ZoWie wrote: ↑Wed Aug 02, 2023 11:58 am
Every little bit helps, but the issues remain existential. We're talking about tens of thousands of workers who aren't doing great now, and will be barely hanging on at all if the promised changes in the entertainment infrastructure happen.
I'm sorry the IA chickened out, because had they walked, the issue of 19th century work hours would be on the table too. It's not. The IA does have stuff to worry about, though. How many set builders, electricians, grips, sound technicians, camera crews, truck drivers, caterers, costumers, hair stylists, art directors, post-production technicians, secretaries, property departments, etc will be needed if they can generate the whole product with 15 people and a frackin machine?
I don't see a resolution any time soon. The sides are way apart.
Zowie, here's my worry.
Now, I'll be the first to admit I really don't know how strong the Writers Guild or SAG-AFTRA are as unions. But I know how it works in negotiations in the manufacturing sector. In our sector, here's the problem with going back to negotiations.
By now, the workers are hurting. Many have lost homes and cars. Their savings are gone. They don't have health insurance. They want to end the strike and go back to work. So, announcements of negotiations is exciting. They are ready!
And often, so is the company. That's why unions usually use Federal mediators. They are talking to both sides, and won't restart negotiations unless they feel both sides are ready to come to a deal. That could mean that one side is ready to fold. Or it could mean both sides want to finally come to a good deal for both.
BUT - IF the company ISN'T ready, then the union is screwed. Now, in negotiations AFTER a strike is ongoing, the union has a decision whether to bring the deal back to the members for a vote. The company can't make them bring it back. Some unions has it in their Constitution that if there's a "substantial change" they have to bring it back, but that's up to the union to decide.
But no matter what, say the company's changes are far below what the union wants, and the negotiations fall apart and the union refuses to bring it back to the members, the company can release their proposal, and say "look, union members! We offered THIS and the union refused to even let you vote on it!
OR the negotiators brings the offer back, tell the members they are still against it, and recommend they turn it down. Now, usually unions require a supermajority to go out on strike, on the fact that if you only have a 50% support of a strike, you'll lose. Now, everyone's already on strike, so the company only needs 50% accept to go back to work with a shitty contract.
And, every time you vote, even if the negotiators win the vote, you're left with a weaker union, with scabs. I don't know how possible it is to scab in these two unions.
So normally the company and union work through the mediators, and when a deal both sides want is within reach, they'll bring them back. Not before. We'll see what happens here.
The last worry I have is that SAG-AFTRA is out and the company isn't at the table with them too. Of course, if the actors are out, it doesn't do the writers too much good to go back to work, or does it? I guess they can spend a few months writing ahead before you even need actors.
But then, if the actors aren't back in time, then everyone is still sitting on their hands. Now, if the company fixes the problems to the satisfaction of the writers, but then, in two months, refuses to make the same or similar fix for the actors, then the actors will stay out 'till hell freezes over.
There's far more to the psychology of negotiations and strikes than anyone knows. It's the highest stakes poker game anyone ever saw. I'm NOT a great poker player, and I never negotiated a contract. However, I got to work with GREAT negotiators, and brought a toolbox of my own skills that gave us tools to increase our chances to move the narrative.
It was a fun time, but as stressful as hell, as you held people's future in the skill of the negotiators. I'm so glad I don't do it anymore and so damned glad that I now have a zero stress life!