Hollywood and NAFTA

Marta Russell ap888 at lafn.org
Fri Nov 12 07:37:51 PST 1999

Well after years of being chummy with the studios, and having little allegiance to any workforce other than their own, the Hollywood unions have finally realized their own ox

is getting gored by NAFTA. Surprise!

-- Marta


Commerce Secretary Daley's Free Trade Dinner at Sony Studios

11 November 1999

Jobless film and television workers gather today outside the Sony Studio gates to remind Commerce Secretary Daley that when he visits Hollywood, he visits America's newest rust belt. We are here to tell Mr. Daley and the world that behind the glitz and glamour of our industry is a factory town in deep distress - a community of working families and small businesses reeling from the effects of NAFTA and the very free trade agreements Mr. Daley has come to Hollywood to promote. The NAFTA structure Mr. Daley and the studio heads will be celebrating tonight is the very system that has removed our jobs to Canada and has taken with them our health insurance, our pensions, our kid's college funds, and our homes.

For eighty years our community of workers and artists has led the world as the largest, most productive, most highly skilled workforce of it's kind. Through hard work and constant innovation, we survived through depression, war, and technological change. But now we've met an obstacle that no amount of hard work or innovation seems able to overcome. Our own political leaders have arranged a system of trade agreements designed to enhance corporate profits by shipping our jobs offshore. In exchange for NAFTA-sanctioned subsidies from Canada and elsewhere, the studios have turned their backs on their own community and have engaged in the wholesale destruction of the Hollywood jobs base.

To Mr. Daley, we would like to say that Hollywood workers will not roll over for policies that export our jobs and undermine the futures of our children, and we will not support politicians who do so. That means in Y2K we won't give endorsements, we won't walk precincts, we won't give money, and we won't vote for ANY politicians of any party who support trade agreements that export our jobs. We'd like Mr. Daley to return to Washington with a message to all politicians, that if you come to Hollywood with solutions for working people, we welcome you, but if you come without solutions, it's better not to come at all.

To the Motion Picture Association of America, we would like to remind them of their historic ties and moral obligation to the community of workers and artists who created them. We urge them to consider the long-range political and economic implications of trade policies that sow dissension in our community at the very time our industry is under attack by the forces of intolerance.

To the American public, we ask your support in our resistance to unfair trade agreements that kill good jobs, and we draw your attention to the job-destroying, anti-family policies that are transforming our community into another NAFTA rust belt. We ask for your active assistance in appealing to the politicians and the corporations to reverse this race to the bottom and preserve Hollywood as one of America's great industrial assets.

To our fellow trade unionists and working people everywhere, we ask your support in our struggle to save our jobs. We know that only a united front of labor will have the power to break NAFTA and stop the WTO from destroying our livelihoods, our communities, and our children's future. We stand united with the Teamsters in their battle against the NAFTA trucking agreement, with the United Food and Commercial Workers in their NAFTA battle against Gigante super markets, with the Steelworkers in their battle against the dumping of foreign steel, and with all working people everywhere in their battles against the destructive and unfair trade policies Mr. Daley has come to Hollywood to promote.

Our battle has only begun -- together we will win.

Hollywood Fair Trade Campaign

Contact: Michael Everett


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