Wednesday, January 11, 2012


One of our fine trade papers notes upcoming contract talks:

... Hollywood's below-the-line unions have set March 5 as a start date for contract negotiations with the congloms ...

When the trades talk about "below the line," they mean the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employes, the Teamsters, and any other Hollywood union that isn't SAG, DGA or WGA.

In other words, us guys.

What you should note here is that The Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE, was chucked out of the "West Coast Bargaining Unit" -- the group that Variety is referring to -- back in 1982.

(We were kicked out for being uppity*. TAG has negotiated by its lonesome ever since.)

This time around, I'll be sitting in the big negotiations, but I will be sitting as an observer, not a participant. Just like always. (We always like to be there because we are tied into the Health and Pension Plans, and what everybody else gets, we also get.)

As best we can tell, TAG's negotiations will take place in April or May, after the Basic Agreement has been negotiated and (hopefully) ratified.

* As used above, uppity means "Striking too much."


Anonymous said...

Is it possible to eliminate the term "below-the-line" from the lexicon of the film and television business?

Anonymous said...'re kidding right?

Steve Hulett said...

Is it possible to eliminate the term "below-the-line" from the lexicon of the film and television business?

Since the phrase has been around for decades and decades?? ...


Anonymous said...

Well, okay, thx. Good luck with those negotiations.

Anonymous said...

And after being deemed "uppity", you've negotiated a "no strike" clause.... and lost any sort of bargaining chip.

So now what?

Anonymous said...

Virtually every single labor contract contains a 'no-strike' and 'no lockout' clause. Otherwise, there would no point for either side to negotiate, since the contract would be effectively non-binding.

Whenever I see someone harping on the TAG no-strike clause, I know instantly that this person doesn't have the slightest idea how TAG (or any union) functions, and is ignorant at best, and a malicious troll at worst.

Anonymous said...

Considering how much the studios depend on animation-intensive content to drive their blockbusters, it is unfortunate that TAG is represented at the table only as a smaller subset of IATSE overall. With the added honor of being labeled 'below-the-line' too!

Must be super fun at that table. Oh, well. Strength in numbers...

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