WGA (writers') Strike - where shows stand - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 248 Old 11-16-2007, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

I believe the three guilds that get residuals are directors, actors, and writers.

....the studios make additional monies over and beyond the original showings, and they need to share some of that additional income with the talent that made it possible. Makes sense to me.

This merit pay, or deferred payment makes sense to me too but my point is that this "three guild exclusive" should be open for discussion too, along with the producers etc. that are also residual beneficiaries.

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post #182 of 248 Old 11-16-2007, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Yeah, it does happen all the time. The auto industry unions and airline unions have negotiated a lot of give-backs in recent years, and those are always in the business news. I have friends in the airline industry and their contracts are a fraction of what they once were. Much of their pain is a result of corporate mismanagement, of course, but one seldom hears any criticism of those guys. The big manufacturing unions are well aware that the gravy train is over, and have adjusted their negotiations accordingly. It's quite common these days.

Indeed, the current flap is actually the result of a 'giveback' when the writers agreed to cut their residuals by 80% in order to help grow the infant video rental industry. The understanding is that once the business model became healthy that the original residual rate would be reinstated, but it never happened.

I'm no expert....so your mileage may vary
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post #183 of 248 Old 11-16-2007, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

The auto industry unions and airline unions have negotiated a lot of give-backs in recent years, and those are always in the business news. I have friends in the airline industry and their contracts are a fraction of what they once were. Much of their pain is a result of corporate mismanagement, of course, but one seldom hears any criticism of those guys. The big manufacturing unions are well aware that the gravy train is over, and have adjusted their negotiations accordingly. It's quite common these days.

The pilots at United Airlines endured two rounds of concessions that included pay cuts of 30 percent, followed by another 12 percent, harsher work rules, less job security, and a terminated pension plan. The other employees got a bigger shaft. In contrast, United's CEO, Glenn Tilton, received a compensation package in 2006 worth over $40 million dollars, a 3,533 percent increase over the prior year.

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The lion's share of remuneration came in the form of stock and option awards granted in February, including an award the -based company valued at $20 million when it was issued Feb. 2, one day after UAL emerged from bankruptcy.

Tilton received subsequent awards worth about $18 million over the next four weeks, the company said in a regulatory filing Monday. He was paid a base salary of $687,083, received $839,028 in non-equity incentive plan compensation and was granted other compensation of $210,959.

Among the perquisites Tilton received was the use of a company car and driver, which UAL said was worth $40,196. He also received unlimited air travel aboard United Airlines and reimbursement for financial management advisory service.

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/fligh...ensation_N.htm

Fair and Balanced.

Prior to UAL going bankrupt, they laid off thousands of employees (I don't recall the year, sometime in the 90's) yet they repainted their entire fleet during that layoff period. Must keep up appearances.
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post #184 of 248 Old 11-16-2007, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by LL3HD View Post

This is true but one thing has nothing to do with the other. Yes, there should be an "in house cleaning" but the tax incentives are necessary for an equal playing ground. If our neighbors North are stealing our industry because of their tax incentiveswe have to do the same.

Well, as long as the USD continues to be pounded into the ground we'll probably see less and less productions such as those currently done up north, the Canadian dollar being the strongest it's been in over 20 years. The Euro and the British Pound are also slapping around the USD pretty hard as well, in fact, most all foreign currency is in better shape than the USD presently.
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post #185 of 248 Old 11-16-2007, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Yeah, it does happen all the time. The auto industry unions and airline unions have negotiated a lot of give-backs in recent years, and those are always in the business news. I have friends in the airline industry and their contracts are a fraction of what they once were. Much of their pain is a result of corporate mismanagement, of course, but one seldom hears any criticism of those guys. The big manufacturing unions are well aware that the gravy train is over, and have adjusted their negotiations accordingly. It's quite common these days.

Thanks. Now that you remind me, I realized I have read about this in the airline industry. Good point. I was not aware of it in the manufacturing sector.
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post #186 of 248 Old 11-16-2007, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Aliens View Post

Prior to UAL going bankrupt, they laid off thousands of employees (I don't recall the year, sometime in the 90's) yet they repainted their entire fleet during that layoff period. Must keep up appearances.

