completely while you get residual checks.

BTL Guy said...

Here's the big problem with the whole "we're fighting for all of Hollywood" guys:

You didn't ask us if we wanted you to fight for us. And we didn't ask you to fight for us.

If you get some great new deal, you know what we get? The right to negotiate for similar terms. It's not some automatic clause that we just get whatever you get.

I'm not denying that our pension plan will likely benefit from whatever deal you ultimately achieve.

But it just drives so many of us so crazy when you claim to be striking for us!

You got a 90% strike authorization from your union. Congrats on that. If you had opened it up to all of working Hollywood, you would have fallen well below 50%.

I'm not saying you were supposed to ask us. It's your union, you only poll your own members.

But, PLEASE, for the love of all that is Hollywood, stop saying you are fighting for us!!!!

If you really think you are fighting for us, then poll all of us. And when we resoundingly vote to stop striking, abide by that. No? Okay...

You are fighting for you. Why isn't that good enough???

------

This is the second time today that I've had to write a similar comment. And this has me worried.

The rhetoric of the WGA has suddenly become one designed to, in theory, get all of the other unions on board (though I think it's having the opposite effect).

I fear that this is a sign of resignation on the part of the WGA negotiators. That they realize they're going to be on strike until Spring, when the AMPTP finally gets deals done with SAG and DGA.

The very thing your brilliant early strike was designed to prevent...

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

BTL guy, I was going to quote you and then agree with you on some of your points. But I agree with every word that you said. So I'll just tell you that.

What did you mean by this? "This is the second time today that I've had to write a similar comment. And this has me worried." Have your posts been removed?

Frustrated grip said...

Just read the AMPTP statement.When working at Hollywood Center Studios when the strike began,several of my crew listened to a WGA rep explain the reasons.Never once was Reality TV or Animation mentioned.If you want these workers onboard picket individual shows if those workers want to join.Making it part of this agreement infringes on their personal liberties.Stick with your original gameplan.I blame the WGA directly for this latest breakdown.I believe in the Unions,but the WGA has to pick it's battles.

ProgGrrl said...

OK I am still confused.

(Again, I'm a fan, not a worker in any of these unions. So forgive my ignorance.)

This video makes it quite clear that whatever deal the WGA gets, is going to go all down the line an effect EVERY OTHER Hollywood union.

So why are folks in the other unions not united on the strike? Aren't all of you concerned about new media residuals, the treatment of crew on animation/reality shows, the ability to support the strikes of other unions, correcting the insanely low deal the WGA mistakenly took for DVDs in '88, and all that?

I'm sorry I just don't get it.

Frustrated grip said...

Progirl....The WGA would like the general public to think they are fighting for all unions,but they are not.Now they need our support they are our best buddies.Before the strike the majority of guild members consider themselves more akin to Producers than to the working man.Their rhetoric is as pathetic as the Producers.Whatever they win in this strike,the ordinary worker only benefits from being allowed to earn a living

ProgGrrl said...

@grip...

I just cannot get your point.

If writers don't write, you grips would be doing...what exactly? TV news at an affiliate? Documentaries? Touring theater?

Whereas plenty of grips work on plenty of non-union shows that are outside the AMPTP's grasp with those writers...

I don't see how the WGA and the AMPTP are the same in your mind. To me, the calculus is this:

No writers = not really much work for "the working man" in showbiz.

No AMPTP = ??? Lower cable bills??

dp said...

For all you writers that think the IA is going to benefit from your strike because residuals get paid into PH&W simply don't understand how OUR program works. This money gets placed into a general fund. If I shoot a movie that makes 400 million, that doesn't mean my healthcare is covered for life. PH&W is attained by working a set number of hours a year. Not by how much our projects gross. A work stoppage only stops us from getting our hours to maintain our health coverage. Any change in benefits still has to be negotiated with the producers.

I am a DP and my creative endeavors have as much impact as your writing. It is called MOTION PICTURE, or did you forget the picture part. Yes your job comes first(only in a sequence of events) but unless you want your work to be distributed on hand out pencil drawn flip-books at the local 7-11 you should have some respect for the other(yes there are other)creative people on projects. Go write books, where you can be the only creative involved. That seems to serve most writers egos since your frustration stems from the fact most of you lack the ability to exist in or even recognize that this is a collaborative art from.

