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ted
11-05-2007, 06:01 PM
Just curious what you all think about the writers strike?
I'm holding judgement until I hear more specifics. Probably a lot from the readers here. :D

MooseDog
11-05-2007, 06:32 PM
arranging deck chairs on the titanic.

a union that presumes to know where-when-how web based revenues will flow for the next five years is an arrogant one. the writers guild vs. the web? the web will win and the individual writers will lose as an innovative world leaves them behind. pity for them.

Steamthrower
11-05-2007, 06:44 PM
I published a novel last year and though screenwriting has definitely been an attraction to me, well, I won't go into it. I'll hold back for a while.

Factory workers and railroad guys go on strike, not writers for Pete's sake. Writers are supposed to be, like, somewhat cultured!

Silkrooster
11-05-2007, 06:58 PM
I am wondering how difficult it is for someone to even start writing. From what little I have researched it looks like a lot of red tape to get a book published, let alone a screen play. What about private publishers for animations are they required to go through the union just to higher a writer?
Silk

Steamthrower
11-05-2007, 07:25 PM
Yeah, it is a bunch of red tape. I mean, first you have to get the durn thing accepted. If it's accepted, then you've got the contract to dig through, a host of other things to agree to, and then round up your social security number and basically send a gigantic package to them. And perhaps you'll get a check down the road. Thankfully my process went smoothly and, yes, I got the checks!

I think though that screenwriting, since by it's nature it is meant for other people to take over, is a very much more complex process. If you think about it, when a novel is written the process mainly centers between the author, the agent, and the editor. No one else. But a script? Talk about author, agent, producer, director, and about 300 different people.

Silkrooster
11-05-2007, 07:52 PM
So true, its nothing to have multiple people writing for the same script. Though my knowledge is very limited in that area. lol.
If you think about it, the process of writing a book, should be the opposite. The writer should be hiring the publishing outfit not the other way around. I can understand a publishing outfit wanting to publish a certain quality of work, and they have the right to turn down work. But from what I have seen there are a lot of hoops to jump through just to get a book published.
I beleive writing is an artistic form, some need to be trained to write a good book, while others can do so naturally.
I personally have been tossing the idea around for writing a book for a few years now. But I tell you, from what I have read. It really makes me wonder if it is even worth the agrevation. Its a scarry thought of writing for a year or maybe more and get turned down, just because you did not go through all the hoops.
Silk

Steamthrower
11-05-2007, 08:06 PM
I think that it's more of a hit-it-when-it's-right thing, Silkrooster. Take for example J.K. Rowling. She was just a normal old person who wrote a book and it just so happened that the publishers were looking for something like that. Now, what, she's the richest woman in the UK?

I don't deny it's a lot of sweat. And I don't deny that my novel is basically the New York Times "Nonseller of the Year" :D

But it's a whole lot of fun. Literature is basically the thread of my life and if I was without books I might as well be shriveled up in some cellar somewhere.

Silkrooster
11-05-2007, 09:36 PM
Getting somewhat back on topic. I wonder if the writers have been planning on this strike for awhile. All this time I "assumed" the stations were having finacial problems. Now I am wondering if the writers were holding back preparing for this strike. So much guessing, to bad I didn't have an insider's ear at times. lol.
Silk

ted
11-05-2007, 09:57 PM
I'm partly wondering how the writers evaluate the "value of Web". At this point, I think offering programs on the web is more for "exposure" then actual dollar profit. How do they put a price on that?
As mentioned above, this will change, but nobody knows where it will be in 3 years.

Years ago people worked for wages like in early TV and motion pictures. Then syndication came about and people were making a killing on others people's creativity. That doesn't seem right.

But...at what point do you say hey, other people put the promotion money out there. Why should you get rewarded for their risk? Do you pay when the promotion dollars DON'T make a profit??? I don't think so. You were paid to write what you wrote, now cash your check and move on.

