Last week, and a couple of years back, and a couple of years before that, I was told about non-signator cartoon producers explaining to animators how, gosh darn it, they were on a tight budget and there was just no way they could pay minimum guild wage rates or health and pension benefits to the artists ("So sorry, wish we could.")...
In each case, the artists found out that the companies that were paying them squat were, at the very same time, signed to Screen Actors Guild contracts that had pension benefits, health benefits, and residuals with all the trimmings.
Fifteen years ago, I sat in Gabor Csupo's office on Highland and listened to him blather on about how awful how our guild was, how he'd never sign a contract with us even if we pulled his fingernails out, etcetera, etcetera. When he finally wound down I asked him if Klasky-Csupo had, like, a SAG contract. He stared at me like I was a retarded kindergartner.
"SAG? Oh, SAG's great! Sure we have a contract with them. They're great!"
Then he went back to telling me how crappy we were, with a strong assist from one of his production supervisors, a young woman named Sherry Gunther.
Well pardon me all to hell, but I don't think SAG is anywhere near as great as Gabor C. made them out to be, way back in 1991. I think that Gabor Csupo put his name on the dotted line of SAG's collective bargaining agreement because there were some voice actors that he had to have for his cartoon shows, and the only way he could get them was go sign a Screen Actors Guild contract.
SAG, you see, had leverage (or a great block and tackle, whatever). This is, in the final analysis, the only thing that really delivers. "Fair and "unfair" don't really enter the equation.