Saturday, April 12, 2008

Unpaid O.T. ... It Ain't Just Animation

One small anecdote I neglected to recount about the recent IA negotiation.

During contract talks, you do a lot of sitting around and waiting. And while you wait, you talk. During one such lull I fell into conversation with a representative from a live-action union who told me the following:

"We've had problems with unpaid overtime for years. Producers expect our people to take work home, or work until two in the morning, and show up for work again at 7:00 a.m., all without extra compensation. Our union didn't even try to police the contract violations for a long time. Now that we are trying to police them, production companies are getting mad.

If our people refuse to work off-the-clock, they get accused of not being 'team players'."

I responded with: "It never occurs to these people that their company agreed in a contract to pay overtime. So maybe they're not team players when they refuse to pay wages that corporations have pledged in writing to pay."

But hey. Many companies make a practice of ignoring state and federal labor codes. Why should collective bargaining agreements be any different?

(And aren't you glad to know there's so much of this crap going around?)


Anonymous said...

I don't doubt the truth of that story, but what kind of people on a live action shoot can take work home? Costumers? Property people etc. are pretty vigilant about stuff on a hot set/production staying at the studio, I'd thought. What then?

This is very interesting because for years many of us 839 guys have assumed that maybe our union is a bit soft at times(no offense), but damn, those other iatses are tough cookies who don't put up with squat, ever. I guess we were wrong. Too bad to hear that.

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