Food for thought.

prospector
11-05-2007, 10:28 PM
Typical union greed

jin choung
11-05-2007, 10:39 PM
yes. the producers and production companies are a paragon of large hearted generosity.

feh.

strike 'em into oblivion.

jin

jin choung
11-05-2007, 10:46 PM
But...at what point do you say hey, other people put the promotion money out there. Why should you get rewarded for their risk? Do you pay when the promotion dollars DON'T make a profit??? I don't think so. You were paid to write what you wrote, now cash your check and move on.

yeah, so there should be no such things as patents or even intellectual property. you got paid your pay check (whoever you are in the company whether ceo, janitor, programmer, whatever)... now move on.

everyone got a check, so go home.

is that the idea? yes, that's the idea and it doesn't fly.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

i believe the writers are pursuing a more unreasonable take on the GROSS instead of the NET (if you get paid, we get paid kinda agreement) because those numbers will never favor anyone but the producers.

if the production companies were legitimate with their ledgers, if they could be trusted to be honest (and let me just state that such a thing is positively UNAMERICAN... you trust no one and nothing and it's all a mexican standoff/mutually assured destruction to keep people honest), everyone wouldn't be swinging for the fences and going scorched earth.

truly, they have reaped what they have sown.

and the writers have the precedent of what happened to profits from videotape sales to back up their argument.

jin

jin choung
11-05-2007, 10:47 PM
I'm partly wondering how the writers evaluate the "value of Web". At this point, I think offering programs on the web is more for "exposure" then actual dollar profit. How do they put a price on that?
As mentioned above, this will change, but nobody knows where it will be in 3 years.

actual dollars and cents. this isn't the internet boom/bust of the 90s. there is a highly established system of ad revenues.

the writers are not talking about phantom and ephemeral dollars represented by "mindshare" or anything so fluffy.

they're talking about a take of actual dough.

jin

jin choung
11-05-2007, 10:49 PM
Getting somewhat back on topic. I wonder if the writers have been planning on this strike for awhile. All this time I "assumed" the stations were having finacial problems. Now I am wondering if the writers were holding back preparing for this strike. So much guessing, to bad I didn't have an insider's ear at times. lol.
Silk

everyone saw this coming for a long time. they've been anticipating a labor action to coincide with the end of their contracts. that's why the studios are saying that they've accumulated scripts in preparation for most scripted tv shows.

jin

Silkrooster
11-05-2007, 11:09 PM
everyone saw this coming for a long time. they've been anticipating a labor action to coincide with the end of their contracts. that's why the studios are saying that they've accumulated scripts in preparation for most scripted tv shows.

jin
I think your point is stronger than mine. I was thinking the writer's were holding back on writing the scripts forcing reruns. But now I think your point (If I read you right) that the studios are holding back on running the shows, to make sure there was enough scripts to cover the strike.
Silk

androidmaker
11-05-2007, 11:25 PM
i thought that one of the points is that they want to be paid for the direct to dvd sales.

Red_Oddity
11-06-2007, 03:00 AM
I always thought the unions in the US to be more off legalised maffia opperations that don't give rats bottom for their actual clients.

As for my opinion on their strike, let them strike and rot, with the amount off garbage screenplays that have actually become million dollar budget films they should be asshamed rather than demanding more money, but hey, that's just me (i have sold my soul to the devil for doing some work that is less than stellar aswell, but hollywood pushes it a bit too far quality/trash ratio wise...)

Chris S. (Fez)
11-06-2007, 06:26 AM
As for my opinion on their strike, let them strike and rot, with the amount off garbage screenplays that have actually become million dollar budget films they should be asshamed rather than demanding more money, but hey, that's just me )

I tend to agree, though I think the writing for television this season (specifically Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Daily Show, House, Dexter) has been brilliant.

prospector
11-06-2007, 07:33 AM
I always thought the unions in the US to be more off legalised maffia opperations that don't give rats bottom for their actual clients.

So true

Sledgehammer
11-06-2007, 04:11 PM
Damn them all!! Just a bunch of gold-brickers!! :)

So, a writer sold a script, and the people who put up the money in the first place sell it in a new market, and now the writer wants to re-negotiate the previous contract?

