Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sign This Petetion!

So, once again the landscape of media is about to be thumped one more time by the insane. It's become clear that the Media Mogul lapdogs AMPTP and their partners in stupidity, SAG Leadership, can't seem to figure out a way to get a deal signed. It's been almost six months, since the current SAG contract expired. So, instead of just taking the offer, on the table and living to fight another day, SAG is doing something stupid. Which is why I encourage you to go sign this petition.

SAG has very little on the bargaining table at this point. They are in backed into a corner. Six major Union contracts have been negotiated in the past ten months, with DGA, WGA, IATSE and AFTRA (an actors union) being the big high lights. The initial deals established a short term model that would allow the members of the aforementioned unions increased pay and compensation while allowing big media some breathing room to figure out how to make NEW MEDIA (the web) profitable. AMPTP is refusing to budge on their offer, because (and they have a point) why should SAG get a better deal than everyone else?

SAG Leadership is in a bad spot. They made moves a month ago to get some Federal Mediation at the table to help the process out. Membership indicated that if the Federal Mediation proved fruitless (and SAG did everything they could to make sure that happened) then SAG leadership could try and call for a STRIKE AUTHORIZATION vote.

The STRIKE is their last bargaining chip. However, what many non-industry folks do not understand is this... we've been feeling a defacto strike for about 90 days now. Without the SAG labor contract in place, and with the credit industry in turmoil, the Studios cannot get their lenders to release the budget capital for any new movies. So, no one is shooting anything in Hollywood right now except for T.V. and some independent films. This has forced many ancilliary companies who rely on production for business to start cutting back on staff and budget in an attempt to hold tight until the storm blows over.

Another STRIKE will in essence make the storm worse. However, rumor mill right now is churning around this vote. Whispers in the wind are basically stating that the membership is exhausted after the lack of income from the WGA strike. Many members do not want to strike.

It is my opinion that SAG Leadership is only forcing this vote, because they want to have the old "I Told You So" card to play when membership starts to grumble a few years from now about their deal again.

Regardless of the politics of the insane at work here, I encourage you to sign the aforementioned petition. Almost 8,000 people already have signed up, and you need to make your voice heard. If you live in L.A. and work in this industry, you know it's once again the 'little' people who are powerless in this fight, who have no voice at the table, who will suffer for bad decision making and bad negotiating. That is unfair.


Anonymous said...

What is unfortunate is that by the time the vote is over and they're back and square one because members voted AGAINST a strike, another 2 months will have been wasted and we will have suffered fo no reason, as SAG will be forced to take the deal they should have taken today, or heck even 5 months ago.

By the way, the petition is currently at over 9,600 signatures in just 3 DAYS and there's talk amongst those involved of potential pickets at SAG offices as well. I think there's a Facebook group discussing this somewhere...

Mick Montgomery said...

There is a Facebook group. I am a member of it. It's called "Let's Make A Deal: SAG/AMPTP get back to the table.