More AFTRA sleaze 8-23-01
Below is an account by National Writers Union member Scott Braley regarding AFTRA and their attacks on the striking stringers of FSRN.
Another note: SAG/AFTRA has a history of lack of solidarity with other workers, though its many millionaire members "talk union" when they're about to strike for yet more millions.
This has been a big problem in Los Angeles, where their months- long strikes put union technicians (who don't make $40,000 per week or have bartending jobs) out of work (no actors, which is what they mostly are, no work for techies)
When they get what they want, and they usually do, they are more than happy to return to work on productions with non-union technicians. By the time the techies contracts come up, they have been so bankrupted by the actions of the "talent" that they never have the nerve to strike to better their own conditions, and so they get squeezed harder and harder by the bosses.
As a one of those former techies, seeing this sort of behavior from AFTRA is not in the least surprising. After all, they want to party with the powerful, not hang with the riffraff.
Please take a moment to contact AFTRA about their failure to provide a vigorous defense of the Democracy Now! workers KIM ROBERTS, AFTRA Assoc. Nat'l Exec. Director toll-free 866- 634-8100 hit (zero) in LA.
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A little background to the AFTRA fight:
A few weeks ago we had a huge battle in the National Writers Union, which I and several of the striking PNN reporters belong to. The issue before the National Executive Board was a resolution we had written to reassert support for the strikers and to support the Pacifica Campaign. What I thought would be a no-brainer became a six week brawl as AFTRA repeatedly leaned on our National President to block any opposition to Pacifica.
In the end, the NEB saw through AFTRA and supported the resolution, but AFTRA, led by Pacifica National News lackeys, really worked hard against us, calling the resolution, the strikers, and the Pac. Campaign anti-union, and anti-worker. They basically said we were lying about everything- that the "strike" didn't even happen, and that they, AFTRA were the only "real" union at Pacifica.
We should decide whether to picket AFTRA based on the strategic situation, but they deserve to get slammed. They have been active participants on Pacifica's side.
Scott Braley, Oakland.
You can go to our website, www.nwu.org, to see the resolution.
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