Call to Action: Show There's No Money in Union Busting

This is the first of what we hope will be a number of "calls to action."

As of last week, the AMPTP retained the powerhouse "crisis management" firm of Fabiani and Lehane (known in political circles as "the Masters of Disaster." )They also have "a reputation for hardball tactics in damage control and inflicting damage on opponents."

This firm has built a reputation and a substantial income largely from Democratic, progressive political causes. A short list of their past employers includes Al Gore, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore/Miramax (for Fahrenheit 9/11 and Sicko), and my personal favorite, the Screen Actors Guild. Founding partner Chris Lehane is currently a consultant for the Californians for Fair Election Reform, a major Democratic group, among other things.

My DC lobbyist friends tell me that for emergency “crisis management,” firms like Fabiani & Lehane charge as much as $100,000 dollars a month. But the AMPTP is also paying Steve Schmidt, a veteran Republican-leaning PR guru. He could easily cost another $100,000 a month.

My concern is this: no one hires crisis management firms at such huge expense if they’re planning on making a fair deal. A fair deal doesn't require hundreds of thousands of dollars of spin to sell. A fair deal is its own good PR.

The WGA hasn’t hired a huge PR firm. We don’t want to “spin” anyone. United Hollywood is an all-volunteer blog, and our PR strategy is simple: we tell the truth.

The truth is, we’re fighting for the future for all working people in Hollywood.

The truth is, new media coverage and internet residuals are vital to the income of writers, directors and actors.

The truth is, the below-the-line unions rely on residuals to fund over half of their pension and health plans, and their rate is tied directly to ours. If we lose, their P&H will likely be decimated.

The truth is, if we don’t get coverage for new media productions, the below the line unions won’t get it either. If we lose, they lose.

This strike is a disaster for the working men and women of California, and many other regions that rely on the entertainment industry for jobs. We didn’t want this strike. And the AMPTP could stop it tomorrow because our proposals are affordable and reasonable.

But instead of making a fair deal with us, they hire Fabiani & Lehane. The proposal gets a snazzy new name, the CEO's take out new ads and tell everyone how great their proposal is. Except that then, they don't give it to us. Remember the second half of the proposal they said we'd have on Tuesday? We still haven’t gotten it. Hard to negotiate without the offer. And it's becoming clear they don't intend to give it to us -- one theory being that they're stalling, looking for an opportunity to walk out of the talks and blame the WGA leadership for it.

It's time for the CEO's to stop playing PR games and get a deal done.

When Fabiani & Lehane worked for SAG in 2002, Lehane said at the time:

“... we believe strongly in the need to preserve the strength of the union and this agreement does that. We both come from liberal, progressive backgrounds, and this union represents working people."

For the record, so does the WGA, which is why SAG is our ally. And yet, right now Chris Lehane is helping the conglomerates try to divide this union internally and orchestrate ways to get us to question our leadership.

In other words, Chris Lehane is union busting.

And since Lehane and his firm have made their fortune – and continue to make it – off of Democratic Party connections and progressive causes, I think the hypocrisy here is pretty appalling.

Below is the contact info for the three frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination. Hillary Clinton, who says she supports the writers in this strike, has worked extensively with Fabiani & Lehane. Barack Obama and John Edwards also support the strike, and they work with many of the organizations that Fabiani & Lehane rely on for their business.

Call these 3 candidates, and politely ask them to promise to hold Fabiani & Lehane accountable for what they are doing.

Tell Clinton, Edwards and Obama this:

"As long as Fabiani & Lehane are in the business of union-busting, we want your personal assurance that they will not be in the business of working with Democratic organizations, businesses, politicians or candidates.

A strike is not a business opportunity to make a profit by harming the interests of working men and women."

Hillary Clinton (213) 908-0190 socalhrc@hillaryclinton.com

John Edwards (919) 636-3131 info@johnedwards.com

Barack Obama (866) 675-2008

The AMPTP likes to say that this is all about business. Well, the business of hypocrisy shouldn’t pay.

CEO's: end the strike. Make a fair deal.


TJ said...

Lehane's e-mail must have broken; my e-mails get bounced back.

Also, because Obama's campaign doesn't have an e-mail address (wow) maybe some people would find snail mail helpful:

Obama for America
P.O. Box 8102
Chicago, IL 60680

Jen Estes said...

