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Sag to vote on strike


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#1 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 02:06 PM

So if the current economic meltdown weren't adding stress and shutting down shows already, now SAG is voting to walk out, as talks seem to have stalled between them and the feared producers:

http://news.yahoo.co...dDNUIkgjWCs0NUE

Doh!

I know some in the right will say that is the result of having "evil" business-stifling unions in the first place, and that producers deserve the big chunk of the money because they take the risk. :rolleyes: But I am also wondering what the rest of our fellow working men and women of this forum have to say, as this will affect us all.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 22 November 2008 - 02:09 PM.

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#2 Mike Washlesky

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:33 AM

So if the current economic meltdown weren't adding stress and shutting down shows already, now SAG is voting to walk out, as talks seem to have stalled between them and the feared producers:

http://news.yahoo.co...dDNUIkgjWCs0NUE

Doh!

I know some in the right will say that is the result of having "evil" business-stifling unions in the first place, and that producers deserve the big chunk of the money because they take the risk. :rolleyes: But I am also wondering what the rest of our fellow working men and women of this forum have to say, as this will affect us all.



Its extremely annoying because SAG refuses to sign the deal that the WGA, and IATSE among others have already signed and infact, forced the producers to amend. Other labor orgs have already approved but no, SAG has to be special and get even more that the blue collars who labor on the show. Ladi-da. No wonder film production is fleeing from LA. Entitlement ruins good business. I totally agree in the concept of unions to a point. They have helped workers in all fields of labor from the early days in the auto industry for fair wages to safety, but, there's a line that gets crossed where they can hurt an industry such as in auto manufacturing currently, and of course its looking like SAG is too. Sign the freaking deal and get back on set..
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#3 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 11:59 AM

The following I found on the CML, along with a text along the lines of Mike's.

http://www.petitiono...w/petition.html
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#4 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 12:02 PM

I am filled with a sense of dread that reminds me of last year around this same time. It's so easy for people to make decisions like this (or NOT make them, and f*ck around for months on end) when they're say, 1) sitting in a comfy chair, 2) getting a normal amount of sleep, and 3) making more money than us, every 2 weeks like clockwork. But if they had any idea of what things were like on our side of the line (AKA "below"), maybe things would be different.

As it is, they are not, and I guess like all the other bullsh*t out there right now, we just have to grit our teeth. Here in NYC it's winter anyway, so once again, it's slow anyway. BRING IT ON. Let's just see if things can POSSIBLY GET ANY WORSE!

...I'm sorry. Where was I...?

This is just my opinion. Other people might feel otherwise.
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#5 Tenolian Bell

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 12:16 PM

A friend of mine who works at SAG offices. She told me that only about 30% of SAG members make any income from acting. Only around 18% of SAG members make $200,000 or more. The top actors who make millions are less than 5%.

With around 70% of SAG members making little to no income from acting. You see this is all an argument and benefit for an extremely small group of people. While it risks the livelihoods of a much larger group.
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#6 Rory Hanrahan

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 12:27 PM

? it risks the livelihoods of a much larger group.


Exactly. That group includes AC's, grips, juicers, PA's, crafty? I could go on.

I'm all about individual and worker's rights, but this could be disastrous winter for all of us if SAG pulls the trigger.
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#7 David Rakoczy

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 12:30 PM

Its extremely annoying because SAG refuses to sign the deal that the WGA, and IATSE among others have already signed and infact, forced the producers to amend. Other labor orgs have already approved but no, SAG has to be special and get even more that the blue collars who labor on the show. Ladi-da. No wonder film production is fleeing from LA. Entitlement ruins good business. I totally agree in the concept of unions to a point. They have helped workers in all fields of labor from the early days in the auto industry for fair wages to safety, but, there's a line that gets crossed where they can hurt an industry such as in auto manufacturing currently, and of course its looking like SAG is too. Sign the freaking deal and get back on set..


I could not agree with Mike any more. You can see this in the auto industry as well as Mike mentioned... UAW workers averaging $70/hour (in total) while Toyota is $38. What do you expect.

Btw Paul B, here in the South where more and more vehicles are being built the auto manufacturing industry is not being hit nearly as hard as Detroit. Just an example of how the South is not behind 10-15 years.
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#8 K Borowski

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 08:15 PM

Say, about that strike, any further updates as to if it is actually going to go through?

How is this going to effect Pilot production come January?

