Anatomy of a Strike!

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Strike action, also called labor strike, labor strike, or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances

A strikebreaker (sometimes derogatorily called a scab, blackleg, or knobstick) is a person who works despite an ongoing strike.

My Issue

This post is NOT against the RIGHTS of ALL WORKERS to receive a LIVABLE WAGE.

As someone whose family is a benefit of the Entertainment Industry, I know all too well the struggles to support a family and create a livable life in the arts.

It’s doable but challenging.

You must learn to live within your means and sometimes below your means.

You need to save for a rainy day.

You need to prepare to sacrifice more than you can ever imagine.

Folks are creatives because they have to be; if not, they will die.  

Acting, singing, dancing, musicians, editors, set designers, costume designers, electricians, cameramen, directors of photography, cinematographers, photographers, electricians, set painters, grips, set decorators, engineers, caterers, production assistants, and many more are part of the world of film, TV, and theatrics.

Yet, only two Unions are on strike! With over 500 plus unions and over 140,000 technicians in Los Angeles (union members), they are unemployed because two unions are on strike!

So you see, this strike is personal.  

While hundreds are striking and several “other” hundreds are working under “interim waivers,” tens of thousands are unemployed by no fault of their own.

Who’s at fault?

We all are!  

We’ve worked under strenuous circumstances because we love the arts. We’ve subjected ourselves to conditions and pay structures that are not feasible for the love of the arts. 

We tolerate a HUGE pay disparity on any given production because we need the work and we want to work!

How do we fix it?

Go back to the table!

You are fighting for more than yourself…

A suggestion…do not play the blame game.

The hypocrisy behind the interim waiver is beyond the pale. Let’s allow “certain” films, which to my last count was over 200 productions – film, to prove that SAG/AFTRAS, “asks” are feasible, and AMPTP will cave…

As if the AMPTP was unaware of these “independent projects” and there weren’t deals in place before this strike?

So let’s bite the hand that feeds it and then lick it later?

Most projects are funded before they even start casting…

SAG-AFTRA/WGA has forgotten that though many of these film/TV/theatre jobs would not be possible without them, they are making the lives of those who create the environment for them to work in very difficult.

Did they forget we are barely coming out of a pandemic in which the WORLD stopped revolving, and we were barely able to resume some sense of normalcy only to be set back by the strike?

Remember it’s not the A-list actor standing in a food line- they can strike forever. It’s the background actor that’s handicapped. They have to stand in line for a handout. They’ll have to continue to have a second job, after all is said and done. Was it worth it?

The reality!

When “working” Actors/Writers return to work, they will recover their loss. They will reinstate their jobs and make more than the average teacher; they will make more than the average nurse. They will make more than the most first responders!

They will resume the job they LOVE, while others pick up the pieces left behind because of their “right to strike.”  They will quickly forget that there were thousands of causalities along the way.  While they were “striking,” we were trying to figure out how to make ends meet.  While they were dancing in the streets, we tried putting food on the table.  Though we were not on the picket lines, we lost every damn day!!

The Truth

SAG/AFTRA needs to figure out how to make their dues affordable and make the threshold for health insurance doable. 86% still need to make the 26,500 threshold for healthcare. In an industry of over 160,000 employees, each vying for a part on any given day has to book the job.

Competition is fierce.

Some performers go years without booking a job and need to look for other forms of employment, waiting on that one big break!

Lower the threshold!

Bottom Line

If you don’t book the job, you will not make the threshold, you will not have insurance, and after 18 months delinquent, your dues will be terminated.

WAS THIS WORTH the devastation?

The inequity in this industry will continue.  

The rich will continue to get richer, and the workers will continue to work. 

That is how the cookie crumbles.

It was worth it at the end of the day.  

I’ll wait.

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