Friday, March 26, 2010

Topics of The Week

I was in the usual bundle of studios Monday to Friday. Among the bullet points from various visits:

#1 Topic today at Film Roman: How does the recently passed health care bills impact the Motion Picture Industry Health Plan?

I said the same things that are mentioned here, emphasizing that the excise tax on "Cadillac Plans" won't kick in until 2018. (General relief all around.)

Simpsons artists are wrapping up Season #21, embarking on Season #22.

Held meeting at another (unnamed) studio about overtime rules.

Artists asked if I could enforce o.t. infractions and keep individual employees' names anonymous. I said that was hard to do. If employees are working uncompensated overtime, management needs to know who they are so people can be paid the o.t.

Another question: "Why can't the union referee the length of production schedules, tell the company if its schedule needs to be six weeks instead of five weeks?" My answer: "That's what keeping track of hours is supposed to do. If employees falsify time cards to 'hit the schedule deadline,' the company has no clear idea of how long the work really takes." Everyone needs to follow the contract's work rules.

At the IM Digital facility in Marina Del Rey, employees have moved past the shock of closure and are getting on with Mars Needs Moms, the last film IMD will produce.

Disney manager told me that employees will be laid off in four waves as IMD's last movie rolls to completion: Spring, Summer, Fall, December. Different departments will complete their assignments at different times as each department finishes its work.*

* Kindly note: IA reps visit IMD studios, not me. But I did talk to a Disney manager re the above.

Enjoy your weekend.


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