So I was in a meeting of union reps a couple of days ago here in Florida, whining about how various people working under TAG's jurisdiction work un paid overtime..
"Some artists work late at the studio and when I ask, won't admit to doing extra hours," I said. "Others take work home and we can't police it ..."
The union rep I was talking to, a gent whose local union covers live action, answered: "Listen. It's the same thing with my folks. We have workers who do free overtime, who don't want to make an issue of getting squeezed and so keep their mouths shut. They won't rock the boat, so they end up digging themselves into a hole. Know what I've found out?"
"What?" I said.
"You can't protect people from themselves. They're gonna do what they're gonna do."
As soon as he said this, I flashed on a TAG member who once told me: "Your job is to protect us from ourselves."
Problem is, it's not totally possible. So the bargain I've made is, anybody who wants me to file a grievance, I file a grievance ... after first explaining all the political pros and cons, and letting members make up their own minds about what they want to do. It's really, in the end, the only way to make it work.
But it was reassuring ... and at the same time depressing ... to find out that some of my fellow biz reps face the same conundrum that I do.