My Take Away from the five-day IATSE executive board meeting is that times are tough all over, and the International was fortunate to get the deal it did when talks wrapped in November..
The anecdotal conversations I've had with other union reps is that employment is down across the board. Most of my fellow reps have laid the blame with the slo-mo semi strike that the dysfunctional Screen Actors Guild has gifted the industry, but the deepening recession has also played a major role. (And now that SAG looks like it's going to move toward a deal, perhaps the sole role ...)
One thing I know is, we're not out of the deep pools of excrement, not by a long shot. Hollywood labor is going to have to stay on top of the ever-changing delivery systems for content if it's to survive in anything resembling good health.Attorney Jonathan Handel thinks nobody should wait another three years until the next contract talks, since technology is moving fast:
I suggest that Hollywood guilds, unions and management form a joint New Media Working Group. This body should have members from management and from the Writers Guild (WGA), Directors Guild (DGA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG), AFTRA, IATSE, and management ...
The function of the Working Group would be to analyze and report on developments in new media and the possible resulting effect on existing labor agreements and relationships. The goal would be to track those changes on an ongoing basis and generate various options for addressing them in the collective bargaining agreements.
We'll see if something like the above comes to pass. I'm guessing, with all the bad blood gushing through the industry (and between unions and guilds) it will be tough.
But desperate times, as they say, call for newer creative measures.