WGA To Studios: You've Been Served

by Paul William Tenny

According to the Internets, this is what just happened to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP):

To be beaten in a sudden, out of the blue competition. No previous knowledge is required on a subject to be served... Once somebody is served, and then this person serves back, then its on.

Ah, South Park humor..anyway, writers have been filling out ballots this past week that would authorize WGA leadership to call a strike once the current contract expires on October 31st. Such a vote is not for a strike, but to authorize one if necessary. I don't think that anybody thought the authorization would fall through, but I know that some weren't quite sure if they'd get the magical 90% "yes" that would show a near absolute resolve amongst members to get what they want from the studios, or the studios can start writing their material.

News on the numbers was actually delayed by half a day in order to process a record level of member participate in the vote with nearly have the guild showing hands. How did the weary and willing fair in their quest for a long unpaid vacation?
Aces and Kings.

Amping up Hollywood's worries about a strike, members of the Writers Guild of America have strongly backed a strike authorization with a 90% endorsement.

Nearly half of the WGA members voted with 5,507 casting ballots. The guild noted that it was the highest turnout in its history, surpassing the previous record of 4,128 votes cast in the 2001 contract ratification.

The AMPTP negotiator is trying to play down this vote precisely because it scares him, and it scares his bosses as well. He does have a small point, though, noting that WGA didn't bring in an outside firm to hold and validate the vote for them, which has lead to complaints and apparent instances of pressure from strike supporters on those who hadn't voted when nearing the deadline.

But that’s okay…I knew I didn’t have to send the ballot in. A few days ago, someone told me you could do a proxy vote online at the WGAw website, so that’s what I was planning to do.

And then I got the email.

It was from a member who I shall not name. She’s my “strike captain.” And she told me that the Guild had informed her that I had not yet voted, and she urged me to vote.

For as long as I’ve been a member of this union (12 years and counting now), every single vote we’ve ever taken has been a secret ballot. No one knows who votes or who doesn’t vote, and no one shares that information with other members. Furthermore, there was absolutely no indication in the voting materials that this ballot would be handled in any different way than any ballots before it.

Secret ballotting is, in my opinion, a fundamental requirement for a properly functioning democratic election.

Craig ended up voting against the strike, and I would have to if I knew this kind of strong arming and privacy abuse was going on. I would most certainly raise this issue before the next election takes place. We have this kind of abuse going on inside the government, isn't that enough? Does everybody have to resort to lowest common denominator and be the ultimate pathetic?
in Labor


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