Winter 2015

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16 CINEMONTAGE / WINTER 2015 5 ACADEMY AWARD ® NOMINATIONS I N C L U D I N G BEST PICTURE BEST FILM EDITING TOM CROSS WWW.SONYCLASSICSAWARDS.COM " THE BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR." -Chris Nashawaty, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY C A R D I N A L C O M M U N I C A T I O N S G R A P H I C S S T U D I O FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION B E S T F I L M E D I T I N G T O M C R O S S GET TING ORGANIZED when the passage of the Wagner Act established a legal mechanism for unions to be elected the exclusive representative of an employer's workforce. But new organizations such as OUR Walmart and Fast Food Forward have recently revived the strategy of minority unionism by mounting high-profile campaigns for better jobs, without first building majorities at targeted employers. The United Auto Workers, too, is experimenting with minority unionism by pursuing informal negotiations at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, where it narrowly lost a recent election (after anti-union politicians publicly threatened to revoke tax incentives if Volkswagen's workers voted to unionize). Our industry, too, affords examples of new hopes scavenged from old traditions. The labor market in the entertainment industry looks a lot like the future of middle class work in the emergent paradigm of the US economy: a pool of casual or contingent workers, educated and possessed of specialized technical or artistic skills, without any stable, long-term relationship to a single employer. These are precisely the sort of workers who have outgrown the need for unions, in the opinion of labor's detractors, or whose dispersal renders impossible the prospect for collective action, in the opinion of some of our friends. But our Guild and the IATSE have demonstrated that these paradigmatic new economy workers can indeed organize, and that they can do so using decidedly old-school strategies. Several of our recent organizing efforts have made effective use of recognition strikes, another organizing tactic that went largely out of style with the passage of the Wagner Act 80 years ago. Although the picture is bleak, it's not uniformly so. A wave of local and state initiatives to raise the minimum wage, fueled by alt- labor organizing, has found traction. And the NLRB's recent tweaking of certain regulations might afford some modicum of additional protection to workers seeking to organize. However, we ultimately won't be rescued by friendly politicians or bureaucrats. And alt-labor innovators will continue to devise creative ways to amass collective power, but we won't find salvation on a social media site or smartphone app. The only thing that can save our movement is the only thing that ever has: folks making common cause with their co-workers and neighbors, finding in solidarity a power greater than that of those who would hold us back. The cli anger is perhaps a tired trope in this era of video-on- demand and binge viewing, but you'll need to keep tuning in later to see how this story unfolds and what becomes of our embattled labor movement. More importantly, you'll need to keep standing up, standing together, and dismissing the naysayers who claim it's passé to do so. The state of the American labor movement looks bad, but we've all seen the movie in which the nearly defeated underdog gets up, fights back and wins. We can make that movie, but it'll take a large and talented supporting cast. f CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8

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