I'm not getting the strike. Unsafe work conditions, that's a good reason to strike. Trying to get two or three more cents on dvd sales, that just seems petty.

prospector
11-06-2007, 07:23 PM
and now the writer wants to re-negotiate the previous contract?

can't we do that now?
I mean if I sell my house I could comeback 2 years later and say the value of property went up so I want to renegotiate the selling price...you owe me an extra 35,000.... :D

Silkrooster
11-06-2007, 09:36 PM
I think the issue for the writers is whether or not they own the script. If they are sub contracted it is possible that the writer owns the script. However if the studios hired writers full time. Then odds are the studios own the scripts. Depending on the contract that is.
The only thing I have ever seen come from a strike is the "viewer, customer, patient" gets hurt in the process. Still baffles my mind when nurses go on strike stating they need more money to "help the patients" when they are on a street instead of helping the patient.
There must be a way of discussing terms of the contract without striking.
Silk

prospector
11-06-2007, 10:07 PM
There must be a way of discussing terms of the contract without striking.
There is, Ronaldus Maximus had the right answer with the air traffic controllers.
Work or fired...your choice.

jin choung
11-06-2007, 10:44 PM
So, a writer sold a script, and the people who put up the money in the first place sell it in a new market, and now the writer wants to re-negotiate the previous contract?


no wrong example. it's not the PREVIOUS CONTRACT.

THEIR CONTRACT HAS EXPIRED. they owe NO FURTHER SERVICE.

they are renegotiating for JOBS TO COME. the terms under which a NEW CONTRACT will be signed.

it's not about the house already sold, it is a new house and the terms in which IT will be sold.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

as for the "people who put up the money"....

oh come on. don't overstate their significance.

who deserves more reward - michaelangelo or the patrons who commissioned and paid for his work?

PROPER ANSWER: BOTH EQUALLY. neither can prosper without the other... the venture can ONLY EXIST with both.

it is not improper for michaelangelo to negotiate for a fair slice of the pie.

jin

jin choung
11-06-2007, 10:49 PM
also, make no mistake.

i'm under no delusions that unions are altruistic and genuinely care about the well-being of their members.

BUT, it is nonetheless a COUNTER to the otherwise unchecked power of the production companies.

when the entities are too large to take on single handedly, the wisest thing is to play it red harvest/yojimbo/fistfulofdollars.... play every side against the other until you come out with something that works to your advantage.

play the powers that be to your advantage. allegiance to yourself.

but such gambits only work when there is more than one side.

adversarial systems require adversaries. so yeah - yay for unions.


jin

and in playground terms: you can't beat the bully alone. so you gang up on him. that is - in principle - what a union is. ganging up so you can't be pushed around.

jin choung
11-06-2007, 10:56 PM
I think the issue for the writers is whether or not they own the script. If they are sub contracted it is possible that the writer owns the script. However if the studios hired writers full time. Then odds are the studios own the scripts. Depending on the contract that is.
The only thing I have ever seen come from a strike is the "viewer, customer, patient" gets hurt in the process. Still baffles my mind when nurses go on strike stating they need more money to "help the patients" when they are on a street instead of helping the patient.
There must be a way of discussing terms of the contract without striking.
Silk

almost all scripts end up being owned by the studios. studios don't enter into production of a script that they have not PURCHASED (with the ownership and entitlement that that endows).

the issue is RESIDUALS.

everytime a tv show is re-run or a movie is played on tv or internet or a video is sold, the studios MAKE MONEY.

that is money that they can only make because of a product that the writers helped make.

why should the studios be the only ones to continue to make money off of that?

the stars of the movies get a cut of residuals. the directors do as well.

and so do the writers. but they're pulling for more and also for more EMERGING MARKETS.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
also,

screw the patients.

no matter what anyone says to a news reporter, it's not about the patients. it's not noble.

it's about partyA making money and partyB wanting more of it.

a strike is going scorched earth. i'm gonna hurt myself but i'm gonna take you with me.

jin

prospector
11-07-2007, 06:31 AM
Just because Party A finds new ways to make money off a product, shouldn't mean Party B gets more.



