Tessa’s gonna give y’all’s the post-mortem on our strike. I should add that she walked many more miles on the picket line than I did, but then again, I made the Krazy T-Shirts with stinky iron-ons.. Anyway, here she is:
Blessedly, the strike officially ended today. There is no doubt that we made impressive gains and leveraged a strategic toehold in new media. The membership never cracked and I have heard it argued that this was the first real union victory since Reagan castrated labor in the ’80s. But there’s a plaguing question that hovers in the hangover haze as we all stumble back to work… was it worth it?
On the down side, Los Angeles lost 3 billion dollars in revenue in the middle of a recession and a state budget crisis. A bunch of hard-working crewmembers suffered without a paycheck for three months for a fight that is not theirs. And the strike may have restructured television development so substantially that we have ensured fewer writing opportunities for the foreseeable future.
On the upside, we stood up to big shameless bullies and didn’t get crushed. We guaranteed our financial participation in an emerging market, which had to happen now – if we had waited until the next contract negotiation, the precedents would have been set (and not in our favor). We stuck together and still have some fight left in us for the next round. The actors and writers have never been more allied. And our relationship with the Director’s Guild is immensely improved. If the guilds keep working together like this, we could provide a real juggernaut of labor justice in 2011.
And I really credit our leadership for their pluck – they managed to be humble and reasoned and feisty all at once. I am sincerely proud of the company we keep.
But here’s the thing… The itchy irritation of a new shirt….
We walked picket lines for three months for no immediate financial gain.
The DVD rate still sucks. Basic cable minimums still suck. And you still can’t get paid decent money to work in animation.
But ultimately we let those things go in order to assure our future. It was a good compromise but compromises are hard. Yes there are things we wish were better, gains we wish were bigger, but in the end, 10,000 petulant writer geeks faced down six multi-national conglomerates. If we can do it, maybe other workers will remember they can too. I’m pretty proud of that.
Ian here again. And I’m proud of my girl.
how others saw the picket lines
how I saw the picket lines