Thursday, January 30, 2014

WGA and the AMPTP

Negotiations get rolling, and it's good times ...

The union’s bargaining co-chairs warn their members ahead of Monday’s talks with the AMPTP.

Four days before the Writers Guild is to begin negotiations with Hollywood’s movie studios and TV networks, the co-chairs of the guild negotiating team say the producers are seeking $60 million in rollbacks.

“Last Thursday the WGA received a set of opening proposals from the AMPTP for our upcoming negotiations. They included 60 million dollars in rollbacks for writers, 32 million of that coming from our health plan,” Chip Johannessen and Billy Ray wrote to members.

“But it doesn’t stop there,” the letter continued. “Other proposals targeted screenplay minimums (11 million dollar rollback), TV residuals, and our Pension Plan.” ...

Not. ...

This is pretty much standard operating procedure for our fine entertainment conglomerates and their reps in recent years.

The drill is, throw out fairly draconian proposals. Piss off the g.d. unions. Then negotiate a deal that ends up pretty status quo, but check-mate labor by pulling off YOUR proposals bit by bit as they pull off THEIR proposals one at a time.

It's all about winning, and the current Alliance is deep into that mind-set. It's what they know how to do, and they practice it with gusto.

The Wrap calls the WGA missive "inflammatory," but that's silly. One of the best weapons unions have is to get the word out to members about what the hell is going on with contract proposals and negotiations. I've never thought it was useful for unions to keep negotiations confidential. The bright light of publicity is a useful tool and it should be used.


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