And Michelangelo would never been as big if he painted the roof of Joe Sixpacks (Joe Goatbladder at the time) house with same pics as the Sistine Chapel

Tom Wood
11-07-2007, 08:12 AM
Everybody agrees that the writers got screwed on DVD residuals. The producers claimed it was 'new media' or 'promotional media' at the time those residuals were negotiated. Then DVD sales exploded and the writers never recovered a fair share. Now the producers are trying the same gambit. They say that anything on the web is 'promotional' when everybody knows web streaming is the future delivery method. So the stakes are very high for the writers.

A huge majority of the writers guild members are TV writers, so their concerns tend to dominate. In any given year, half of those writers have no work and depend on residuals to survive until the next paying gig. TV shows come and go so quickly, that it's a life of chance. Yes, they chose it, but writers are kinda like that.

If you are really interested in writing scripts then http://www.wordplayer.com is the place to start. It's hosted by Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio, a couple of writers that have written a couple of good movies. (snark) There's also http://www.artfulwriter.com/ where the strike is being discussed in real time.

I think collective bargaining is a logical counterweight to raw capitalism.

gatz
11-07-2007, 08:54 AM
I'm kind of surprised at the amount of antipathy toward fellow creatives trying to lay claim to what they create. Having a stake in a property you've helped to build is fundemental to a robust capitalist system.

If, as the producers maintain, the net is only promotional. Why are they so reluctant to give writers a share. If the proceeds are so inconsequential why the fight?

rg

Tom Wood
11-07-2007, 09:08 AM
Having a stake in a property you've helped to build is fundamental to a robust capitalist system.

Perfect.

Jim_C
11-07-2007, 09:10 AM
I'm already sick of late night reruns, and am not looking forward to the flood of reality TV that will be coming to fill slots.

Quibble your sticks, someone get off the greed a little, shake hands and let's get on with it. There is a whole LONG list of people who are now out of work because of this and it was not their choice.

Last strike lasted 5 months, cost the TV industry $$500million and made Network TV lose 10% of it's viewing audience across the board.
ugh

Lightwolf
11-07-2007, 09:28 AM
Last strike lasted 5 months, cost the TV industry $$500million and made Network TV lose 10% of it's viewing audience across the board.
ugh
Hey, on the other hand it helped boost productions in other countries. Which, depending on your point of view, is rather good - or not ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Sledgehammer
11-07-2007, 10:57 AM
I'm kind of surprised at the amount of antipathy toward fellow creatives trying to lay claim to what they create. Having a stake in a property you've helped to build is fundemental to a robust capitalist system.

rg

Oh, I am not, and apologize for giving you that impression. If you strive to create, then by all means you are entitled to reap rewards for that.

But what I am against is when someone creates a product, sells it, and then wants more money because it is a success. If a writer has a good script, and sells it for whatever is negotiated, that's it.

It has been posted that the strike is about future sales, and not going back for compensation for previous works. Assuming that is true, fine. But the writers signed on for whatever show they signed on for, and if their individual contracts are up, then they should negotiate for something more, and they have no obligation to continue scribing. If their individual contracts are not up, then they have an obligation to work as they have contracted. If they don't, then they are in breach of contract, and they should be fired.

Last time I checked, this was still the USA. I can hire anyone to be a writer.

McFilms
11-07-2007, 11:01 AM
I feel badly for anyone who feels ripped off, writer or producer, or audience.

Speaking strictly for myself, I write screenplays for my own projects, which I will distribute either myself or via home video. I never write with the intention of necessarily having it go out to the studios. "Grandfathering" (nepotism) is rampant in all industries, and I don't feel like wasting my time pining away for a "potentially" accepted project.

As a film maker, I plan to make films, come hell or high water. With the strike taking place, and knowing of an audience beat all to death with reality "shows", I think the market is going to see many more Indie productions pop up.

