Space Ramblings

The Real Reason the WGA Strike is Continuing

No it’s not about “fairness” or about paying writers for their work. It’s about power and the WGA’s agenda to control writers in new media and animation and to hold jobs for their people and to control corporate policy. Bingo.

After days of haggling over complicated formulas for Internet pay, the latest round of talks blew up over the deeper issues that had been buried inside the writers’ contract proposals. These include requests for jurisdiction over those who write for reality TV shows and animated movies; for oversight of the fair-market value of intracompany transactions that might affect writer pay; and the elimination of a no-strike clause that prevents guild members from honoring the picket lines of other unions once a contract is reached

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Welcome to strike club, the first rule of WGA strike club is that we pretend it’s about paying writers for their work. The second rule of WGA strike club is that we don’t talk about how this is a shameless power grab that will ultimately hurt working and aspiring writers the worst while stoking the egos of a small few who want to flex their muscles.

Similarly, company negotiators know that to grant jurisdiction over workers not currently represented by the guild would bring up against legal questions — can they impose union membership on a unit whose members have not signed up? And it would lead to a collision with other unions.

That matter provoked a blast on Friday night. Thomas C. Short, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, which already represents some reality and animation writers, compared the writers’ guild leadership to “a huge clown car that’s only missing the hats and horns.”

So in other words this is about a clash of unions and a union power grab.

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