Thursday, November 01, 2007

And as a possible writers' strike looms ...

... IATSE President Tom Short has written a letter to the troops:

OPEN LETTER TO ALL IATSE MEMBERS AND LOCALS ENGAGED IN MOTION PICTURE AND TELEVISION PRODUCTION.

As you are aware, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is currently in negotiations for a successor contract to the current agreement that expires on October 31, 2007. While the IATSE remains hopeful that a new agreement can be reached between the WGA and the Employers, there is a potential for a work stoppage.

The IATSE has over 50,000 members in two countries engaged in motion picture and television production. Any work stoppage may have a profound and long-lasting impact on you and your families.

The IATSE contracts contain provisions that require us to continue to honor our contracts. These "no strike" provisions require the IATSE to notify our members of their obligation to honor these contracts and continue working. Any individual member who chooses to honor any picket line is subject to permanent replacement (our emphasis).

The WGA is having a membership meeting this evening (November 1), and a strike could happen as soon as tomorrow, next week, or sometime ... maybe.

It is the position of the Animation Guild, and the IATSE, that writers cannot be legally disciplined by the Writers Guild of America for working under the Animation Guild's jurisdiction.

WGA members writing on shows that are under contract to the WGA (such as "The Simpsons", "King Of The Hill" or "American Dad"), or WGA members writing for companies not signed to any union contract, may be subject to WGA discipline if they refuse the WGA's rules or orders not to work.

In the October Peg-Board I discussed how a WGA strike might affect TAG's members, snd specifically how the WGA's "strike rules" might impact writers working under the Animation Guild's jurisdiction.

Since then, the WGA has amended their strike rules, as I discussed in a post yesterday.

The last few days it's been kind of a zoo around here. I've gotten questions from studios, from the trades, from members. The $68,000 question is: "There going to be a strike?" ... "How long will it last?" ... "Is animation going to be impacted?"

My standard-issue answers are: "I don't know, but I think so." ... "A while" (One highly-placed person in the International said to me this morning: "It's going to be weeks or months, not days" -- but of course, he doesn't know for certain either.) ... "A lot at the four Fox shows, not much anyplace else." (Unless and until a lengthy SAG strike happens.)

That's it from me. For further information on the WGA strike rules, contact the WGA at (323) 951-4000. And please stay in touch on this blog or by contacting our office.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

The WGA is striking on Monday.

Anonymous said...

stuff like this just makes me fantasize about how great it would be to work in america if it werent for unions.

Steve Hulett said...

stuff like this just makes me fantasize about how great it would be to work in america if it werent for unions.

Dear Anon. #2:

Being as how horrid old unions rep 7-8% of the American corporate workforce, how awful can it really be?

You're kidding us, right?

Anonymous said...

> stuff like this just makes me fantasize
> about how great it would be to work > in america if it werent for unions.

Ask the women who burned to death after being locked in their factory by management decades ago. Idiot.

Anonymous said...

key word: decades ago. unions are like horse-drawn carriages.

Anonymous said...

"unions are like horse-drawn carriages"

Oh really? I'm not a fan of 839 and its IATSE thug leader Tom Short, but this union is better than no union. As a freelancer I'm still covered with fairly good health insurance and a pension. Show me a studio or company who would do that for a freelancer.

The Animation Co-op said...

It's ironic that the impending WGA strike is being met with more solidarity from the Teamsters than it is from IATSE.

From today's L.A. Times:

Teamsters Local 399 leader Leo Reed this week urged his members to honor the (WGA) picket lines, a call that was reiterated Thursday by Teamsters President James P. Hoffa. "If we abandon our union brothers and sisters now, we abandon the very core principles of trade unionism," he said.

Contrast this with the warning from IATSE President Tom Short to IATSE members:

"Any individual member who chooses to honor any picket line is subject to permanent replacement."

United we stand, divided we fall.

The Animation Co-op said...

"unions are like horse-drawn carriages"

More accurately...

The company is the carriage.
YOU are the horse.
The union is PETA.

Anonymous said...

"The company is the carriage.
YOU are the horse.
The union is PETA."

Hardly. A union exists to collect money for telling you to do something you should be smart enough to do for yourself. If a company mistreats employees, it's going to have a hard time finding workers.

Anonymous said...

I agree.
Maybe Animation Co-Op considers him/herself a "horse" but I don't consider myself an animal who can't make their own choices.
As for "PETA" I don't need a union to be my babysitter.
If I get mistreated I go to my lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha. Oh, you guys are soooo funny. Do you write this yourselves? Yeah, NOOOOO employer has ever mistreated their employees consistently over time. Riiiiight.

And, does "your lawyer" make your employer give you great healthcare and pensions? Riiiiight.

Anonymous said...

The guild isn't the one keeping my employers from mistreating me, I am. Similarly, my lawyer doesn't make my employer give me healthcare and benefits, I do. Maybe YOU need some imaginary "club" to protect you from the big bad world and do your negotiating for you, but I can do a better job of that for myself than anyone else can.
Maybe you should let the union feed you and tie your shoes for you too.

Anonymous said...

"...my lawyer doesn't make my employer give me healthcare and benefits, I do."

So, as a freelance artist or writer you've negotiated your own healthcare and pension package with the studios, eh?

Now who’s living in an “imaginary club”?

Anonymous said...

“Maybe you should let the union feed you and tie your shoes for you too.”

Go back to your FReeper site, loser.

Anonymous said...

Whatever. I'm a loser who can take care of himself.

Anonymous said...

Are you even an artist or writer?

If so, tell us your secret on how you negotiate a healthcare and pension plan with the studios?

Anonymous said...

you really can't figure out ANYTHING for yourself can you?
scary

Anonymous said...

What a tool. You're not even in the industry.

Anonymous said...

whatever. hey isn't it time for the union to feed you your formula?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, whatever... tool.

Britt said...

Um... what kind of pathetic non-industry loser hangs out in the comments section of the Animation union?

Anonymous said...

Like gay Republicans who rail against homosexuality only to get caught picking up guys in men’s rooms, this organized labor-hating tool secretly wants to be an artist in our union.

C’mon, buddy! Come out of the corporate closet and join us. You know you want to.

Anonymous said...

i can make my own friends thanks.

Site Meter