Thursday, November 01, 2007

Pencils Down?

In hometown Labor news, hollywood writers are one step closer to a long-rumored strike as their contract expired at 12:01 this morning. What happens next? Dunno. A large portion of their beef involves residuals earned on DVD sales - currently netting scribes a mere 4 cents per unit sold. Writers say they want 8 cents and that the 4 cent figure was agreed to in 1985 at a time when home video sales were trying to get a foothold in the market.

I haven't googled-it yet, but I wonder if their contract is a good read? Probably, like a lot of product these days, it's slow to start, picks up in the second and third articles, but contains stock subsections and tired clauses that detract from the documents forward momentum. But don't miss the shocking twist in article 20.

That may have been the most obvious joke one could possibly make about the situation. Then again, I'm not a screenwriter, so what did you expect.

Something I didn't know:

And if the WGA strikes, it's not going to have a lot of company from its union brothers and sisters. The other major Hollywood unions -- SAG, the DGA, AFTRA and IATSE -- have reminded members of the "no-strike" provisions of their contracts and noted that they must live up to any agreement they've made to work.
They're no-strike? Like cops and firefighters and stuff? Hollywood IS important.

I keed. Though many slam The Industry, it is the town company in Los Angeles, and as the city learned pre-9/11, the exodus of filming to Vancouver, Toronto, and those bastards in Montreal did a lot of damange to the local economy. Maybe not aerospace-closure damage, but damage.

And, naturally, I love me a good contract - especially when labor wins its battles to get one.

Did you know in India, lawyers can and do strike when they get mad at the courts for stuff? True story. My friend Avi told me.

That has nothing to do with anything, but I thought I'd share.


Colleen said...

A lawyer strike may just be the funniest thing I've ever heard of. You should totally start a lawyers' union.

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine getting a group of lawyers to agree on a contract? That alone would keep them busy enough that a strike would be redundant.