Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Labor Strike?

Not by us. But others.

In two weeks, Hollywood might be stranded by the side of the road.

A labor drama playing out behind closed doors could lead to an Aug. 1 strike by thousands of transportation workers, which could shut down most television and film productions in Los Angeles and possibly elsewhere.

... The Teamsters' contract with the studios expires at the end of July, and negotiations appear to be at an impasse. Sources close to both the union and the producers say neither side will budge.

"If they're counting on the producers caving, that's the wrong strategy," a studio-side source said. "A strike is entirely possible."

The low-profile Teamsters Local 399 represents several thousand drivers who move everything from production equipment to star trailers and electrical generators. No drivers means no equipment, and no equipment means no film or TV production.

... Another negotiating session is scheduled for Friday, and two days later comes the union's meeting to either ratify the deal or vote for a strike authorization. ...

The good news for Animation Guild employees: A Teamsters' strike would slam live-action crews and production, but would have no or minimal impact on animation work.

The bad news for Animation Guild employees: A Teamsters' strike, particularly a lengthy one, could hurt the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan in a major way. A whole lot fewer contributions would be flowing into the Plan, and this could have long-term consequences to funding levels for pensions and health coverage.

The reason this fustercluck is happening? Stripped of minor side issues, it's because some recent labor contracts have gotten 3% wage bumps and some have gotten 2%, but the current Teamsters' leadership is under pressure to get 3%. Otherwise, they might not be in office very much longer.

I was aware that these talks and these issues were bubbling along under the placid surface of the Tinsel Town lake, but now the whole thing has hit the trade press and might soon explode into our fields of vision in a major way.


Anonymous said...

Can we not just get some new truck drivers?

Anonymous said...

How about shipping the equipment overseas and back via FedEx?

Anonymous said...

_Can we not just get some new truck drivers?

Oh, I get it. It's okay for writers and actors to shut the town down and throw everyone out of work, but real labor, fuck 'em. Right?

Anonymous said...

No, this union is pretty consistent at not supporting anyone's right to strike.

Anonymous said...

yeah, because they sure supported us last time we struck....

Anonymous said...

"but real labor, fuck 'em. Right?"

Are we not "real labor?" I think you missed the irony. The point was that the transportation local has more leverage than we do because their jobs CAN"T be sent overseas.

"yeah, because they sure supported us last time we struck..."

Exactly how did you expect Teamster truckers to be able to support IATSE artists?

Anonymous said...

"I think you missed the irony."

I read this line above - "Can we not just get some new truck drivers?" - in response to the post about the possibility of a strike.

Please point out the IRONY of that line. Where exactly is that oh-so-subtle sarcasm?

I officially hate this blog. BYE.

Anonymous said...

I was referring to the "shipping overseas" line.

Anonymous said...

Latest news from Variety. To me, it looks like they'll pit it off for two years and let the IA duke it out with the producers.


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