Thursday, August 25, 2011
It's a trap!!
Occasionally, we'll get the suggestion that we show mid-range employers that they'll SAVE money by signing an IATSE contract. Naively, they assume that if we cut our rates and cost of benefits that companies will rush in and sign up!! They won't. What they will do is point out to their employees what a sellout that agreement is. How they walked all over the union, and how foolish it would be for you to join such an ineffective and powerless organization. It happened before in Culver City. You know who I mean.....
The reality is that the IATSE does have lower cost benefit plans. In appropriate circumstances it might be suitable for some of the smaller shops. And we'll never negotiate such an expensive deal to drive a company right out of the country. What we will do is survey the landscape, assess the current wage rates and cost of benefits, and negotiate a modest improvement in the working conditions. One small step at a time. Over time, we'll level the playing field so that the race to the bottom doesn't trample on the workers heads to yield the lowest possible wages and conditions. The objective here is that wages and conditions won't be the basis of winning bids; quality of work will be. Wages and conditions will actually be a method of attracting the best employees, who, in turn, will attract the studios. We need to get started on that process. We're spending too much time fretting about subsidies and dollar exchange rates. We need to feed our families and find a way to take our kids to the doctor when they get an ear infection. We deserve to be treated like a part of the Motion Picture Industry. Dont' we???