Actually, repainting aircraft is a "non-controllable" expense, as the government requires the aircraft stripped, inspected and repainted every 7 years. Changing graphics/paint colors during this process doesn't increase costs. What might have changed is pushing the refresh intervals further apart (the airline I work for repaints every 5 years, so theoretically, a push to the 7 year maximum is possible if they were doing it more frequently)
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post #187 of 248 Old 11-16-2007, 11:56 PM
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If anyone missed the subtle joke on 30 Rock on Thursday, the news ticker on the bottom of the MSNBC screen said, "NEWS CRAWL AFFECTED BY WRITERS STRIKE * USING REPEAT TEXT FROM PREVIOUS SEASON".

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post #188 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 04:36 AM
 
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Few people in the country work for unions, and the vast majority of us who aren't in a union aren't forced to work 16 hour days for slave wages, buy at the company store, etc.

Indeed. There was a time unions were needed, and that time may even come again some day, but for now, they are only a net-negative influence on society as a whole, because specifically of how they exploit their special collective bargaining privileges, granted to them by the government implicitly for the sole purpose of protecting worker safety and ensuring simply a living wage, rather than as a strong-arm tool for exacting a "bigger piece of the pie".
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post #189 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 04:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Because writers are the real talent.

The old "we're special" argument. It's great when you can convince others that you're more important than a plumber, but when your toilet is backing-up onto the floor, you realize how much more important a plumber is than a writer. Regardless, no one deserves special treatment (i.e., the ability to use collective bargaining, a privilege that is granted only to specific, licensed entities, by government action, and provisions for such granting was for purposes in the public interest, not a matter of rights) because they belong to a union. Special treatment should be based solely on merit, not membership.

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You can train someone fairly quickly to be a technician, but the creative talent represented by a good writer is far more rare and not so easily replaced.

With respect, that is nothing more than their self-serving nonsense that you've bought-into.
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post #190 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 04:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by agregjones View Post

There's something wrong with an industry that strikes predictably each time their contract is up. This is not a strike in the old meaning, but a negotiation tactic.

Indeed, and that was never what the collective bargaining privilege was intended for.
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post #191 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 05:10 AM
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With respect, that is nothing more than their self-serving nonsense that you've bought-into.

Uh no, it's just common sense. Being able to write compelling material that millions will watch and enjoy is a skill set far beyond learning how to wire a soundstage or operate a panaflex camera. And far more difficult to replace. And their compensation package (including residuals) reflects that.
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Well, since we disagree, it isn't "common" sense. It is your sense, and their's, and perhaps a lot of other people's, but there are also a lot of us who don't share that view, and believe that there are many jobs people do in our society that are more irreplaceable than screen writer. Regardless, "irreplacability" is typically an indicator where unionization is most especially not warranted. The prototypical worker that unions were franchised to protect is a coal miner, or an assembly line worker, etc.
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post #193 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Uh no, it's just common sense. Being able to write compelling material that millions will watch and enjoy is a skill set far beyond learning how to wire a soundstage or operate a panaflex camera. And far more difficult to replace. And their compensation package (including residuals) reflects that.

Sorry, but I'll have to disagree with your disagreement.

I'm technically considered a technician, but I edit for television. What I do affects the very look, feel, sound and overal quality of the end product. I am the very last person to touch the product before you, the viewer, see it.

Sure, anyone can be trained to use the equipment I operate. The manuals are right in the room. However, to learn to create a product of the type that I output within the timetable I am allowed would be impossible without the experience and skill I have achieved. I have years of experience that allows me to do what I do. I can color correct the scene to create just the right mood, swell the orchestra music at the kiss and even sweeten the sound of someones voice if they had a cold that day of shooting. In addition, I often am called on to fix problematic FX as well as create smooth transitions between scenes. In the end, what you see at the end of the day is my product. That's right - mine.

Not only do I not get residuals for my work, my particular categories that my work is eligiable to be entered into for Emmy recognition doesn't have an editing category. I can't even win a statue for my trouble. Even worse, I make less than the writers around me do. The real kick in the seat is, I often have to edit elements for DVD releases as part of my duties. I don't get anything extra since it's considered (in my area) part of the project.

