While the rest of Hollywood is lining up at Window E right about now, I've been (to my surprise) riding the latest wave of work to the bitter end. In other words, I've been too busy lately to do any serious posting around here. That'll probably change very soon, but until then, this blog might be a bit quiet.
Meanwhile, out there in the union world, things aren't so quiet. As you may or may not know, the I.A.T.S.E. and the AMPTP came to an agreement on a new contract a few weeks ago and soon it will be up to the membership to vote "yes" or "no" on the new terms. While the I.A. is happily patting itself on the back for what they feel is a job well done, there's been outraged mumblings on set. From what I could gather, below-the-liners aren't too happy with the deal.
I could ramble on and on about the specifics of the deal and where I think they could stick them, but what really irks me is how the I.A. keeps trying to put a positive spin on everything, as if we're walking away from the table with exactly what we wanted. We're not idiots. Stop trying to sell us a polished turd.
Case in point: an e-mail from 728 about the new contract found its way into my inbox and parts of it are pure bullshit. From the e-mail:
What are some of the gains achieved in this contract?
- There are many. We were able to prevent the employers from attacking any of the conditions of the Local Union agreements. This means no changes to staffing, no reductions to overtime or meal penalties or any other conditions in the Local contracts.
- A three year contract (through July of 2015) that will provide for employment stability as this challenging economy continues.
- Wage increases of 2% in each year, compounded.
I'm sorry, but WTF??? How is having no changes to any of the conditions established in previous contracts gaining anything? For as long as I've known of the I.A. existing, the contract terms have been for three years. Again, how is keeping a three year contract a gain? And a 2% increase in wages? Didn't it used to be 3%? I definitely don't see that one as a "gain." Did I miss something here?
And don't even get me started on the health plan and the extension of the studio zone.
Instead, I'll direct you to this website. And tell you to take a look at these pages. And if you're a union member, I definitely suggest you take a gander at this.
And if you want to hear the point of view from someone who's weathered the years in this business and can do it more eloquently than I can, please take a moment to read this guy.