IATSE STRIKE SETTLED! Calling on fire with fire

The NY Times has the strike settlement in its print edition but not up online yet.

I want to hear what fire with fire thinks before I start clapping.

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link to the union's web page about this

Landmark tentative agreement reached for IATSE West Coast Film and Television Workers before Strike Deadline.

LOS ANGELES – A nationwide strike that would have started Monday was averted today when the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) reached a tentative three-year agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) for The Basic and Videotape Agreements which affects 40,000 film and television workers represented by 13 West Coast IATSE local unions.

The tentative agreement, which still must be ratified by IATSE members, includes:

Many film and television workers had lamented how the workweek commonly ran into the weekend as Fridays and Saturdays became one long workday or a “Fraturday.” AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, in remarks to the National Press Club in Washington earlier this week, said that IATSE members were “fighting for the weekend.” Under the terms of the new agreement film and television workers would now have a minimum of rest over the weekend.

Achievement of a living wage for the lowest-paid earners
Improved wages and working conditions for streaming
Retroactive wage Increases of 3 percentannually
Increased meal period penalties
Daily rest periods of 10 hours without exclusions
Weekend rest periods of 54 hours
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday Holiday added to schedule
Adoption of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives

IATSE members will be briefed by their local leaders on full details and language of the tentative agreement early this week. A ratification vote will be held with members casting ballots online using a similar process that was used to conduct the recent strike authorization vote.

The vote from the members in each of the 13 locals involved will seal or break the deal.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@jbob ...except for that last one.

Those are codewords for IdiotPo.

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We live in a society in which "we live in a society" is considered a subversive and vaguely-threatening statement.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Last night, I posted this to my thread:

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Regarding the lower rates and weaker contract language for "new" media, the note said that the new deal has "improvements" in both areas. This means that the new contract did not secure parity -- and it remains to be seen how much the gap will be narrowed.

Conspicuously silent in the notice was any mention of long hours. This strongly suggests that there was no movement at all on this front.

I'll leave this without further commentary until more details about the settlement become public.

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The additional detail from the above post confirms last night's impression of the deal. The big plus is increasing weekend turnaround time. I'm not sure what that will do to production start times in the following week -- but the topic of "Fraterdays" was addressed by this provision.

Regarding the idea of bringing New Media rates and conditions up to standard. Today's slight elaboration on what was available last night confirms that the gap was not closed -- and you cannot tell at this point how much it was narrowed.

I never thought there would be a strike and these minimal gains are not dramatic. But as a long time renegade within the House of Labor, I believe the most important thought about improving the performance of labor unions is that there is a reason that management has had the upper hand for four decades -- our own disorganization. We do not have a theory of fighting management and the leadership of Old School unions like IATSE do not even consider the tactics of assymetrical conflict. I know the individuals involved, and they believe in their hearts that the only weapon available is the general strike.

My carping aside, judgment about this settlement will depend upon learning how much that gap for "New" media has been closed.

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I should add that when I talk about the "union" as a noun, by lifetime habit I am referring to the people who run the union rather than the members. That is because to the extent a union does something -- like fight a major corporation -- it is the Big Shots who call all the shots. Members do not have to obey those Big Shots and often they do not. But under the structure of our labor laws, workers do not have much of a choice about how to conduct a strike -- either follow the leadership or scab.

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Bottom line -- this settlement is probably the best outcome. Not real good, but certainly better than laying down and dying -- and better than stumbling into a losing strike. What I expected -- and I have to say I am favorably impressed at how Matt Loeb played this hand.

This episode will create a climate within IATSE for better preparation for the next contract negotiation. Like all modern unions, IATSE projects a lot of mumbo jumbo to the membership about the "process" of bargaining. Drawing up proposals. Researching for data in support of those proposals. Blah Blah Blah.

All that is the easy part. It is really easy to tell management what you want. It is harder to get them to give it. So since PATCO, most of Organized Labor has focused on the easy part and ignoring what it takes to kick a company's ass.
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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

@fire with fire so, a gentle clap, not a jumping up and down for joy reaction, makes sense.