My emails bounced back also and a google search showed they've taken down their website, cowards! Maybe they should hire a good PR firm after this...

I know residents of IL at least can email Barack through the form on his senator's site, under the issue of Labor, as this affects all unions. Solidarity!

Demosthenes said...

Doesn't have an email address? That's bizarre. Must be worried about email bombing.

In any case, my compliments to the writers on drilling down to the most effective target for protest: the Dems that retain this company's services.

Anonymous said...

"The truth is, we’re fighting for the future for all working people in Hollywood.

The truth is, the below-the-line unions rely on residuals to fund over half of their pension and health plans, and their rate is tied directly to ours. If we lose, their P&H will likely be decimated.

The truth is, if we don’t get coverage for new media productions, the below the line unions won’t get it either. If we lose, they lose."

What a load of crap...

The WGA is NOT doing this for all of the working people in Hollywood, you are doing this for all the WGA members in Hollywood.

It's funny, that after the fact, you decide it would have been smart to actually have the support of the IA...so now, you are selling your own "spin" and hoping that we all buy into any of that crap.

And the whole "if we lose, they lose" thing....do you think that we are a bunch of children who can't think for ourselves?
We (the BTL's) have already lost because of your strike.
You (WGA) will make out like bandits.

You SPIN me right round baby, right round, like a record baby, right round round round.

Im getting dizzy from all the "Spin"

BTL Guy said...

In regard to "the truth..."

This call to action lists 5 "truths," and 4 of those 5 invoke the Below The Line Crew. And they are hardly true.

Why do you insist on doing this? It only riles those of us who are unemployed because of your strike.

Let's address each of the four "truths" and explain why each one only angers those of us who you are trying to include:

1) "we’re fighting for the future for all working people in Hollywood."

Ummm, no, you're fighting for the future contract of Writers. You didn't open the strike vote to all of working Hollywood, you opened it up to your own guild.

I'm not saying you should have asked us, I'm merely saying you didn't. This is your fight. We may get some benefit at the end of it, but we are not the "why" in this fight.

2) "the below-the-line unions rely on residuals to fund over half of their pension and health plans, and their rate is tied directly to ours. If we lose, their P&H will likely be decimated."

Our rate is linked to yours, not directly tied to it. If you get some great deal at the end of this, we will likely benefit.

If we negotiate a better contract on our own, we'd be fine, too. We actually do have our own negotiators, you know. We're pretty good at starting the negotiating early and avoiding work stoppages.

If you'd like us to negotiate for you, let the IA know, I'm sure we'd be happy to do so.

You wouldn't want us presumptively negotiating on your behalf, though, so please don't pretend to do so on our behalf.

3) "if we don’t get coverage for new media productions, the below the line unions won’t get it either. If we lose, they lose."

I don't believe they're shooting The Office webisodes with non-union crews.

And if the issue comes up in our own negotiations, we'll be sure to address it.

4) "This strike is a disaster for the working men and women of California, and many other regions that rely on the entertainment industry for jobs. We didn’t want this strike. And the AMPTP could stop it tomorrow because our proposals are affordable and reasonable."

Sentence 1 - absolutely true. This strike is a disaster for working Hollywood and other areas. Could not agree with you more. This is the point so many of us have been making for a month now.

Sentence 2 - I know that most Writers don't want to be out of work, but you chose to strike rather than continue to negotiate. I know you wanted to Strike AND negotiate, but that didn't quite work so well those first few weeks, did it?

Sentence 3 - Certainly has some truth to it, but it presupposes that the WGA couldn't end the Strike, which is not true.

You could go back to work on Monday while allowing negotiations to continue. Talk about good faith -- that's it in a nutshell.

And you know what it sounds like when you say the other side could end it? It sounds like every hostage taker in every hostage movie ever made:

"Just give me what I want and no one gets hurt. We can all walk out of here." It may be true, but it's not necessarily right.

"Affordable and reasonable" is in the eye of the beholder. I'm not taking the studios' side on this, but just because you think it's fair, doesn't mean that they do.

They could just as easily say the same thing -- "the WGA could accept the fair and reasonable offer that's on the table and end this strike tomorrow. But they are being unreasonable."

Oh wait -- they are saying this and they've brought in some big guns to say it on their behalf.


Look, the rest of the post -- the call to arms -- is great. Take some action. Fight back.

But please stop pretending you're doing it for us.

You're doing it for you. That should be good enough.

BTL Guy said...

