Monday, April 07, 2008

Negotiations ... Day One

We assembled in the "union caucus room" a bit after nine to go over the Game Plan which will, for obvious reasons, remain a closely guarded secret. (This caucus room was the "all-purpose" room when the building -- originally a May Co. department store -- was Warner Bros. Animation. I trekked in and out of the building almost weekly for years and years, and it's weird to see it changed to the AMPTP-MPAA headquarters where old work areas have been converted into big conference rooms.)

Around ten we went into the Big Room for the traditional rollout, which consisted of everyone saying their name and company or union affiliation: "Steve Hulett, eight-three-nine" and so on. (Exciting, no?)

Then Nick Counter and Tom Short made their opening statements, ground rules were set, and each side retired to their respective caucuses.

Committees were going to be meeting in side-bars* with management through the afternoon. Reps not on a committee -- and I'm one of those -- were instructed to return to the caucus room the following morning.

Negotiations are scheduled to continue through Wednesday.

*Side-bars: smaller negotiating sessions with representatives from labor and management (but not the entire group) are often where bigger progress toward an agreement is made.


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