2006–There may still be time for the unions…

Not all is lost.  There is still time.  According to [IA member, name withheld pending permission of interviewee] this is how it starts: 

“If the unions got together, we could take care of ourselves.  We could take care of our retirement.  We could take care of our health plan…. We have the ability.  We have the infrastructure to do that.  We’re just not utilizing it.  We’re not using it wisely. … If we could do that … as a nation, it would be great.  But we’ll never achieve that.  This nation’s going to go down the tubes long before that ever happens … But I think if you start with a small thing like Local 600 or the IA – you know, 1,000, 1,200 members – and if you can make the system work there, it will work anywhere.  And it’s a lot easier to make it work on a small level than it is a big one.”

My dissertation research suggests that for this to work, the unions locally and eventually as a global group will have to stand together against the multinational corporations.  The unions’ basic starting argument is:  “We have been making films for over seventy years, and we know what we’re doing.  You bought this company without knowing anything about filmmaking.  Your scheduling has to respect the flesh-and-blood needs of human beings.  We are not machines.  You are no longer allowed to use illegal subsidies to finance your films, and kill our livelihoods and our art.   Despite the fact that the eight-hour-day was won decades before, we are willing to concede, because of filmmaking’s special needs, a work day no longer than twelve hours.  In addition, we demand twelve hours off for every twelve hours we work.  No more use of artificial fog.  Rather than killing us with it, you can generate fog on a computer in post-production.  No more helicopters.  It is not worth human lives to use them.  You can generate helicopter-like effects by computer, too.  You’ll be surprised to find that your films will be better (though you don’t care about that), and will make more money, overall….

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