Local 706 - The Artisan

Fall 2023

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/1504732

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4 • THE ARTISAN FALL 2023 all equate into wages (monies). When costing out a contract, EVERYTHING that can be, is broken down to the nearest penny. The above-mentioned items are carefully calculated to see the actual cost of adding or subtracting them into that contract. What would the cost really be per hour if a member needed to pay for their own health insurance? For the IATSE below-the-line crafts, I am told that amount is approximately $15-$18 per hour or more that would be added to our base pay. The costs of healthcare have sky rocketed … but, so has food, gasoline, transportation, rent, and the list goes on and on. The world is watching for what the writers and actors are going to do next. They will set the climate for how other similar unions will be negotiating in the future. Paul W. Fleming, General Secretary of Equity, the actors' union in Britain, said in an interview, "Actors everywhere are facing 'long-standing, shared fights' over issues such as pay and residual payments, as well as new challenges, including artificial intelligence." Later adding that, "Securing fairness in pay, terms, and conditions is critical—whether it's with traditional producers or new global streamers, this includes the new modes of making and distributing work to a larger global audience." Q: How much longer can the WGA and SAG-AFTRA continue to strike? Let's talk about SOLIDARITY … shall we? Giving support to a person or a group on their own terms is known as solidarity. In the labor movement, solidarity means workers standing shoulder-to- shoulder, hand-in-hand, and toe-to-toe in SUPPORT of ALL workers in their pursuit of better contractual terms and conditions for themselves and their sisters, brothers, and kin. The WGA (Writers Guild of America) went on strike May 2, 2023, followed by SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) on July 14, 2023. This has not occurred since 1960, when Ronald Reagan was the President of SAG (Screen Actors Guild). The WGA and SAG collectively and successfully shut Hollywood down for about six weeks. Sixty-three years later, history is repeating itself—guilds take a strike authorization vote; ask for federal mediation to step in; negotiations come to a standstill; a mass membership meeting is held; and the strike is officially announced. Sound familiar? Even the proposals sound familiar: In 1960, "Everything in the business will be changed—production, distribution, exhibition." In 2023, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA are both pushing for wage parity and, an increase to counter yearly inflation; shrinking residuals and "lack of" in streaming content; and let us not forget, AI (the amount of known and unknown information on this one subject could keep the negotiations going for days—once they get back to the table). Like in most, if not all negotiations, it always comes down to the financial proposals: health, pension, and welfare, and of course, wages. Even additional holidays, vacation, and sick pay LOCAL PERSPECTIVE by Karen J. Westerfield Business Representative, I.A.T.S.E. Local 706 A: As long as it takes for the unions to get a FAIR and equitable deal. If you are reading this now and the WGA and SAG-AFTRA have gone back to the table and are coming to an agreement in their contracts, Fantastic! If by chance the unions are still picketing by the time this edition comes out, please brace yourself … it may be a long bumpy ride. Please remember that we, IATSE—SUPPORT ALL WORKERS' RIGHTS!! Volunteer to help the WGA and/or the SAG-AFTRA unions—participate by walking the picket line to show your solidarity; gently honk your horn as you drive by sisters, brothers, and kin showing their solidarity. Volunteer to be a part of a food drive or donation center; reinvest in the Member-2-Member program; or be an Angel and make a phone call to any Local 706 member and have a chat, say "Hello" or ask them how they are doing. Whatever you choose, remember that Local 706 is here to help you with any of your needs during this time. Visit the website behind the member's wall and access the Welfare Committee's thoroughly researched resource papers, with references for San Diego County, Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Jose, and the San Francisco/Marin Counties (anywhere a Local 706 member works in California). In Solidarity and Unity always, Karen J. Westerfield The most important word in the language of the working class is 'solidarity.' HARRY BRIDGES

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