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What's going on at WB?


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#1 Glen Alexander

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 11:49 PM

Is WB a union shop?

I've heard a rumor that there is a current feature filming there with non-union crew?
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 12:42 AM

The stages at WB aren't necessarily just used for their own productions. A lot of productions-unions and non- rent their soundstages.
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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 11:05 AM

If there was a non-union shoot in those stages wouldn't the unions immediately try and organize them?

R,
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:22 PM

If there was a non-union shoot in those stages wouldn't the unions immediately try and organize them?

R,


Probably. I've never handled the money for any kind of shoot but I get the impression that the old studio stages (WB, paramount, universal, etc) are some of the more expensive stages in town. I think that chances are good, if you're shooting there for more than a couple of days, that the production can afford to sign the basic agreement.
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#5 Glen Alexander

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 01:08 AM

If there was a non-union shoot in those stages wouldn't the unions immediately try and organize them?

R,



From what I gather all big remaining studios have been union shops for a long time, non-unions productions are not welcome and not allowed. It seems the local unions have been very gutless, I asked for a union steward at Paramount and no one knew who it was.

Edited by Glen Alexander, 08 November 2008 - 01:09 AM.

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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 07:39 AM

If there was a non-union shoot in those stages wouldn't the unions immediately try and organize them?

R,

Yeah, but they try and organize every show. I don't think where a show is shooting has much bearing over the unions interest in turning the show.
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#7 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 07:43 AM

From what I gather all big remaining studios have been union shops for a long time, non-unions productions are not welcome and not allowed.

You're wrong. Plenty of non union jobs shoot at studios all the time. Who told you that?

It seems the local unions have been very gutless, I asked for a union steward at Paramount and no one knew who it was.

How does someone not knowing who a union steward is make the union gutless? That doesn't make sense.
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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 01:28 PM

Yeah, but they try and organize every show. I don't think where a show is shooting has much bearing over the unions interest in turning the show.


But what if a non-union shoot is going on in the back hills of South Dakota in the middle of no where. Do the US unions try and organize that shoot with the same effort they would make for a non-union shoot going on in Los Angeles?

I know here in Ontario that if a non-union shoot is going on say two hours north of Toronto, the union reps will not bother to show up. They don't want to drive all that way and possibly have to spend money on hotels, never mind the gas. Plus, they have to find the shoot, which is not always easy if the shoot is being done in a rural area.

NABET here is only interested in what they can get easy access to in downtown Toronto.

R,
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#9 Glen Alexander

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 03:48 PM

You're wrong. Plenty of non union jobs shoot at studios all the time. Who told you that?

How does someone not knowing who a union steward is make the union gutless? That doesn't make sense.



You didn't read the post. I will simplifiy.

I stated the unions are gutless.

I asked someone in the local 600 who there union steward was and they didn't know.

A talked with a different guy, local 728, who has been an electrician for about 30 years said in the 'old' days it was unheard of for non-unions productions to step onto the lot. There were jobs that should be going to operations on the lot but there were being farmed out to non-union operations on the WB, as a result people are being layed off and the union is doing nothing, no severance pay, blah, blah, blah, i.e., expost facto unions are gutless.

Try signing the SAG agreement and using non-SAG actors.
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#10 Glen Alexander

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 03:49 PM

You're wrong. Plenty of non union jobs shoot at studios all the time. Who told you that?

How does someone not knowing who a union steward is make the union gutless? That doesn't make sense.



You didn't read the post. I will simplifiy.

I stated the unions are gutless.

I asked someone in the local 600 who their union steward was and they didn't know.

A talked with a different guy, local 728, who has been an electrician for about 30 years said in the 'old' days it was unheard of for non-unions productions to step onto the lot.

There are current jobs that should be going to operations on the lot but there were being farmed out to non-union operations on the WB, as a result people are being layed off and the union is doing nothing, no severance pay, blah, blah, blah, i.e., expost facto unions are gutless.

Try signing the SAG agreement and using non-SAG actors.

Edited by Glen Alexander, 08 November 2008 - 03:49 PM.

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#11 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 05:19 PM

But what if a non-union shoot is going on in the back hills of South Dakota in the middle of no where. Do the US unions try and organize that shoot with the same effort they would make for a non-union shoot going on in Los Angeles?

R,

Well, I don't work for the union, so I really can't say for sure. But you're probably right about jobs that happen out in the middle of nowhere. I was mainly referring to jobs in LA.
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#12 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 05:26 PM

You didn't read the post.

Uh, yes I did. What makes you think I didn't?

I stated the unions are gutless.

I know you did, but you have no basis for saying that.

I asked someone in the local 600 who their union steward was and they didn't know.

A talked with a different guy, local 728, who has been an electrician for about 30 years said in the 'old' days it was unheard of for non-unions productions to step onto the lot.

OK, so you talked to two union members and now you're an expert in union practices in Los Angeles?

Try signing the SAG agreement and using non-SAG actors.

