... 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.