Local 44 - ya beat me to it...

Anonymous said...

I only beat you to it, because you wrote a much longer and more detailed response.
Which was a hell of alot more politically correct than my initial response was.

My initial reaction was....
The WGA should just shut the fuck up and leave the IA out of it.
Our contract is not up, our residuals will NOT be affected by this strike.
Our Health and Pension will NOT be affected by this strike.

If the WGA keeps trying to say that they are doing this for the below-the-line people...then each and every one of us should get a nice Christmas bonus when they finally decide to sign their landmark deal.

Yea team!!!...my ass.

Unknown said...

btl guy and Local44,

Look, we're not saying (or at least we don't mean to imply) that we're doing what we're doing just for you. The WGA is on strike because it's clear that that is the ONLY way to get the conglomerates to seriously negotiate with us. If we put down our picket signs and went back to work on Monday then there would be no actual bargaining until next September. The only reason we went out when we did is because the corporations were prepared (very well prepared) for us to wait until July and walk with SAG.
But just because we're striking to get ourselves a good deal does not change the fact that EVERY GUILD will benefit. When the WGA fought for and won residuals in 1960, every other guild was able to point to that victory and demand residuals for their own members. Our wins = your wins, whether you like to admit it or not. And our losses will = losses for you in P&H. Guaranteed.
So to sum up - you're right, I'm not on strike for you. I'm on strike so that my union gets a good deal. But I'm really glad that your union will get one too. We're all tied together in this fight.

Anonymous said...

Believe me, I fully understand why the WGA is doing what they are doing (even if I don't agree with it).
Everybody has the right to stand for what they believe in.

But he only reason that "We're all tied together in this fight"...is because the WGA tied our hands and feet together and dragged us down with you.

Unknown said...

Dragged you down with us? You do realize that there is another party in this strike, right? The conglomerates who would pay out less to all the guilds combined over three years than they would pay for ONE studio head's severance package?
55% of your P&H is funded by residuals, the formula for which was derived from the WGA residual system. If we lose the battle on internet residuals, that 55% will effectively be gone in less than 5 years.
It SUCKS that we have to be on strike, especially during the holidays. But it's the only way we're going to get a fair deal. The other side doesn't play nice, if you haven't noticed that by now.
That's all I'm going to say on this, I don't want to spend all day in the comments section of a blog. Whether you approve of our actions or not, I'm glad that you'll benefit from the contract that we win.

Unknown said...

I'm glad that the WGA recognizes why the AMPTP retained the services of these big PR guys. They are totally planning and preparing to spin what will be something terrible on the part of the AMPTP. I think it's safe to say that this isn't wild speculation. The post is correct - there isn't a need to hire these guys if the AMPTP truly intends to reach an agreement.
Maybe they're trying to figure out how to spin the AMPTP reneging on the second half of the deal.

This is going to get ugly....

Unknown said...

Am here with my friend getting ready for the Freemantle rally, and we came up with an idea and Joe, and everyone else who run this site, and strike captains, please consider this seriously:

EVERY writer striking should convene in Burbank every day. While it may be a tough commute for a number of us, we should scratch Sony, Fox, and Paramount. ALL the striking writers should convene together at Burbank and march the streets that that have in a one-mile radius WB, The CW, Disney/ABC, NBC, Freemantle. Fans who want to strike with us can join us in Burbank, instead of spreading out to various studios. Friends can join us in Burbank. We'd have strength in numbers. We need to get louder, and really disturb these studios and let them know how serious we are.


Dan M said...

I think it's a mistake to go after the PR firms, rather than the conglomerates they represent. Our focus should be on the AMPTP, NOT whatever soulless flacks they choose to retain. If it's not these guys, it'll be someone else, and our fight will still be with the AMPTP. Don't get distracted.

Tim Reed said...

Sorry, I didn't see a contact us link. Have you seen this yet, you all got a job offer!
Gizmodo Job Offer

Anonymous said...

Im assuming that you are a WGA member, so why wouldn't you want to stay on the blogs?...you don't have anything else to do.
Just like the rest of us....lol

Plus, there is nothing wrong with a healthy debate.
It doesn't have to be ugly, it doesn't have to be nasty.
Just showing two different sides of the argument.

The IA will not benefit from the contract you win.
In the best case scenario, our 55% of the residuals for health and pension will remain the same.
It's not like our percentage is going to climb or we are going to get more money from the settlement that the WGA signs off on.

