Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trust........but verify.

That was Ronald Reagan's advice, when discussing a nuclear weapons reduction treaty between the US and Russia, more than thirty years ago. The concept has relevance today. The IATSE applauds the VES' "Bill of Rights" and its goals of seeking a better workplace for visual effects workers everywhere. In our view, those goals can only be achieved through a viable labor union and resultant collective bargaining. We can ask facilities for medical care (which they will have to provide beginning in 2014 pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare)). We can seek overtime and rest periods and turnaround and pensions. But, the only way that we can be sure that those benefits will be provided (and not arbitrarily and unilaterally withdrawn as occurred at one facility in Culver City about eight years ago), is for an NLRB representation petition resulting in certification of an exclusive bargaining agent. One only needs to look across the aisle, at co-workers employed in the animation division of the same company. Or down the street, on sound stages which once saw Judy Garland and Clark Gable roam. Or, at the other end of Motor Avenue. Where hundreds of workers are covered by IATSE and Basic Crafts agreements which GUARANTEE that the "rights" enumerated by the VES will be set out in contract language for all employees at that facility. Next time a facility promises to adhere to the Bill of Rights; get it in writing. Trust. But Verify.
We'll type up the agreement.

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