Tuesday, December 18, 2007

WGA Strike - Days 42, 43, 44

Day 43 (Monday) was a busy day. It started with another successful picketing session at the Barham Gate at Universal. Our favorite parking patrolman was there (seriously, the police who have been assigned our gate have all been helpful and protective), spirits were up, and Chase Masterson (hi Chase! Thanks for reading my blog!), Mary McDonnell and several wonderful BATTLESTAR fans made appearances along with valuable donut/bagel/coffee contributions.

There were at least two location pickets during the day, which seem to be making a real financial dent against whatever's still out there shooting.

And finally, Monday night there was a major membership meeting at the Santa Monica Civic to discuss the current state of affairs re: the strike and the future. There seems to be a fixation by some of the press to focus on WGA dissenters, but the closest thing I heard to "dissent" was the guy politely suggesting a change in negotiators, and even that was met with strenuous and vocal disapproval from the assembly. I left before every question had been asked and answered, but if people were wavering or demanding the guild capitulate, I sure wasn't hearing it. What we did hear was that it's very difficult to "negotiate" with a group that resorts to bullying tactics and ham-fisted P.R. offenses instead of anything resembling a good-faith discussion.

There is also continued bewilderment among some over the fact, verified by the major advertising agencies, that the studios would rather lose a billion (with a "b") dollars in advertising losses/give-backs AND simultaneously destroy two television seasons, than negotiate over the modest proposals on the table from the WGA. And the AMPTP keeps saying OUR leaders are crazy?

It was also great to hear from Alan Rosenberg, the President of SAG... if you think the WGA is cranky, wait until 100,000+ SAG members decide to hit the bricks if this mess isn't resolved by next June. Of course we all hope things are resolved well before that...

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