The only people who are actually going to make more money from this deal, are the writers.

The IA has its own contract and our own negotiators.
The IA members will vote on our issues when our contract is up...and it will have nothing to do with the WGA.

"we are all in this together"?....bullshit.

Every single IA member out there would happily skip across your so called "picket lines", if our television jobs were still available to us.

Unknown said...

Our "so called picket lines"?

Um, they are picket lines. They may not be barriers, but they are definitely picket lines.

Dorkman said...

"Every single IA member out there would happily skip across your so called "picket lines", if our television jobs were still available to us."

Sorry, but I'm going to have to be the one to call bullshit on this. Some members of the union respect other unions and their picket lines. Perhaps you don't, but you're not every single IA member.

You don't want the WGA speaking for you. Don't speak for other IA members, either, especially not "every single" one of them.

aembry said...

You can send a message to Barack Obama by clicking on this link http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/contact2

Unknown said...

"there is nothing wrong with a healthy debate.
It doesn't have to be ugly, it doesn't have to be nasty.
Just showing two different sides of the argument."

" 'we are all in this together'?....bullshit.

Every single IA member out there would happily skip across your so called "picket lines", if our television jobs were still available to us."

Thanks for raising the bar of civil debate.

So I lied, I'm back for one more post before heading out to the Fremantle rally. Excuse me, the "so called" Framantle rally.
Here's the deal, plain and simple. You're right about one thing, you're not going to get more money because of our deal. But you're going to get less if we lose this negotiation. If we get a shitty .03% residual rate on electronic sell through, so will you. It's a simple fact of Hollywood. If you think Tom "Thank You Sir May I Have Another" Short is going to get you a better deal than we get, you're out of your mind. And sometime in the next 5 years, the internet and television will merge. Three guesses whether the AMPTP will pay us the 2.5% television residual rate or the .03% internet rate. When they decide to force the .03% rate down our throats, that will pretty much be the end of residuals, a more than 80% pay cut - which will effectively eliminate more than half of your P&H.

Unknown said...

Local44United has hit it on the head. And I can't believe that WGA rank & file would allow them to be represented by substandard negotiators. You need REAL pro labor negotiators to get in there and get it done for you. That is how most unions do it. Don't allow them to paint the target on your (and my) foot and then let them shoot it for you too.

Of course I support your right to strike and negotiate, but it is getting hard to back your so-called bargaining "team".

Unknown said...

Hmmm. the last post was my first and for some reason did not diplay my full title which is "transpobill399". Just to clarify myself.

jnfr said...

I am an Edwards supporter and have emailed the campaign about this. I know John has supported the WGA and even join in walking the picket lines. I hope he'll stand up on this one.

Caitlin said...

local44united andbtlguy, I was nodding in agreement with both your first posts, and I'm not connected with this in any way other than my love for shows like Ugly Betty. (What? I can pimp!) That said, don't speak for your whole unions, and please don't insult the picketing action, which has been the most inspiring and heartfelt action in all of this. It's not as simple as having them just go back to work now. Even I wouldn't ask for that.

That said, joe, I've said it before, but I'm tired of falling back on the "AMPTP is at fault" excuse. It's true, it is, and it sucks, we get it. But if they're just going to keep doing what you're so pissed at them for doing, there are things you can and should do yourselves. You can talk about what won't happen until the sun goes down, but it won't make matters change. If they simply won't come forward themselves, force their hand. Yes, you shouldn't have to. But you do have to, and it's time to realize that. If your contract is that important, fight for it. Actually fight for it. And if you prove that you're actually going to do more than sit down and complain? Then we should stand behind you, and we will.

Unknown said...

As far as "fighting for" our contract... I really don't mean for this to come of as sarcastic or anything, but, we are fighting. Every day. That's what picket lines are - they are the moral and visual expression of a union's power. Picketing, blogging, rallies, calls to action - these are all things we're doing to get a better contract.
There's only so much we can do to bring them to the table for serious negotiating. I'm going to assume that by urging us to fight you're not advocating using physical force against the AMPTP.

And to answer Bill - we HAVE real labor negotiators working for us. David Young has been a successful union negotiator for over 25 years. Additionally, the WGA has dozens of staffers with years of union organizing and negotiating experience. We're very well represented at the table - it's common practice for the AMPTP to attempt to cast aspersions on union negotiators in order to foster doubt among the membership. It's not gonna work. I've met David Young, I've met Patric Verrone, I've met John Bownman. These are smart, level-headed guys.

