By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
Just how many ways is the Big Media cartel screwing the high-cost guilds right now, anyway? Hard not to interpret this as a direct assault on them. This shows exactly what shits the studio and network CEOs and their labor lawyers are, because this nonpayment started waaaaaaaaaay before the stock market crashed. They should be ashamed of themselves. But that would require them to have consciences.
And when it rains bad news, it pours. Few issues have divided the WGA more than the leadership’s post-strike publication of the names of 28 members who went fi-core during the strike. After the WGA’s solidarity during the strike itself, I was flabbergasted by the huge schism that WGA West president Verrone and WGA East president Michael Winship created with this letter. It turns out that the AMPTP took advantage of the discord and filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, which has now sided with the Hollywood CEO negotiating clique against the WGA.
The NLRB [National Labor Relations Board] focused on one sentence in that WGA statement: “... This handful of members who went financial core, resigning from the union yet continuing to receive the benefits of a union contract, must be held at arm’s length by the rest of us and judged accountable for what they are — strikebreakers whose actions placed everything for which we fought so hard at risk.” Was this the WGA urging members to shun the “puny few,” most of whom were soap opera producer-writers? So now the NLRB ruling, which overturned an earlier decision in favor of the WGA by the labor body’s regional director, results in a hearing before an administrative-law judge in Los Angeles sometime in the next few months. The WGA made this statement: “This is a pending legal matter and the Guild will defend itself fully at the NLRB hearing.”
You may recall that, during the strike, the AMPTP posted on its Web site details instructing WGA members on how to go fi-core. The AMPTP’s complaint to the NLRB claimed that the WGA was lobbying for a “prohibited retaliation” against its fi-core writers for exercising their rights and seeking to prevent them from securing work. The WGA in turn accused the AMPTP of meddling in its internal affairs.
Meanwhile, I hear that the WGA in the coming weeks will decide what to do about members accused of strikebreaking (who, for months now, have been quietly brought before the guild to explain themselves). I’ve been quietly following several of these cases, and waiting for their resolutions before going public with my info.
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