Entertainment is the last refuge for many who need the escape route from the reality of their daily lives. They will find it, in any form, and I'm betting it will come in the form of dvds, internet, and cable.

It is interesting to note that a recently published article had the theater owners complaining about a lack of audience. Also interesting is the idea that a strike doesn't mean the writers will not receive their residuals on product already created, and there will be more now outside of new films or new television. In other words, a strike will help feed the studios AND the writers through a market already saturated with finished product.

Slowly but surely, it feels as if we are being guided like cattle to cable, internet, and dvd purchases. With the advent of broadcast going totally digital by 2009, it make you wonder how much further away is pay-per-view broadcast. With the new digital tvs, or the old with the digital box adapter, it's simple enough to interrupt signal to any node not paying for the signal.

As I remember from the last writer's strike, yes we were hosed down with Sally Jessi Raffelli, Oprah Winfrey and the like, but we were blessed to see incredible productions come in from Canada and so on (Tales from the Darkside, War of the Worlds series, etc). It will be interesting to see what is born from this current activity.

jin choung
11-07-2007, 11:11 AM
Just because Party A finds new ways to make money off a product, shouldn't mean Party B gets more.


why?

there would be no making of more or any money without partyB's participation in the first place.

jin

prospector
11-07-2007, 11:43 AM
why?
Then they need to WRITE more.
= More money

Write more
=More money

works every time

well, till they start writing crap

Lightwolf
11-07-2007, 11:49 AM
But what I am against is when someone creates a product, sells it, and then wants more money because it is a success.
Hm, isn't that how a comission based system works? And isn't that just what the writers demand... better comissions?
Nothing wrong with that. After all, if a band sells more albums, they also receive more money (currently even if the record company decides to sell their tracks via iTunes).

Cheers,
Mike

Red_Oddity
11-07-2007, 12:12 PM
Soooo, does that mean that writers have a say in their contracts already? or does the guild make up the rules as to what is commisioned to writers that part of the guidl?
Last time i checked your are completely free as (freelance) artist to approve or disapprove of a contract.

I don't really get this strike...who made up the rule you can't have a commision on digital delivery of your product?

I'm confused now.

prospector
11-07-2007, 01:02 PM
(although apparently they THINK they know)
Unions are bad for business..that's all there is to know

prospector
11-07-2007, 01:09 PM
Hm, isn't that how a commission based system works?
No

A commission based business is based on the amount of product you either make (a dollar value per item is paid) or paint (I commission a painter to paint no less than 12 paintings per year paid on contracted price), or writer (I can commission a writer to write exactly 12 scripts a year for a set upon price), or I can commission Grumman to build 15 airliners for a set price but they make no more if I fill with passengers every flight and make boatloads of money.

McFilms
11-07-2007, 01:34 PM
What's kinda sad about this subject is this:

Most distribution is handled from one entity to the next. Some with honorable accounting practices, and too many without.

I've been witness to, first hand, companies who begin distributing (by gathering as many titles as possible), receive their cash, then let their company(s) fold. It wouldn't take many of these instances to make Studios and Unions wary of anyone's accounting practices, or desire to have more cash for what they do. The company owner(s) have the corporate umbrella protecting them from being held personally accountable (via LLCs, etc), so the prevailing thought from those types is "Gather, exploit, fold, and d#mn the rest."

In most distribution agreements (or, say, a union agreement), you have the right to audit. Big deal. When you're a multi-billion dollar company, you can claim (legitimately) incredible amounts of overhead which must be recouped before the first nickel goes out. Projects make millions, and most of the cash is lost on everything from toilet paper and pencils to car wash receipts, before it even gets to the people who made the darn thing to start with.

It's because of this collection of problems that lead to these questions of honorable accounting practices, and supposed solutions of striking.

Another entertainer/film maker I spoke with this morning says "Indie or nothing, on everything and in all facets of film making from concept to final sales." Unfortunately, this is the world a film maker (meaning every one from actor to writer, etc) must live in due to unscrupulous activity within many corporations.