Slgalt said...

Why this strike is important to all Hollywood Unions:

Your health and pensions are linked to resids, and it's in your contract that whatever deal the WGA SAG or DGA get on resids you do too.

If the conglomerates can move all the shows to the net and NOT pay resids, then your health and pension plans are going to LOSE money.

Pierre Sinclair said...

The Muses Guild of America ON STRIKE!


The Muses of America, the celestial beings who inspire all creative thought,
have gone on strike against the Writer's Guild of America. When will the
protest madness end?!

A-T-G said...

So, hey, onto what this post was actually about...the "Call to Arms"...yeah...

I did it! I've emailed and called and said my bit. So, just wanted you (WGA) guys to know that a 'regular ol' Joe' like me is supporting you!

I believe in strong, healthy Unions. I believe that strong Unions are a check and balance to Corporations to insure that their bottom line is not made up by exploiting employees.

So go get 'em WGA!

Caitlin said...

Okay, okay, after seeing the newest letter from Patrick Verrone and Michael Winship, I've deleted my last comment. I mean what I said- that what's being done is effective, but if more drastic action, not fistfighting, but something more, is required, go for it. The words now are inspirational, but as I said, if they fall on deaf ears, complaining isn't worth it. However, the newest post gives me hope. Maybe we don't need to worry about all that just yet. Of course, that's a big maybe. But this is the proof of effort I was looking for. Keep it up, WGA. Again, if it falls through, step up and do the things you stay you could. But if the determination keeps up and you can show that it is, I won't worry about what you aren't doing just yet.

Unknown said...

Having read Verrone & Winship's post as well, I think it's more important now for the guild to hire expert PR consultants, like the AMPTP has retained.

With the media giving the strike such limited exposure, public interest in the strike is waning every day. We seriously need to up the PR efforts and really show the world how badly Goliath is abusing David. I think this is vital because the AMPTP would not have retained these PR bigshots if they envision the strike to end soon.

Here in Topeka said...

The reason the WGA won't use actual labor negotiators is because then the writers wouldn't get to self-indugently play into their visions of being Chavez (Cesar not that numbwit dictator- to-be Hugo).

They're so in love with idea of fighting this fight that I'm really starting to wonder if they (the negotiators and not the WGA rank and file) ever want this to end.

After all, pretty much all the so-far-identified members of the negotiating committee are well off writers who can afford a long strike. If the "union" really wanted results they'd the entire committee would be composed of the under-paid members they CLAIM this strike is for in the first place.

Of course both situations would mean having to drag their massive egos and inflated self-images out of the limelight.

That will never happen because we're talking about Hollywood.

And we all know what the great Chuck D once said should happen to that town!

Anonymous said...

Let me clarify some things for you...
First of all, as I've said before, I support your right to strike and fight for what you believe in....and it's the American way for it to be OK for me NOT to support the strike.

Secondly, I would not and could not speak for every IA member out there...it was a purposeful exaggeration to show you that there are plenty of IA members who do not support the writers or the strike.

And lastly...in regards to my comment about "so-called pickets lines"...
Somebody has to give the WGA a kick in the ass and show you guys that 10 writers walking back and forth at a cross walk (very quietly and peacefully) is not going to get as much attention as say, 100 writers walking in front of every gate and entrance to every studio.

You want a call to arms?
Get your entire WGA roster out of their homes and walking with a sign.
Make people notice you.
Make the studio heads have to slow down their luxury cars because they have to wait for the writers to move out of his way.

The only way that we are all in this together....is that we all want to go back to work.

sagmember said...

I am going to a hilary event on monday night, the debate was canceled but she is still doing the meet and greet where we were going to watch the debate. As it was canceled due to the dem candidates refusal to cross pickets I will try and talk to her in person about this if I get the opportunity.

Meanwhile i'm going to ask around contacts at sag what the ethics of this company since we hired them to be our counsultants. I will let you know...

Unknown said...

Thanks for the advice, but what makes you think I give a rat's ass what you think after you've boasted about crossing my picket line?
It doesn't matter if there are two people picketing or two hundred, you either respect another union's picket line or you don't.
And before you start in about 1988, I was in college back then. I never crossed a Teamster picket line in my life, and never will. Ditto for SAG, DGA and IATSE.

