Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Watch out for the bee in my bonnet.

Although I do try to keep the politics out of the blog, this one I can’t let go.

http://money.cnn.com/2005/08/22/news/economy/northwest_implications/

As a union member, let me just say that power wise, strikes are all we have – the point of joining a union is that you have the power of the masses behind you, and the group speaks louder than an individual.

United we stand, divided we get it in the ass with no lube.

What’s happened to us? Union members didn’t used to be afraid. We stood together – even when some of us got killed, because we knew that we had to.

Yeah, yeah, I know…corruption, organized crime, etc…

I still truly, deeply, with all my heart and soul believe in the labor movement.

If you cross a picket line, or accept contract work from a company who’s being picketed by a union – I hope you get a full-body skin rash that itches like hell and doesn’t respond to any medical treatment.

Filed under: Non-Work

7 Responses

  1. With all due respect to entertainment industry trade unions (which are a completely different ball of wax) I look at this case and I see an airline that is struggling with insolvency and is on the brink of faiilure because its unions are like a yoke around its neck. The unions are preventing this company from being competitive in an extremely tough market. With what they are mandated to pay these mechanics, they just cannot complete and will probably fold, requiring a huge taxpayer bailout or bringing the whole company down (and all of its employees in the process). Compare that with a rival company like Jetblue or Southwest that do not have the same kind of union concessions to deal with. They are extremely efficient and profitable. They keep their employees happy without being mandated to. They know that if they don’t they’ll lose their talent. They make them shareholders. The better their companies do, so do the employees. Their CEOs are not overpaid fat cats. Instead, they’re right there working along side of them doing whatever needs to be done. There is actually more to the story than big corporate money-hungry company and lowly, under-paid worker. There are other business models than can work without unions.

  2. AJ Gentile says:

    Chris, that’s true, those business models *do* work.

    But the big studios will never adapt them. Greed runs more rampant in Hollywood than anywhere else I’ve ever been.

    Unions are our only protection against “the man.”

    Some indie companies are great to work for, because they are closer to the model you cited. But the bigger the studio, the more protection you need from their avarice.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s so evil to wish another person ill, even if you think they deserve it.

  4. Peggy Archer says:

    Christopher –
    Why is it that the blue collar workers have to take a paycut? How about the executives?

    We all know power corrupts and most folks in a position to do so are going to lie, cheat, steal and fuck the workers over as much as they can. No, I’m not corporate bashing, it’s just human nature to screw over other people.
    When we resist the urge to do things we desperately want to but really shouldn’t – we’re ‘civilized’.

    Why, just a few months ago, I resisted the urge to grab a C-Stand arm and pound the ever-loving shit out of a producer who pulled up to a set in his $110,000 Ferrari (which is WAY more than I make in a year) and loudly complained to anyone within earshot that the reason his movie was so over budget is because those fucking crew members were getting paid too much.

    I must also disagree with the idea that unions prevent companies from being competitive. There are quite a few union companies who are extremely competitive (the one example off the top of my head is American Apparel).

    It’s sad legacy of Reganomics to blame a company’s inability to turn a profit on unions.

    On the film industry side, AJ’s absolutely right. There is NOT ONE studio or sizeable production company in town that won’t fuck crew over at the first available opportunity, and all of us have the horror stories to prove it.

    Anonymous – Lighten up, willya? It is bad karma to wish others serious ill, which is why I wish them an itchy rash – it makes me feel better, and if they really do get a rash, well, it’s just a rash, now, isn’t it?

    Your response indicates that you’ve crossed a picket line recently.

    Maybe you’re so cross because of all that itching?

    Okay, I’ll retract the part about not responding to medical treatment and recommend that you take a couple of benadryl and sit in a bath of that slimy oatmeal stuff – which is gross but works wonders on itchy rashes.

    All better? Good!

  5. Another sad effect of the Reagan years is the outlawing of secondary picketing. If everybody at Northwest were out on strike now – cabin crew, luggage handlers, et al – it would actually be a fair fight. As it is, “replacement workers” get brought in and the mechanics get knifed in the back.

  6. I’m not sure I have the energy to reconcile a world view colored by encounters with asshole line producers who drive cars that advertise their tremendous insecurities.

    Again, in reference to the Northwest situation, look at other successful airlines like Jetblue and Southwest that succeed without unions. Certainly no Reagansim myth in action there.

    I have my own union experiences (non-motion picture unions) and they largely involved over-paid, underworked people with costs and rules that stifle innovation and break budgets. But I guess that just as there are a range of companies on the good/evil spectrum so to are there different qualities of union workers (and different situations which make them necessary). However, as the recent implosion of the AFL-CIO indicates, I’m perhaps not the only one wondering if (in certain situations) unions are an anachronism.

    PS: Peg, methinks there are parts of a gobo rig that might make a better weapon as you can use it in both a swinging AND stabbing motion. For your less violent readers, maybe next time you can cover that producer’s Ferrari in duvateen so he can’t find it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The third comment, counting from the top, gives anonymous commenters a bad name.

    Yes, I’m looking at you, anonymous. Like you never did. Peggy here’s just being honest.

    I feel so schizophrenic now.

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