Saturday, September 24, 2005

Final Word On SAG Election!,0,6983447.story?coll=la-home-headlines

While the past two posts examined the process by which news makes its way from the real world onto the LA Times website (and those who think watching sausages being manufactured is stomach churning, definitely should not read those two posts), now's the time to examine the actually completed story.

And it is quite good. Among other things, it mentions the last SAG strike:

The first major test for Rosenberg's coalition probably will come during negotiations next year with advertisers on a contract governing actors in commercials. SAG struck advertisers in 2000 in a bitter six-month walkout. SAG's contract with studios expires in 2008.

What the article does not mention, though, is that the last strike cost the acting community over 100 million of dollars in lost wages, never to be recovered. Further more, even after all of that, the final new contract offered not nearly enough in gains over what would have been gotten without a strike to make up for the losses from the strike, both in the short and in the long term.

That's because the real disaster was that many commercials went to Canada and other countries - causing many jobs to be lost forever. A number of LA-based directors and producers I knew went up there during the strike - and simply never returned.

Plus a number of SAG actors have complained to me that after so many commercials went non-union during the strike, that the ratio between union and non-union work has never recovered since then, further reducing the number of jobs for SAG actors. The strike ended up being the final blow that drove many of them from the Industry, including two friends of mine.

The reason this is all pertinent is that it was the botched handling of those negotiations by former SAG president Bill Daniels (under the guidance of puppet master Chuck Sloan) that brought in reform candidate Melissa Gilbert back in 2001 when she defeated Daniels proxy Valerie Harper.

So once again a new union head is elected with the promise to fight to the death for his members.

The question now is - will history repeat itself?

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