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NYCVG

ggersh's picture

@fire with fire https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/10/18/iats-o18.html

Within hours of the announcement of the tentative agreement (TA), there was an outpouring of outrage from workers on social media and union locals’ phone lines denouncing the betrayal and calling for an unequivocal ‘no’ vote on the contract.

Among the over 150 comments recorded in the first few hours after the union released news of the deal on Twitter was one from a worker who expressed the universal desire of having a life outside of work. “This is a standard negotiation that doesn’t address what we want. Many of these things are already in many contracts. We don’t want to work OT to make enough money. We don’t want prevailing meal penalties. We want to eat. We want to have a life outside of work. Period.”

In reference to Loeb previously stating that the contract was over “human rights,” one worker said, “What happened to giving us basic human rights? Guess we’ll just keep eating over trash cans.”

While yet another responded angrily: “You sold us out. How do you sleep at night? The agreement is s**t! Why don’t you try doing our jobs under these conditions and then tell us we are lucky to maintain the status quo? We had the support of the nation and film industry workers all over the world and you caved!”

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The correct response to someone who supports going to war if China attacks Taiwan is “Are you enlisted?”

The correct response when they inevitably answer “no” is “Then shut the fuck up.”

Caitlin

@ggersh
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No matter what the porkchopper leadership brought back, the WSWS and the social media enthusiasts within IATSE would call it a sellout. A shitty deal, certainly. A lot of drama rather than action with this eleventh hour settlement. But calling it a sell out is neither accurate nor helpful in rebuilding the labor movement. Just as this board is currently and self consciously worrying over the conundrum of how to disagree without getting hot under the collar, organized labor has to abandon the past without focusing on personalities and I TOLD YOU SOs.
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My ex-insider point of view is that Organized Labor, as a whole, decided to back off after the PATCO strike in 1982 when Reagan fired all the Air Traffic Controllers in the country. I was in the "room" when this was discussed by the union brass in 1983. We decided that we could not win any more and we started backing up.

I have posted my own criticism of IATSE's approach to this negotiation. Playing only one card, STRIKE, the union pushed that strategy as far as it could go -- the national attention grabbing decision to take a strike vote. Had IATSE walked this morning, it would take a miracle for the strike to hold together past Christmas.

Everybody on both sides of the table knew that, and there was no way for IATSE to attain its bargaining goals, especially limiting ridiculously long work days, without kicking the industry's ass much harder than they expect. Management since the Reagan years will always game plan a strike and set aside enough money to outlast you or to replace you.

For that reason, the only way to win a labor dispute is to do the unexpected. Variations on the boycott and the corporate campaign offer huge advantages to unions and no disadvantages. But nothing is harder to accept than a new idea, particularly by professional union representatives that have spent the last four decades in retreat. Nobody wants to think of themselves as a sell-out or a wimp, and my generation of union representatives live with themselves by believing that they are "realists." Just like their riding buddies in the institutional Democratic Party, they "know" that we can't win a general strike and everything else derives from that.

Since there was no plausible campaign strategy ready to go as of this morning, there was no way the leadership could recommend a strike.

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I think it would be very healthy for everybody involved if the IATSE membership were to turn it down. The voting process is complex and similar to the Electoral College. There are 13 locals and each one will hold a separate vote. They could wind up with an anomalous result with a majority of members voting one way but the result going the other -- which would cause a monster of a ruckus in this paranoid era.

Ventilating labor's dysfunctional structure would be a plus. And getting more people directly involved in union democracy would be another plus.

I will be shocked if there are more than 25% NO votes. But everybody has been mindfucked half to death over the last 19 months. Maybe an awakening is taking place . . . .

We'll see soon enough.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

ggersh's picture

@fire with fire But with strikes happening everywhere and in all types of environments I believe corporations have overplayed their hand and labor is starting to win. W

The one thing labor really needs to do is make sure union leaders are working for them rather than being owned by the corporation.

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The correct response to someone who supports going to war if China attacks Taiwan is “Are you enlisted?”

The correct response when they inevitably answer “no” is “Then shut the fuck up.”

Caitlin