1/30/2008

What Have Unions Ever Done For Us?

From Australia:

13 comments:

pinheaded said...

Bloody F#*%ing brilliant!
Leave it to that country of ex-prisoners to have the balls that so many in this country lack.
WGA: thanks for having some balls.
Let's get back to work soon.
Love,

Below the line.

James said...

good stuff. it was also funny when it was in "Life of Brian"

Xolitz said...

Unions at one time had a very important place in this country's history. Women were second class citizens working in sweatshops sewing for pennies and children were working in mines. That is no longer the case. Now we are ruled by the freemarket and everyone has an equal say in what they feel their work should be worth depending on what can be fetched on the open market. How much more money would a "Desperate Housewives" writer get than a "Rock of Love" writer, the unions are stopping that from happening. Sure some will say this makes sure even the "Caveman" writer gets his fair shair, but should they? Have they truly contributed anything at all? Have they advanced knowledge or entertained anyone? Union leaderships just get fat on dues and do very little to actually support the membership. I would bet that they are getting kickbacks to make these interim deals and thats why they are so selective about who gets them and who doesn't. There are many non congloms that have been waiting and trying to get an interim agreement but yet they havent gotten them. Every time someone says that the Interim Agreements are a chip in the armor of the AMPTP is wrong. Its another conglomerate that gets advertising funds while the membership remains at strike. This is all just conjecture of course but its worthwhile food for thought.

Eitan said...

Love a good recycled Monty Python joke. Well played Mr. Australia.

Eitan said...

I love a good recycled Monty Python joke. Very funny Mr. Australia.

Richard Cosgrove said...

Xolitz said...

Union leaderships just get fat on dues and do very little to actually support the membership. I would bet that they are getting kickbacks to make these interim deals and thats why they are so selective about who gets them and who doesn't.


Hmm...

Time to play "Spot The Shill".

lauraholl said...

can we please not call my country full of ex-prisoners? not all states were settled by convicts. and frankly, i find it offensive and uneducated.

what i find funny is that the political campaign for the election late last year against the now new government was about australia not wanting ex union bosses in power of the country... wish they could make up their minds whether unions are good or not?

deuddersun said...

Well, let's see...how about pensions, health care, annuities, etc. But not everyone enjoys these hard earned benefits, so let's get a little more basic. How about weekends? Or two days off a week, (if you work weekends don't you get two other days off?) Then there's the 40 hour work week. (At one time the norm was a 12 hour/day-six day workweek!) Which brings us to overtime! By law, most of us must be paid at least time and a half for overtime. (I'm a btl shop craftsman (set carpenter) and I bet with my overtime I make more than many of the writers currently walking the picket line! So don't tell me OT isn't important!). Then there's holidays, vacations, sick days, personal days and, oh, perhaps the most important of all, especially for non-union workers - Area Standard Wages! Who do you think sets them? Why do you think you make what you do, Mr & Mrs Non-union worker? Because Unions have established fair minimums for work performed and these wages are used to determine how much a particular worker makes in any given area of the country. So even if you're a non-union tech writer you can bet you're making your 75-100K because of what creative writers are earning.

But let's take a look at this from another point of view...say xolitz's point of view, that unions have outlived their usefulness, and the "freemarket" is the way to go. Kinda sounds a little Republican to me, but let's call it good, old-fashioned capitalism. Each of us has individual talents that we are "free" to market to any buyer for as much as we can get. Just as companies function in the larger market place, so to speak. And what is the mantra of good business? Buy low, sell high! Ofcourse! Makes perfect sense to me. I love it! That is how a company makes a profit and stays in business.