As far as your specific examples are concerned, having seen some absolutely awful camera work in my time (and had to fix it in post), I can tell you that operating any camera is a skilled profession. So is pulling cable (I've seen steadycam operators nearly get pulled over by a poor cable puller and one was injured when he actually was). Wiring a sound stage is skilled work, as well, since everything they do has to work with all the wireless mikes and other devices than can be affected by such things - not to mention camera dollies, booms and other devices that might get hung up on them.

So, I will most completely have to disagree. In fact, it's attitudes like yours that are the reason the suits consider us so replaceable and merely "button pushers". Of course, most of them couldn't even find the right "buttons" to turn my equipment on...
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post #194 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 06:41 AM
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^^ Okay, okay, Uncle!, he cries. Certainly don't mean to denigrate what you or any other skilled technician does; that's not what I meant. I guess it really goes back to the concept of the writer being the creative force behind the show, as well as the director and the actors. That's people's perception, and that's why the residual system has evolved the way it has. To me, it makes sense because I look at it the same way I look at book publishing.

Like I said above, the author gets a residual while his editor, and the art director, and everybody else that puts together the final product does not. Because they're doing a job that they've been trained for, and that they've probably learned to master, and they'd be just as good at that job no matter who wrote the book, and will do so with a different guy as soon as they're finished with this one. But without the writer, the creative force, you don't have a book to begin with, and if he's not especially good at what he does, the book won't sell and he won't get paid any residuals, whereas the editor, art director, etc. are on salaries and they will keep getting paid for doing that same job over and over. Meanwhile, the author gets nothing until he creates something anew, and that talent is simply more rare. He needs the residual system to get by until he can create a new book. That may not be the best analogy, but it works for me.
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post #195 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

Well, since we disagree, it isn't "common" sense. It is your sense, and their's, and perhaps a lot of other people's, but there are also a lot of us who don't share that view, and believe that there are many jobs people do in our society that are more irreplaceable than screen writer. Regardless, "irreplacability" is typically an indicator where unionization is most especially not warranted. The prototypical worker that unions were franchised to protect is a coal miner, or an assembly line worker, etc.

Like you and the other anti-union guys keep saying, times have changed. While the "blue collar" world was where unions started, most of those jobs have gone, been replaced by white collar, "office" type work. But there's still a need for collective bargaining when The Man has his foot on your neck, man. We've all seen over the last several years how wages for the middle class have stagnated while the top 1% has continued to soar through the stratosphere. Unions have always been one of the bulwarks to keep that trend at least partially under control and from wrenching apart society in general. It's simply human nature, I guess, to exploit a position of power and authority to grab as big a piece of the pie as you can for yourself at the expense of those who helped you get there; and until we evolve beyond that, we'll have a need for some kind of check on simple human greed. I see it as a matter of fairness and simple justice. Unions, with all their faults and I realize they exist, still provide a needed role.

I realize that view would be, uh, a little controversial, of course.
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post #196 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Like I said above, the author gets a residual while his editor, and the art director, and everybody else that puts together the final product does not. Because they're doing a job that they've been trained for, and that they've probably learned to master, and they'd be just as good at that job no matter who wrote the book, and will do so with a different guy as soon as they're finished with this one. But without the writer, the creative force, you don't have a book to begin with, and if he's not especially good at what he does, the book won't sell and he won't get paid any residuals, whereas the editor, art director, etc. are on salaries and they will keep getting paid for doing that same job over and over. Meanwhile, the author gets nothing until he creates something anew, and that talent is simply more rare. He needs the residual system to get by until he can create a new book. That may not be the best analogy, but it works for me.

Ah, now wait a minute...

There's a difference between a few guys writing a weekly TV show or a movie and someone writing a book. In the case of a book, the distributed product IS often the revenue - not the written story. Except for certain people of fame, most authors get paid an advance based on projected earnings from book sales, with additional residuals paid based on the success or failure of it. In addition, unlike a script for a TV show or a movie, the content of the story changes little once the author turns in the final draft. Editors edit typos, grammar, etc., but they don't make plot and dialog changes. Scripts get altered all along the way through production and even the eventual show is altered as scenes are cut for time, standards and practices and for overall flow. The book, on the other hand, is typeset and a catchy cover is added. In the case of the book, the writer is the sole creative force. With a script, the writer is a cog in the machine.

