By the time you read this, I'll be winging my way to Orlando and the IATSE's Winter Executive Board Meeting.
I don't go to a lot of IA e-board meetings -- although I have plenty of union reps telling me I should -- but this winter meeting is different. The WGA is on strike and a lot of I.A. locals have been pushed into a "no work" stance along with it ...
Talking to a union rep over at Local 80 (studio grips) Friday, I found out that 40% of its membership is now laid off. "Not as high as I thought it would be by now," the rep said.
Still in all, that's a considerable amount of people who aren't gainfully employed, and if the strike goes on a lot longer, the unemployment numbers will go way up. Like they'll be going up at Warner Bros. in the not-distant future:
The clock is winding down on a 60-day layoff notice issued Nov. 12 by Warner Bros. studios to 1,000 studio-facilities employees shortly after the Writers Guild of America went on strike Nov. 5.
It is unclear how many of those will be enforced, if any. If layoffs do occur, they could come as early as next week. "There have been no decisions made," a Warner spokeswoman said.
So, next week, I'm be in Orlando, posting updates when I can, trying to find out what's going on with all the other Hollywood (and other) IA locals. Hobnobbing with other reps as I try to scope out progress with the DGA negotiations (which are entering their second day now
Back in North Hollywood, my faithful assistant Jeffrey M. Massie will maybe put up posts that I miss.
Blog at you soon.