Friday, December 19, 2008

The SAG Question

That I keep getting asked about, over and over. Because I'm like, a union rep.

"So is SAG going to vote for a strike? Put us out of work?"

For a long time I've thought Mr. Rosenberg and Mr. Allen over there in the thespians' jurisdiction had painted themselves into a dandy corner negotiation and job action-wise.

The economy's crashed.

Unemployment is soaring.

SAG membership has splintered.

And now they're trying to pull off a 75% "yes" vote for doing that job action, otherwise known as "strike" ...

Nice hat trick if you can pull it off, but for a while now I've been dubious about them pulling it off. Month by month, SAG's situation has been steadily unraveling. Craig Mazin at Artful Writer has come to the same general conclusion:

... In the span of just a few days, an open, sizeable and organized revolt [inside SAG] began. It started with letters from individual SAG members like Jason Alexander asking their fellow actors to vote “no” on the authorization vote. Then the New York SAG Board officially came out against the authorization.1 Alan called a compulsory national meeting to address this schism, then apparently realized he couldn’t actually compel that, and so he withdrew that meeting. This was followed by a statement against the authorization by 130 actors ...

This general disintegration has been fairly obvious for some time. These folks have minimal leverage, and there's not much they can do about that. They started de-leveraging when they cleverly refused to merge with AFTRA and control the entire acting work force ... and they've been cutting their own throats ever since. Which is a shame, because I'm not in favor of labor becoming less powerful.

But the reality is what it is. I don't like to bullshit myself. There's no upside to it.


Anonymous said...

It's fascinating how in extraordinary times like these, all rules regarding the way the economic system has been getting by up to this point are completely out the window. Watching the UAW standing pretty much on trial with the corporations - its upside-down world. Management shaving more benefits and cutting salaries and anyone with a job just happy to have a job, just happy not to be thrown out the door.

Steve Hulett said...

Fascinating to you.

Depressing to me. But I'm hoping to be less depressed as the new administration gets rolling.

Anonymous said...

the people running those american car companies are a bunch of crooks. They'll take the money handed to them and will call for chapter 11 as soon as they can, and will not pay the money back to the tax payer.

What good does it do to make cars nobody can buy? They'll be only manufacturing shiny landfill!


Anonymous said...

This country is no different than any other when it comes to national interests. They decide what is important to support for the sake of the whole. In fact, the idea of Chapter 11 was born of railroad companies running to the government for handouts during panic. Does America need an auto company? I don't know. We need roads, gov. supports it. We need airlines, gov. supports it. Our country no more resembles capitalism than it does democracy. Plutocracy, definitely. Military industrial complex? For certain. Perhaps gov. wants to save the last remaining industry to keep up the illusion that the only real industry in America is defense.

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