Thursday, April 20, 2017
Vote YES for Strike Authorization
Huh? you may be saying.
Here's why: Management is just waiting to see how committed the WGA is to strike. If the Guild sends a resounding message that it is solidly behind our negotiating committee the producers will be way more willing to hammer out a deal and be done with it. They don't really want a strike either. They're making $51 billion in profit a year -- why throw a monkey wrench into that?
If however, the Guild does not give Strike Authorization, or even tepid support, then the producers will let us go on strike, let us suffer, and then give us nothing -- knowing the membership is apt to cave. The worst of both worlds.
The only leverage our negotiating committee has is the threat of a strike. Take that away and we're screwed.
Young writers might be saying, "But I'm just starting out. This is a bad time for me to go on strike." Well, first of all, it's never a good time. But I feel your pain. I really do. I was once in that position myself. And yes, it requires sacrifice and stalls career momentum. But think of this: All of the things that current writers receive -- residuals, decent minimums, credit protection, health & welfare -- those only became reality because writers before you were willing to go out on strike. We all owe them a great debt. Believe me, studios would pay $50 an episode if they could get away with it. $75 for a full screenplay. So it's time for the current membership to do their part.
And for you young writers -- who will ultimately get the benefit of a good contract in 2017? You will.
Look, I've been through four strikes. They suck. They're a hardship on everybody. But the alternative is losing our health coverage, any previous gains, mega-corporations making billions off of our work and not sharing in any of it, and no protection against bad pay, negligible royalties, and exclusivity clauses that force writers out of work. You think striking for a month or so is bad? How about being held to an exclusive contract and not working for a year?
I've read some comments on industry websites from writers who say if you don't want a strike vote no. That's idiotic. Or extremely selfish. Or cowardice. Or all three.
And for you members who say, "Hey, I'm just one vote. What difference does one vote make?" I say to you: remember last November?
Even if you don't really care, even if you passionately don't want a strike, even if you normally don't vote -- this time VOTE. And vote YES. We're facing a bully, and how's the only way to deal with one? By standing up to the son of a bitch. This is a critical moment in our industry's future. Do the right thing, the responsible thing, the smart thing: VOTE YES on Strike Authorization.
WGA members -- here's where you go. Just click this link.
Thanks and here's to a peaceful and FAIR settlement.