Series writers make a weekly pay check. Most industry writers are of that type since few scripts are bought on spec (often for the protection of the studio from lawsuits). They are paid to write x number of episodes, often with the option to add more down the road. They aren't working for months with no income like someone writing a novel. Sure, they might be between shows or features for a while, but unlike the novelist, WGA writers' careers aren't riding on a project they get no income from until it's purchased. They're hired to write a specific show or write for one that is in or going into production.
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post #197 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 09:41 AM
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So what's the status of the shows?
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post #198 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 09:55 AM
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Well, as someone who is a one-man production department in local advertising, I can agree with both archiguy and NetworkTV. I certainly feel that there is artistic skill involved in both shooting and editing, there is technical skill involved as well, you can train to utilize a particular camera or editing system. But in my personal experience, writing is the hardest part, and I'm usually just trying to organize information given to me by a client into a 30 second script. I can only imagine how hard it would be to start from scratch and tell an original story. But, then again, I feel like writers' brains are just wired differently than mine, and storytelling probably comes natural to them.

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post #199 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by SirJW View Post

So what's the status of the shows?

Here are a few charts tracking that info:

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20160402,00.html

http://community.tvguide.com/blog-en...Long/800026937

http://www.thefutoncritic.com/guide....trike_scripted

Rocky
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post #200 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 10:05 AM
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So, I will most completely have to disagree. In fact, it's attitudes like yours that are the reason the suits consider us so replaceable and merely "button pushers". Of course, most of them couldn't even find the right "buttons" to turn my equipment on...

But are you replaceable? If all the editors in the industry went on strike, would it have the effect the writers are having right now?

Wasn't there a strike in the early 90's that included cameramen and other "technical" positions in the industry?

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post #201 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 10:07 AM
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Absolutely - if all of any key technical trade became unavailable, it would shut the industry down.

As far as being replaceable, that applies to any part of the industry - even actors and producers can be replaced.

The people that should automatically get ownership in a product are those that take the financial risk to get (or keep) the product on the market - or those who are granted ownership in the product. And that granting of ownership should not be compulsory, it should be based on merit.
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post #202 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyF View Post

...But, then again, I feel like writers' brains are just wired differently than mine, and storytelling probably comes natural to them.

That's why specialists do what they do for a living: the most successful ones are mostly the best at what they do. You can learn to do any job, but the most successful people at a particular profession have a bnatural talent for it. People usually only associate that with painting, drawing, music, sculpture, writing or other traditionally "artistic" pursuits, but it applies to anything. Everybody has a talent that comes easily to them. For some, it's operating on brains, others it's shooting a bullet through one at 1000 yards.

In my case I have a few that all tie together to make me very good at what I do:

1) The ability to picture a complete outcome in my head and remember every single detail of it as I build the physical product. I can't remember anyone's name or phone number (probably the reason I'm single ), but I can remember what shot I was going to use in what spot, even a day or two later when I get to that point.

2) The ability to be so comfortable with technology and the devices I use that I can make it do what I need it to even when it is malfunctioning. I have the ability to improvise my way through anything. The same ability that used to make me a darned good jazz musician (despite not being very good at reading music), makes me good at finding a way out of a lack of transition shots, an odd sound in the audio or a defect in the video. I've operated automated systems in manual mode more accurately than the computer. I've even used WYSIWYG interfaces without a monitor by using keyboard shortcuts and by remembering the screen layout and how far the pointer moves when I operate the mouse. In short, if there are 2 known ways to achieve an outcome, I can alakazam a third if those don't work.

3) You can give me any raw element and I'll make art out of it. I'll not only polish the turd, I'll give you a choice of three finishes.

The fact is, for the most part, you can't teach those skills, only encourage someone to strive to use them.

Sure, someone can familiarize themselves with equipment and its functions, but you can't teach natural talent. You can teach someone about how art has already been created, but you can't teach them to find a new way to create it.