As a DP we receive NO residuals. Editors-no residuals, Production design-no residuals, Sound-no residuals. We have as much creative responsibility as you. If you think writing is the only creative job on the set then shoot your next movie without us please.

WGA should also take into account the 100 plus crew members on each show who are out of work. I know its hard to think about them because most of you have not made the effort to even learn their names when we are in production. You should, they are nice people. The WGA comes across as if saying,"then let them eat cake..".

Please don't insult or patronize us especially when you don't have an understanding of our rules and the history of IA strikes(zero). I am of course not counting efforts to organize a non union show.

The WGA members need to find a solution to this strike before they lose the support of everyone else in this industry. While you strike and check your mailboxes for residual checks that still come in, everyone else is going without. The strike only benefits you-the wga.

Frustrated grip said...

dp....Thank you for that post,Perhaps some of the non-industry posters will finaly get it.Hope you will be at the Rally tomorrow am

PootieTwo said...

dp, you are my hero!!!!! Thanks for the post.

PootieTwo said...

"This video makes it quite clear that whatever deal the WGA gets, is going to go all down the line an effect EVERY OTHER Hollywood union."

Proggrrl - When evaluating information you must consider the source. This video came from the WGA. This issue is much more involved than most people from outside of the industry realize. Please take a while to listen to all of the parties involve with an equally open mind. It's not as simple as either being for the writers or for the AMPTP. Alot of people believe that the AMPTP is being unfair to the writers but they are still upset with some of the actions and attitudes that they've seen from the WGA.

The people voicing concern here are real working people, with hungry families who have lost their jobs over the inability of these two parties to come to an agreement. We stand here helplessly at the mercy of this situation.

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

A little devil's advocacy. If everyone is truly in this together, then why aren't labor unions more fairly represented in scripts? I'm trying to think of some examples and none really come to mind. What am I missing? Are there current and/or recent examples of strong labor union members on television and in the movies? The King of Queens, who works for IPS? (I don't watch the show so I don't know) but in the reality of television, does he work for UPS, or Fedex?

ProgGrrl said...

Well thanks everyone, this has all been very illuminating. And thank you for not letting this degenerate into a flame war. I'd feel bad for starting that. I have never been in any sort of guild or union, so again, forgive my ignorance.

@frustrated grip:

I certainly understand your issue: "Before the strike the majority of guild members consider themselves more akin to Producers than to the working man.Their rhetoric is as pathetic as the Producers.Whatever they win in this strike,the ordinary worker only benefits from being allowed to earn a living."

That makes sense for all non-guild/union workers involved in the entertainment biz. I am one of those workers btw (film marketing/advertising). I try to stick with employers who offer benefits, always keeping in mind that those benefits will evaporate when I leave the job.

I've always felt that our work in entertainment is inherently risky in this regard. Because we all want to work in this biz, rather than banking, manufacturing, healthcare, etc, we take the risk. In particular, freelancer workers (ie most production crew) take a massive risk.

@ dp:

Thanks for really making it bottom-line-clear about the residuals/benefits thing. I see your point - for someone working as IATSE crew, this strike is affecting your ability to get enough hours to stay in the union, and reap those benefits.

And please be clear - though I think the writers are important, I never meant to imply that the rest of the crew WASN'T!!! I was just suggesting that writers are NECESSARY (like you DPs etc). Whereas the companies that make up the AMPTP...well, they're not exactly "necessary," now are they.

I will ask you one thing - I certainly understand the pain that the work shutdown is causing across the business. It hasn't hit us in marketing yet...but it will if this goes on too long.

But: when the strike is over, and everyone goes back to work - if this new media residuals thing is not properly resolved in favor of the creative community, that doesn't bode well for working IATSE members. Right? If the writers are getting 80-100% less in residuals, your benefits fund is also getting less.

That is why I assumed all the guilds would be on the WGA's side in this.