Now two things that a company needs are materials and workers. This is where the buy low, sell high part comes in. Companies wish to purchase worker's services for as little as possible. They want to get the most from their employees for the least amount of compensation. I understand that. It's good business sense. Now in order to facilitate that, companies form "Trade Organizations", which help them control the playing field. They exchange information on vendors, contractors, suppliers, markets, and labor costs! Although they are all in competition with each other they have recognized the benefits they can realize by banding together for the purpose of controlling their market, which includes labor expenses. Great! Fair enough! (That is precisely what the AMPTP is, a "Trade Organization" and that is exactly what they are trying to do - control their labor costs. Every industry has a "Trade Organization", hence the proliferation of "Trade Shows", conventions, etc. So it's not just the AMPTP who does this, it's your industry's Trade Organization as well!) Trade Organizations allow their member companies to "control" certain aspects of their business in an almost monopolistic way! Ok. Again fair enough. But what about the worker? What about me?

I tend to view myself as a small independent businessman. Like the big companies, I too am in business to turn a profit. I have a service to sell. Following the mantra of "buy low, sell high", I want to get as much for my services as I possibly can. So while the company wants to get as much "work" from me for the least amount of compensation, my business goal is to get as much compensation as I can for the least amount of "work"! Good business sense, right? Capitalism at work for the little guy, yay! At some point I recognized that I could realize greater benefits from my services if I too, joined a "Trade Organization", so I joined together with other like-minded individuals in the IATSE in a perfectly legitimate and good business practice effort to control our market, namely labor.

So basically, unions are merely "Trade Organizations" representing the millions of small, independent businesspeople who must, in the course of their daily business, interact with "buyers" who happen to be represented by other, larger "Trade Organizations". Capitalist enough? I think so.

And as for workers of lower quality benefiting from their association with unions? Well, you have that everywhere, in every industry, union or non. Hell, what do you call the guy who finished last in his class at medical school?

Doctor.

d.

Luzid said...

@ deuddersun:

Absolutely fantastic post! This should be required reading.

@ Xolitz:

"I would bet that they are getting kickbacks to make these interim deals and thats why they are so selective about who gets them and who doesn't."

That is an extremely serious accusation. You'd better have something to back that up, or retract it. It's actionable.

deuddersun said...

Luzid, thank you. I try to explain as best I can why Unions are on the side of the average person, not against them, as we are so often portrayed by the Always Wrong Right.

As for xolitz's comments, you are absolutely correct and the WGA should take action. Smears of this type are typical of the "Swift-boat" mentality that is so often employed by those on the Right against any who dare challenge their world-view. It's time to take these cretins to task for their intentionally misleading bullshit.

d.
IATSE
Local #52
New York City

MIchael said...

i take offense to the term ex prisoner's, we take pride in aour multicultralism (not so much bout our imigratoin, ill give u that) but thanks for saying something that isnt f**king stupid about aus. pity america doesnt have a giant land mass it can dump the f**kload of prisoner's they have, you could make a new australia and tell the world what a bunch of retards we are. PS unions do alot for the worker, good thing rudd is back to get rid of those workplace agreements but i guess you have no idea who the f**k kevin rudd is.

also sweet reference to the life of brian sketch "what have the romans ever done for us"

Xolitz said...

"Richard Cosgrove said...

Hmm...

Time to play "Spot The Shill"."

Yes becuse my views differ from yours I must then be "Shilling" for someone else and cant possibly belive in a freemarket economy. The same freemarket economy writers claim are driving their fee's up and are therefor due more money. You cant have it both ways. I just think that someone who writes something brilliant like "Arrested Development" should be able to get more for it than someone who writes "Carpoolers"

"Luzid said...
That is an extremely serious accusation. You'd better have something to back that up, or retract it. It's actionable."

Its a shame Writers aren't also "Readers" or you would have seen the concluding statement that it was all conjecture. If I were to put my livelihood and family in the hands of people who appear to be making interim agreements in a cherry picked manner I would question it. That was my only point as I said it was just food for thought. I don't do a job until I know why im doing it and what my boss will do with the results of my efforts. With all the conspiracy theories people seem to see unmarked helicopters around every corner it seems naive not to look inward.

Luzid said...

@ xolditz:

No, it crossed the line into libel.

I can read just fine, despite your spin.