I think the biggest problem is, the best people at what they do make it look so easy, that people think it really is.
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post #203 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 10:43 AM
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Absolutely - if all of any key technical trade became unavailable, it would shut the industry down.

Say the editors go on strike. How will that "shut the industry down"? And what does "shut the industry down" mean exactly? Will all the networks just go dark? Since I'm not in this industry, I don't know the real meaning of hyperboles like this.

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The people that should automatically get ownership in a product are those that take the financial risk to get (or keep) the product on the market - or those who are granted ownership in the product. And that granting of ownership should not be compulsory, it should be based on merit.

Again, that word "merit". Things like "ownership" and "merit" are between employer and employee. I don't understand why people think it's their business to decide how people they don't know get paid. It doesn't make any difference what we think unless we want to start passing laws making "compulsory ownership" illegal.

For example... I get a yearly bonus based mostly on company results that are totally completely out of my control. I could do a reckless job for a year and it would have no effect on my bonus. I don't think I "merit" this extra money because I've done nothing to earn it and I bet most people would agree. However my employer disagrees and feels I "merit" this extra cash.

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post #204 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by scowl View Post

Say the editors go on strike. How will that "shut the industry down"? And what does "shut the industry down" mean exactly? Will all the networks just go dark? Since I'm not in this industry, I don't know the real meaning of hyperboles like this.

Saying "The Industry" is probably incorrect. Saying "an industry" would be more accurate. So, if all the editors went on strike - all of them, which realistically wouldn't happen since not all are union - the TV and film production industry would shut down. No TV or film content would be edited, therefore nothing would get pass the shooting, processing and color timing phase. You'd have a bottleneck of undeited features and shows waiting for those editors to come back to work. In this case, the networks would probably resort to re-runs, movies of the week from their libraries and "user created" content.

Honestly, unless every master control operator went on strike in the entire country (and probably Canada, too), the networks would never "go dark". Even then, the networks would find a way to get things on the air since the FCC would consider them going dark to be against the public interest.

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Again, that word "merit". Things like "ownership" and "merit" are between employer and employee. I don't understand why people think it's their business to decide how people they don't know get paid. It doesn't make any difference what we think unless we want to start passing laws making "compulsory ownership" illegal.

For example... I get a yearly bonus based mostly on company results that are totally completely out of my control. I could do a reckless job for a year and it would have no effect on my bonus. I don't think I "merit" this extra money because I've done nothing to earn it and I bet most people would agree. However my employer disagrees and feels I "merit" this extra cash.

People decide all the time how much people they don't know get paid. For example, my boss gives me a review. It could be a fantastic review, but if accountants that have no idea who I am decide to decrease the department budget, I won't get a fat raise out of it. Even if the money is there, my review translates out to a set of numbers that get entered into a computer. Human resources plugs in those numbers and assigns the amount of raise based on the results of those numbers as well as how much money is in the budget for raises.

As far as bonuses, my company awards them too. However, while the giving of bonuses at all is a function of company performance, the actual bonus I (or anyone else I work with) get is based on individual merit. If you do a decent or even average job, you get an average bonus. However, doing a superior job gets you a bigger one while spilling a bottle of water on your workstation all but insures you don't get one at all.
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post #205 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 11:12 AM
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Say the editors go on strike. How will that "shut the industry down"? And what does "shut the industry down" mean exactly? Will all the networks just go dark? Since I'm not in this industry, I don't know the real meaning of hyperboles like this.

It wasn't meant to be hyperbole - just that the impact of any missing trade would be similar to that of writers. You either quit producing the product, or you replace the missing elements.


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Again, that word "merit". Things like "ownership" and "merit" are between employer and employee.

Exactly. It should be decided between the employer and employee on an individual basis. Not based on an industry-wide mandate that compels property owners to automatically reliquish a certain percentage of their ownership to any specific group of employees.
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post #206 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 11:18 AM
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The really good writers get paid more than crappy writers. Let the good writers negotiate for residuals - if they're worth it, they'll get it. Even some of the crappy writers may get higher residuals if they forego a salary up front.

