Friday, September 9, 2011

Rafael Nadal: "we need a union......"

Rafael Nadal, in a post-match interview at the US (tennis) Open, commented that the players need a union to represent them!!! It's not about wages, fringe benefits, or even independent contractor status. Rafa was reacting to scheduling matches one after another, for four straight days, (due to weather delays), so that the semi-finals and finals can both be telecast over the weekend for maximum ratings and advertising revenue.
The tournament doesn't seem to care that scheduling in that way forces the players to play four days in a row of five-set matches. With absolutely no time to rest between matches, several of which have gone well past mid-night.
Sound familiar????
What pro tennis players are saying is that they would like a voice in decisions that affect their health and welfare. And, that, just maybe, they might have some positive contributions to make to "management" decision-making.
The current VES 2.0 initiative comes from the same place. Visual effects artists (as represented by VFX Soldier, Eric Alba,Scott Squires, Scott Ross, Joe Harkin) and the many artists who comment frequently on the state of the industry actually have valuable insight into the race to the bottom mentality, the flat bid system, and other current industry practices.
What Rafa, and these bloggers all realize is that through the process of collective bargaining, avenues open up in which constructive dialogue can take place for the benefit of the entire industry.
Obamacare (better known as "Affordable Health Care" will require all employers to provide for medical insurance for their employees at companies with more than 50 workers. And, the federal government won't put up with the nonsense that visual effects artists are "independent contractors" and therefore not entitled to the protection of this Act.
How will this be implemented?? the most efficient way will be through collectively bargained plans with the buying power of over thirty thousand covered employees.
And while, we're at it, maybe we'll have a thing or two to suggest about sixty and seventy hour workweeks, scheduling, overtime, and how facilities and studios can improve the process, lower costs, make better movies, and treat their workforce with the respect they deserve.
Thanks Rafa, for your support!!

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