@ pootietwo:

Believe me, I'm not naive and do consider sources when watching "educational" videos (and all content period). I totally understand per above, that the work stoppage is causing a lot of people serious pain. I live paycheck to paycheck myself. If the marketing biz suddenly cut its losses due to this strike, I would be part of the 2nd wave of firings (junior exec level).

Maybe it's time for the BTL community to blog as well. I think entertainment fans would listen. Is that happening anywhere? (Can't help myself, I'm in marketing *g*)

If there was a way to send funds to support suffering creatives, instead of boxes of pencils, I'd do it. Do you folks get any support from the Motion Picture P&HP mentioned in this video above, and/or The Actors Fund?

Maybe BTLs would consider holding some benefit events that fans around the country/world could participate in. I imagine a lot of celebrities would help out.


Thanks again everyone.

Peace.

dp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dp said...

Proggirl:

Please read more and write less. These are below the line working union members who are blogging here. We all have many many years in the business. Most of us are A listers. We have families, kids, mortgages, etc. As a DP I have 100 plus crew people that I regard as family. I feel the responsibility for me getting jobs so that they can work. I appreciate your interest but slowing things down by making comments without having the knowledge base or history of these conflicts is not expediting the process. Watch and learn. We were all new to the business at one time too.

Here is the link for the below the line rally happening right now: http://strikeadeal.blogspot.com/2007/12/we-march-rain-or-shine-however.html

We do not receive any strike benefits. The IATSE did not strike, we are affected by the WGA strike. The IATSE members are left out in the cold here.
The writers are still receiving residual checks which is most of their income. The Studios are still running episodes but now have no labor costs-a profitable 4th quarter. THE IATSE CREWS ARE GETTING NOTHING-NO CHECKS-NO RESIDUALS.

Logan Gawain said...

hey DP, the reason IA gets so many raw deals is because your union leadership is in bed with AMPTP. So, maybe if you would clean up your own corrupt house first, you'd quit crying in your soup.

My father was in IATSE for 30+ years (projectionist) so I know what I'm talking about.

And since you are so "creative" go make a movie/tv show without writers.

Good luck with that.

dp said...

My deals are made by my agent my friend. If you are a working writer then yours are also. I am shooting a 10 day commercial this month making over 40k, there are no writers there. Then I have been asked to do some features where the script is all ready locked.

I am writing to help the crews get back to work. I am not crying in my soup. I have a great life. I have worked 10 months a year for the past 18 years. I have seen writers come and go.

You have to be an idiot to deny the facts that your negotiations are setting a new precedent for failure. You have to be an idiot to stand behind leadership that is failing and has no experience. This sounds just like a bunch of bush cronies saying they are winning the war.

You are typical of the WGA response, which is to attack other people on issues that are not relevant in this strike. The IA contract is not the issue here. It is the WGA contract. The WGA walked out not the IA. This is exactly why nothing is getting done. I am not your girlfriend/wife and this is not a divorce, don't attack people. Attack the issues. Stay on point.

Logan Gawain said...

DP, I'm glad to see your honest enough not to deny that the IA is corrupt and in bed with the AMPTP.

I assume you have a misspelling when you wrote, "The WGA walked out..." It's spelled AMPTP. Because as every independent media outlet has reported the AMPTP walked out, not the WGA.

I'd hate to think you were a professional liar, so I'll just assume you had a typo there.

I would also remind you that the AMPTP hired the professional spin masters, not the WGA.

dp said...

You have it wrong again, and you continue to attack me instead of the issues.

I decided not to stoop to your level and address your conspiracy theory that the IA is corrupt-IT HAS NO BEARING ON THE WGA STRIKE-can you get that through your head?

I said the WGA walked out. That is not a typo. You "walked out" meaning decided to strike. You remember the thing that started all of this. You should have been in talks way before the strike. You shouldn't have been antagonistic right from the beginning.

As far as the amptp hiring a pr firm, so what? The wga has set their agenda by continuing to attack everything but the issues. You are wasting time.

Are you a working writer making your living solely from WGA jobs?

arthur said...

STRIKE A DEAL RALLY IN HOLLYWOOD

ONE GUY, ONE HOME VID CAM, LOT'S OF MARCHING CREW MEMBERS