There's just as much, if not more, worth to the intellectual property created by the thousands of engineers in the R&D departments of corporate America. Rarely are they granted any more than their salary and their name on the patent filing. They are not guaranteed any percentage of the profit generated by the sale of their intellectual property. They sell those rights to the company in exchange for a salary.

How many writers or engineers will refund their salary if the work they produce turns out to be sub-par or unmarketable?
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post #207 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 11:19 AM
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Thanks, I was joking about how this thread has turned into a management vs. labor debate....
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post #208 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 12:03 PM
 
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But there's still a need for collective bargaining when The Man has his foot on your neck, man.

I'm not sure whether you're kidding or not about the content of what you've written or just the wording. In reality, the content is simply not true. Just surf over to www.monster.com and find a new job. There is no "Man". There is no foot on your neck. With respect I see that as nothing more than a fiction created to rationalize abuse of a system established for another purpose entirely, a purpose that was in the public interest, while the ramifications of the exploitation of that system is not.

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We've all seen over the last several years how wages for the middle class have stagnated while the top 1% has continued to soar through the stratosphere.

And how does providing the privilege to collectively bargain to a small minority help the remainder of that 99%? It doesn't. Instead, those privileges bias the benefits. If you're going to use that as justification, then administration of the manner to achieve equity must itself be applied fairly. Tax policies can help; providing special privileges to writers doesn't.

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Unions have always been one of the bulwarks to keep that trend at least partially under control and from wrenching apart society in general.

And now that's being abused for personal gain.
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post #209 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 12:27 PM
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I'm not sure whether you're kidding or not about the content of what you've written or just the wording. In reality, the content is simply not true. Just surf over to www.monster.com and find a new job. There is no "Man". There is no foot on your neck. With respect I see that as nothing more than a fiction created to rationalize abuse of a system established for another purpose entirely, a purpose that was in the public interest, while the ramifications of the exploitation of that system is not.

Your assumption is that all jobs in the economy are equal. That's not even remotely true. When employees lose the ability to bargain collectively, then they will simply be abused individually. One of the problems with this "new economy" is that higher paying jobs are being eliminated and lower paying/status jobs are being substituted. Then they can claim that since the overall employment rate is low (not counting those who have not been able to find anything suitable and simply given up, of course), then the economy must be swimming along. All boats are not rising together. One small group is benefiting greatly, one much larger group is just hanging on, 1 or 2 paychecks away from financial disaster.

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And how does providing the privilege to collectively bargain to a small minority help the remainder of that 99%? It doesn't.

No, of course it doesn't. But it does help 100% of the rank and file in that particular company or industry that employs collective bargaining. And that's all that matters. Trying to apply one company's negotiations to the economy as a whole is irrelevant, especially since, as you have noted, union membership is falling.

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And now that's being abused for personal gain.

Good grief! To say that a union attempting to bargain collectively for the greater good of it's members is somehow "abuse", while a CEO who collects multi-million dollar bonuses, perk packages, and golden parachutes, while committing all manner of blunders and causing the company's stock to tank is somehow benefiting society is difficult to understand. Executive abuse regarding excessive, even obscene compensation is at record levels and union membership is at an all-time low; not hard to see the correlation. Sorry, guess my "values", and sympathies, are a little different from yours.
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post #210 of 248 Old 11-17-2007, 12:38 PM
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To say that a union attempting to bargain collectively for the greater good of it's members is somehow "abuse", while a CEO who collects multi-million dollar bonuses, perk packages, and golden parachutes, while committing all manner of blunders and causing the companies stock to tank is somehow benefiting society is difficult to understand. Executive abuse regarding excessive, even obscene compensation is at record levels and union membership is at an all-time low; not hard to see the correlation.

I don't think anyone has ever said that the perks and bonuses that executives and CEOs get are somehow benefitting society. However, to say that unions are bargaining for the greater good of its members is a fallacy.

Unions bargain for the benefit of the unions. It just happens to work out that higher wages and greater working numbers result in higher dues for the unions. Unions leaders used to be guys you worked with on the same job, but were smart enough understand a contract and had the ability to smooth ruffled feathers. Now, union bosses are high paid executives - just like the ones unions are always fighting.
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