Thursday, September 22, 2011

More Union Elections

Hmmm. The WGA membership didn't return hard-liner Patric Verrone to the Guild's Presidency. And now SAG has re-elected its moderate incumbent running for a second term:

Screen Actors Guild President Ken Howard was easily re-elected to a second term as president of the 125,000-member union.

Howard, who did not face serious opposition, defeated three other lesser known candidates in the presidential contest.

His victory is likely to add further momentum toward merging SAG with its smaller sister union, the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists ...

There seems to be a trend here. Hollywood guilds are voting for candidates who likely won't be leading their labor organizations into strikes.

People are still getting hammered financially (look at today's stock market), still worried about being employed, still anxious about keeping a cash flow going and hanging onto their houses.

In recent years union militancy -- particularly the Hollywood variety -- has played better when markets were going up and employees were earning fat paychecks. I have serious doubts the last Writers Guild strike would have happened if the contract had expired in 2009 instead of the first half of 2008. The Screen Actors Guild strongly supported the writers then, and seemed headed for a strike of its own. But a year later, the militant SAG president Alan Rosenberg couldn't get his own membership to support a job action.

And a year after that, the moderate Howard had replaced firebrand Rosenberg. The Big Wheel, as it were, had rolled on. And now Howard is in for a second term.


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