John Aboud said...

I always welcome comments from btl guy and local44united. You guys are making strong and rational arguments, and I'm glad the other commenters here are engaging your ideas rationally as well. (You two are clearly NOT cranks or trolls like the people who bombed the blog over the weekend. That was just absurd.)

It seems like our differences are not of goals but about tactics. And that's fair. Thank you for saying you support the principles of our fight, even though you don't agree with the tactics that (we believe) are the best ones right now.

You are right that it is our own contract that precipitated this strike. But the UH team means it when we say that we see this fight as being bigger than us. (No one at the WGA asked us to create this site. We're a volunteer force. We don't speak for the WGA leadership, though we support them and pass along the emails they send to members.)

If we didn't feel that this contract was about more than writers, none of us would be putting in the hours here (and beyond) that we are. If I thought this were just about bullshit little contract points, I would have tuned out long ago. I believe this is about the Future. With a capital F.

I think the companies do too, and that's why they are pushing back so hard.

None of us who are deeply involved in this site want United Hollywood to go away when the strike is over. As you've seen, we've already begun working with SAG members and Teamsters to get their perspectives on the blog. Even when the WGA contract is settled, United Hollywood will continue in one form or another.

Sahar said...

I'm trying to organize the DFA chapter of Brandeis University to go along with this.

We're all involved in the struggle to create a brighter internet future!

Anonymous said...

John Aboud...
I appreciate the fact that Im actually recognized as not being a troll...bridges are so dark and damp anyways.
Plus, I am totally open to rational debate.
I have never once said that the WGA was wrong for what they are doing, just the way they are doing it.

And after tonight (when the talks have broken down once again), its so clear to alot of people that the WGA needs (HAS) to change their tactics...and quite possibly their negotiating committee.

And to Joe, who so eloquently said...
"Thanks for the advice, but what makes you think I give a rat's ass what you think after you've boasted about crossing my picket line?"
Joe....I didn't have to cross a picket line, I just had to wait for the light to turn green and all 6 picketers had gone to the craft service table while they waited for the walk sign to flash again.

Yea...that will really put the fear of God in the Studios.

Patti said...

Why are there folks here defending fat cat network suits who would pay writers nothing, if they thought they could get away from it?

Why would anyone champion greedy corporate assholes instead of the working man?

I support the Writers, not the corporate overlords.

I Am A Realist said...

I have to say that I find the WGA's picketing efforts laughable. I was at Warner Brothers Studio yesterday and did not see one single picketer. I thought the whole point of picketing was to actually cause a disruption in production and inflict financial damage on the studios' bottom line, am I wrong? If not, then why hasn't the WGA's fearless leader, David Young, called on guild membership in both New York City and Los Angeles to picket at the top 5 movie theater complexes in each market on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday afternoon? By doing so WGA membership could inflict immediate and weekly financial trouble at the box office for the studios.

But at the end of the day why can't everyone realize that it's the writers that are unnecessarily causing the innocent masses to lose their livelihoods for conducting a strike that from a purely economic perspective, the WGA and its membership can NEVER win. Why can't the WGA and its membership face the REALITY of the situation, the studios, are many times over, better poised than the WGA to financially weather, survive and come out the big winners of this strike. It all comes down to the simple economic fact, as I previously mentioned, that GE, Viacom, News Corp., Time-Warner and Disney have bank accounts with greater sums of money in them than the WGA and WGA members do in their respective bank accounts.

When those people that are not involved in the strike and have nothing to gain from it lose their jobs, lose their healthcare, lose their vehicles, lose their residences and lose their small businesses, they should turn to the WGA and thank its membership for destroying their lives over a strike the WGA was never strong enough to win in the first place.

Me! Gene! said...

Re picket line discussion/why we wait for the walk sign, etc

It is my understanding that our goal in picketing is not to piss off everyone trying to get on a lot. This is not a game of Red Rover. Our picketing is designed to raise awareness for our cause.

A couple of years ago when the grocery store workers struck, they did not attempt to block people from entering the stores or even intimidate them. Had that happened, I can say for myself that that would not have made me sympathetic to their cause. Instead, I saw good people standing up for what they believed in. As a result, I learned about what they wanted and chose not to cross their lines. Hopefully I helped in my own small way to hurt the companies and bring about resolution.

So when you see our picket lines, you can choose to turn back. That's how it works.