Why would you sign a SAG agreement if you want to use non SAG actors? That doesn't make sense.
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#13 robert duke

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 08:29 AM

WB is like all the stages in LA a rentable stage. Open to all productions union and non union.
Just because there were non union members there does not mean it is a non union shoot, nor that the unions have not already talked to a producer. The unions may have decided it was not finacially sound to try to flip a show.

The unions are all different. the buisness agents are all different. They show up at different requests. Frequently they wont try to flip a show without an initial request by a crew member. They may inquire but may decide it is not fiscally viable.

just because a union member does not know his steward does not mean they are not there. The shop steward is frequently a crew member and not a separate person. It may have been just that he did not make his presence known effectively.
The people you talked to may have been ill informed.

The unions have changed greatly in 30 years.

The Unions ARE NOT GUTLESS.

South Dakota and the Badlands or anywhere is not subject to being open territory. IATSE is an International Union. It covers all grounds. Just because one Buisness Agent wont drive 2 hrs does not mean another won't. I have been on a $500,000 show that flipped. I have been on a $6.5 million that did not. They do research who the producer is an make a decision about the likelyhood of flipping a show before they arrive. It maybe just the workload of that particular regions Buisness agent that determines how hard he works to flip a show.
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#14 Darryl Richard Humber

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 09:37 AM

Robert is exactly right. The steward is usually someone that isn't even thought about on a conscious level until a problem arises and he/she has to be tracked down. It's not at all uncommon to do a five month show and never know who the steward is because a problem never arises. The East Coast seems to be more diligent about these things as far as making the steward a visible part of the working crew,however just because someone doesn't know who he is doesn't mean he doesn't exist. Who knows who you talked to?
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#15 Glen Alexander

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 10:36 AM

So when someone has been at a studio for 17 years, they are laid off without cause, they get no severence pay, no continuation of benefits, medical, etc., no attempt to find them another position, and the union does nothing for their members except take dues from their paychecks.

My contention is that union jobs are being farmed out specifically to non-union entities at WB during the current strike, people are getting and have been laid off as a result.

Unions not doing anything that is gutless.

Edited by Glen Alexander, 10 November 2008 - 10:39 AM.

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#16 Michele Peterson

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 10:46 AM

But what if a non-union shoot is going on in the back hills of South Dakota in the middle of no where. Do the US unions try and organize that shoot with the same effort they would make for a non-union shoot going on in Los Angeles?


The local local that covers that area would be the one to try to do so. The most of the locals in LA only cover that craft in the local LA area. 600 is an exception. All areas are grouped into some local jurisdiction. Since IATSE covers many theater and concert venues as well, there are many locals out in areas that filming doesn't often occur. The local union office is often backing film incentives, like tax breaks, in many states, in order to create a film industry and job opportunities in their area, so they require the companies to meet certain criteria, such as hiring a certain amount of local crews and being union to qualify for the incentive (unless it's a right to work state where unions don't have as much power). As someone mentioned before, if one union rep won't bother to go 2 hours out of the way, you can't use that to accurately represent and assume that all reps won't either. They may not bother to waste time trying to turn a show if they already know that the show has way too small of a budget to afford union crew no matter what tier they put them at. The business reps at the union can't patrol the lots and streets keep tabs on the thousands of productions going on, so they often rely on crew to bring it to their attention. They also prefer to have crew that already actively participates in wanting to flip.


While the business reps at the union locals want everyone to turn, because that give more bargaining power to the union, the producers want non-union workers so they have someone who will work for less. The producers ensured that they will always have a non-union labor force by requiring people to have industry experience to get on the union roster and become a member. Some people meet their experience requirement by doing the 30 days on union projects if they are lucky enough to have a connection to get them in, but some do the 100 non-union days, giving the producers a cheaper labor force.

WB's production division may be signatory to IATSE, but the studio operations is a separate legal entity and incorporated separately under the parent company, thus not required to hire union exclusively. They are a for-profit business and will rent to anyone that has the money. Non-union people can also rent props and set dressing and stuff like that too from WB. Many non-union shows don't have the money to rent at major lots, so that's why you don't see them as often.
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#17 Glen Alexander

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 10:58 AM

.....

WB's production division may be signatory to IATSE, but the studio operations is a separate legal entity and incorporated separately under the parent company, thus not required to hire union exclusively. They are a for-profit business and will rent to anyone that has the money. ....


My point exactly, if unions are losing dues and people due to this then they should be actively doing something about it.

Q.E.D.
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#18 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 12:46 PM

IATSE is an International Union.


In which countries does this organisation actually have a significant presence?

P
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#19 Serge Teulon

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 01:05 PM

In which countries does this organisation actually have a significant presence?

P



I should imagine that certainly not ours.
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#20 Michele Peterson

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 06:38 PM

My point exactly, if unions are losing dues and people due to this then they should be actively doing something about it.

Q.E.D.


The crew members are the ones that should be doing something if they want their show to become union. They can't sit on their butts all day expecting someone else to figure out they exist and do something for them. If crew wants to try to organize, all they have to do is have one person put in one phone call to any local and start it. There is a lot that goes into it from there.
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