Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The AMPTP "Union-Busting" Plan Continues

As I explained in December and 10-days ago, like the Battle of New Orleans, the Screen Actors Guild's (SAG) battle with big media is being fought after the war ended earlier this year when all the film and TV production rank and file workers lost.

Big media (AMPTP) during its talks with the Writers Guild used the lockout effectively to break the Writers Guild and scare middle management, the Directors Guild. (Yes, Virginia, directors are middle management not rank and file.)

Big media corporations now are using the threat of lockout against the actors, thereby threatening all members of all the unions they deal with who already lost at least three months of work in the past six months during the Writers Guild lockout.

At the same time, big media is going to negotiate with AFTRA, the other actor white meat. They know AFTRA's goal is to expand its influence in prime time. So watch AMPTP throw AFTRA a meatless bone to get a settlement. This will leave SAG's militant leaders hanging because its membership like the rest of us can't afford to miss any payments. ("Militant" in this context means trying to avoid "WalMart employee" status for its non-superstar members.)
Even in Hollywood which produced Norma Rae, the union workers don't understand the lockout or threat of a lockout as simply an old, well-worn corporate management "union-busting" tool to counter the threat of a strike.

But a benefit (?) accrues to us viewers. The fall TV season and the internet media expansion will go on as now planned by Disney, NBCUniversal, CBS, Viacom, and News Corp. It's a good time to buy several million dollars of stock in these companies for the long term. Now what did I do with my "$5 Million Rainy Day" savings account passbook...?

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