How is it going to effect things in LA, Vancouver, NYC, NO, Utah, and NM markets?
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#9 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 09:27 PM

Here in NM, the only feature starting principal photography anytime soon is "Book of Eli" starring Denzel Washington Jr. There's a couple of episodic shows currently shooting, but that is it. The director and producers of Superbad allegedly want to film a film called "Paul" here soon, but I don't know if it has been greenlit or not.

There are a lot of crew people vying to get on "Book". So things are tight now, and it could get pretty horrible for those of us who make a big chunk of our money through feature work. We'll see, some SAG people are already starting to get antsy:

"George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Russell Crowe, Sally Field, Robert Redford, Julianne Moore and Susan Sarandon are among those encouraging other members to vote no, saying a strike in the midst of a recession would be ill-timed."

http://seattlepi.nws...45_tvgif23.html
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#10 Walter Graff

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 09:31 PM

Sure only 30% of SAG works, but that does not mean the strike is for a small percentage. That 70% are dreamers who hope to someday make it. Odds are slim to none they will. There just aren't enough real jobs. They make the minimum to get the card and keep dreaming. But while that 30% is a small portion of the whole group, they are the larger percentage (basically all of the) actual workforce for SAG so they deserve what they can get just as much as anyone else. We are seeing fundamental changes in the way everything works, from Wall Street, to banks, to business in general and unions in particular are a shrinking breed so all need to do what they can to steer the future towards survival.
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#11 alfredoparra

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 12:12 AM

SAG is melting away!
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#12 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 02:08 AM

Sure only 30% of SAG works, but that does not mean the strike is for a small percentage. That 70% are dreamers who hope to someday make it.


Right. The catch here is that (and I know you know this), if SAG went into strike and only the 30% of top SAG cats lost income, well then that would be their loss. But, in the current union based industry model, it means NO ONE who works on those movies gets any work if SAG strikes. So I guess the larger issue here is the industry-wide fallout of a strike, compounded here by a world-wide economy recession.

To think in terms of one's own survival (or those lucky 30% SAG members) ONLY is not what I think is in the best interest of anyone.

Similarly, the idea that all unions are evil (as the big majority of conservatives would like to think) is oversimplifying the issue. Most union members would rather ride out a union strike every so often than doing away with unions altogether.
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#13 Aaron Moorhead

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 02:04 AM

I do not want a strike, but the AMPTP deal for SAG is actually pretty bad, considering the differences between IATSE and SAG - one relies on residuals, one doesn't, which is the whole problem. Plus, the WGA deal is pretty darn different too, and can't really just be copied and pasted from one contract to another.

Go to sag.org and do some reading up. Specifically, on the Negotiations Update, watch the 4th video. The rest kind of suck, but Ms. Bateman does a great job explaining what's going on. Also, read the FAQ on the strike: FAQ here. They answer all the obvious questions we all have, like "why now?" and "why do you think you're so special?"

They make a compelling argument, but I'm still siding with no strike now, simply because of economics.
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#14 Aaron Moorhead

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 02:02 AM

I do not want a strike, but the AMPTP deal for SAG is actually pretty bad, considering the differences between IATSE and SAG - one relies on residuals, one doesn't, which is the whole problem. Plus, the WGA deal is pretty darn different too, and can't really just be copied and pasted from one contract to another.

Go to sag.org and do some reading up. Specifically, on the Negotiations Update, watch the 4th video. The rest kind of suck, but Ms. Bateman does a great job explaining what's going on. Also, read the FAQ on the strike: FAQ here. They answer all the obvious questions we all have, like "why now?" and "why do you think you're so special?"

They make a compelling argument, but I'm still siding with no strike now, simply because of economics.
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#15 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 02:11 AM

Sure only 30% of SAG works, but that does not mean the strike is for a small percentage. That 70% are dreamers who hope to someday make it.


Right. The catch here is that (and I know you know this), if SAG went into strike and only the 30% of top SAG cats lost income, well then that would be their loss. But, in the current union based industry model, it means NO ONE who works on those movies gets any work if SAG strikes. So I guess the larger issue here is the industry-wide fallout of a strike, compounded here by a world-wide economy recession.

To think in terms of one's own survival (or those lucky 30% SAG members) ONLY is not what I think is in the best interest of anyone.

Similarly, the idea that all unions are evil (as the big majority of conservatives would like to think) is oversimplifying the issue. Most union members would rather ride out a union strike every so often than doing away with unions altogether.
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#16 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 02:15 AM

Double post!

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 29 December 2008 - 02:16 AM.

