Marta Russell wrote:
> Tom Lehman wrote:
> > I expect to hear from a few others out in California familiar with the
> > situation in the movie industry.
> > TL
> I don't recall Katha saying anything against the workers. The discussion was
> about the union and my original post was about the recent union decision to
> get on board the free trade issue.
> My film experience was in visual effects production and later supervision of
> that production -- a category of film work where there were no unions
> representing supervisors or workers because we did not fit into the
> traditional trades.
> I've worked on many many movie sets and film locations in my day, and I
> certainly would not characterize the Hollywood work scene as one where "our
> working conditions are among the worst in the world." It is a gross
> exaggeration. Bagels, donuts, coffee, appleboxes to sit on, directors who
> though can be egomaniacs, generally respect the trades and count on their
> expertise to do a job properly. Contrast this to production line work in
> sweaty factories where women slave 12 or more hour days with no breaks at
> salaries this guy would laugh at -- where workers lives are at stake, where
> their youth is used up, health destroyed and are as replaceable as
> barnyard animals and treated the same. It does not do Hollywood workers
> image any good to bemoan the supposedly horrible working conditions -- I've
> never seen one in over 13 years of active film production work at many major
> studios, not even on low budget independent films. Not that these workers
> should not have job security, good pay, and benefits, etc. but really there
> is no comparision to many working people's conditions in the world.
> The question I have, is why didn't the Hollywood unions see this NAFTA thing
> coming and do something about it before now? My suspicion is that they saw
> it but did not believe it could happen to them. They've have a pretty
> isolated business, dependent upon skills unique to a Hollywood setting -- but
> now that more workers can do the same work in Austrailia, in Canada, in Korea
> -- for
> less money -- this locale security is a thing of the past.
> My original post made the point (correct me if I am wrong) that the
> Hollywood unions had done very little in the past to join the fight against
> NAFTA when other worker jobs were going to other countries - insulating
> themselves from the other workers plight. Now when their ox is getting gored
> they join the frey because they are losing their jobs and standard of living.
> This has been coming a long time, but only recently has there been protest.
> The studios knew where this was going way before the union got activated. Did
> the Hollywood workers think the MPAA would protect them when every major
> corporate interest in the nation has abandoned the workers -- they are all
> corporations which are more interested in profits than people's lives?
> Marta Russell