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#17 Aaron Moorhead

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 02:16 AM

I do not want a strike, but the AMPTP deal for SAG is actually pretty bad, considering the differences between IATSE and SAG - one relies on residuals, one doesn't, which is the whole problem. Plus, the WGA deal is pretty darn different too, and can't really just be copied and pasted from one contract to another.

Go to sag.org and do some reading up. Specifically, on the Negotiations Update, watch the 4th video. The rest kind of suck, but Ms. Bateman does a great job explaining what's going on. Also, read the FAQ on the strike: FAQ here. They answer all the obvious questions we all have, like "why now?" and "why do you think you're so special?"

They make a compelling argument, but I'm still siding with no strike now, simply because of economics.
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#18 Walter Graff

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 02:55 AM

http://latimesblogs....to-sag-mem.html
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#19 Richard Boddington

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 10:06 AM

A friend of mine who works at SAG offices. She told me that only about 30% of SAG members make any income from acting. Only around 18% of SAG members make $200,000 or more. The top actors who make millions are less than 5%.

With around 70% of SAG members making little to no income from acting. You see this is all an argument and benefit for an extremely small group of people. While it risks the livelihoods of a much larger group.


This really is one of the main points of the matter, how can you go on strike when you don't work in the first place??????

SAG and the WGA are very unique unions when you have such incredible pay disparity amongst the members of the union. An elite group at the very top earning millions per year, and the vast majority that barely earn enough to feed a chicken. At least with the UAW all of the members earn the same basic rate of pay and they all work at the same time.

What I find interesting is the total lack of public support and sympathy for unions these days. With the vast majority of US and Canadian workers now working non-union, union members are perceived as being spoiled cry babies that earn more money than they do. 60% of Americans oppose the bailout for GM and Chrysler, I wonder how much of that opposition is based on the fact that the UAW members earn far more money than the average non-union employee?

During the WGA strike I would read the posts from the general public that followed the news stories on the web, the hostility was pretty amazing. You would read post after post of people saying either, "Good they all write sh*tty shows so who cares," or "wow, I'd like to earn a million dollars a year writing a TV show."

SAG of course will have its own PR nightmare to deal with....right in the middle of tens of thousands of ordinary Americans losing their jobs and homes, the media will be filled with stories of "Hollywood Actors On Strike." Now the public doesn't know about the 70% of SAG members who barely scratch out a living each year, but they do know about the famous stars that earn millions each year.

So the public perception is going to be, "these people that earn millions per year are going on strike demanding more money, and I just lost my job making 35K a year?"

I say good luck to the SAG members in their attempt to generate public sympathy. The mood is ugly out there and right now the public does not want to hear about movie stars demanding pay raises. It may not be the reality but perception is so much stronger than reality.

And let's face it there will be a few big stars who show up on the picket lines with strike signs to show solidarity with the union members. Who do you think the media will want to interview? Joe Blow actor or Susan Sarandon?

Middle America will watch the interview with Susan Sarandon on the picket line and they won't have too much sympathy especially since the factory they worked at for 40 years just shut its doors and moved to Mexico.

R,
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#20 Walter Graff

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 10:31 AM

The Democrats base is dwindling so they are screaming rally cries such as "jobs are being lost overseas". In reality that means we are losing union jobs. Yes we are. 25 years ago union representation in the US was 20%. Today it's 12%. Unions have been lost mostly because the US is no longer a manufacturing economy and now more a service economy. And this has done considerable damage to the Democratic party and was one of the key reasons why Obama was elected. He played to the the unionized middle class base. Unfortunately his promises can not be realized as the fundamentals of how business are done have changed, but it got him in office, so it worked. Unfortunately GM will be bankrupt by June or July and the unions will be reduced to shells of what they are when GM reorganizes. And as more and more manufacturing jobs go, so will the backbone of the strongest unions in the US.
Those in service industries who try to unionize are met with far less respect than years past. Now the Starbucks employees are trying to unionize and that will certainly mean the end of Starbucks as we know it. Unions are things of the past and I predict in ten years time they will account for single digit numbers in the entire workforce. They just don't carry the respect in people that they used to and unfortunately that will not get any better. This SAG strike will not happen as they will not get the vote, but if it did, there will be no negotiation. The offer has been made and it's take it or leave it. It's such a splintered union that has two classes. The upper class of the union wants ot control it and the lower class simply wants the benefits of it. Unfortunately not having a clear goal union wide will mean the further weakling of it.
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