Not only do you need to have good actors and good writers, but there are also all the rest of the crew who must be good as well to have a great show. Caught in the middle of all the bickering are the animators, wardrobe, makeup, grips, gaffers, etc. I would like to know how concerned the writers or studios are for the masses they are putting out of work by their actions.

Solidarity has become nothing more than a buzz word...

Lightwolf
11-07-2007, 02:01 PM
No

Erm, yes, a commission can be "participation in sales" (or turnover). Which is why I wrote commission based, not commissioned.

Look it up ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
11-07-2007, 02:02 PM
BAD unions are bad for business, good unions ensure that the workers are not taken advantage of.

And NO... not all unions are "evil."
And in some cases businesses can actually profit from unions (and worker participation, but that is a different topic).

Cheers,
Mike

gatz
11-07-2007, 02:41 PM
And in some cases businesses can actually profit from unions (and worker participation, but that is a different topic).


Ironically enough one of the first union systems installed in Hollywood was studio counter measure to a genuine grassroots organization.

rg

prospector
11-07-2007, 03:23 PM
Which is why I wrote commission based, not commissioned.
Did I miss that??? :D

Lightwolf
11-07-2007, 03:40 PM
Did I miss that??? :D
Probably not on purpose, I suppose English isn't your native language. Benefit of the doubt, you're excused ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Bog
11-07-2007, 05:01 PM
If I was striking about anything, I'd be striking about the huge amount of Reality TV crap that we're choking on at the moment.

Then again, contract negotiations are utter sods all the time. If you do something for someone, freelance, and they then flounce off to sell it for brazillions of pounds having given you your fifty pee and a pat on the head it is quite natural to say "Er, hold on a minute - I think I'm deserving of a fair crack of that, you wouldn't have had it without me".

Exactly the situation I faced beginning of the year - I had no idea that the end client was planning to commercialise/productize the system I was working on, so I negotiated as though it were bespoke. Got a bit ugly when it turned out it was for resale.

prospector
11-07-2007, 05:24 PM
Probably not on purpose, I suppose English isn't your native language.
Had to be the German to English translation :D :D :D :rolleyes:

Bog
11-07-2007, 05:55 PM
Had to be the German to English translation :D :D :D :rolleyes:

Well, it never works for porn.

*hits "send", puffs on his cigarette and goes a whole twenty seconds before realising that everyone's looking at him*

What?

jin choung
11-07-2007, 07:57 PM
ok prospector.

no residuals of any kind. that's a brilliant idea. that would be sooooo great for business!

no patents. if you want to get paid more, invent more! what's all this residuals crap. [email protected]#$ that.

no intellectual property. if the writer's can't make money till they make new stuff, why should ANYONE? if businesses want to make more money, they gotta make more stuff!

reruns can be rerun and stuff can propagate through the internet freely (completely freely without any charge whatsoever) because everybody got paid once when it was first made. now, it's all free.

yeah.

that's great.

you're quite a thinker.

jin

theo
11-07-2007, 08:42 PM
But what I am against is when someone creates a product, sells it, and then wants more money because it is a success. If a writer has a good script, and sells it for whatever is negotiated, that's it.

Says you. A shrewd businessperson would look at this much differently.

If the writer is good at business the success of the piece will be tied to his compensation, in license form.

Part of any negotiation involving intellectual property will always entail licensing based on a variety of factors that will insure, by proxy, that the creative DOES, indeed, get a piece of his creative pie if it does, indeed, perform above average.

'Course, just because tons and tons of creatives out there let themselves become enslaved by crap contracts doesn't mean we all do, it just means that there is a large pool of artist slaves big business can suck the life out of.

prospector
11-07-2007, 09:00 PM
no patents.
HU? where did that come from? I didn't mention that.


. if the writer's can't make money till they make new stuff, why should ANYONE?
To make more money

Write something, sell for what market will pay, do it again

Even Shakespeare wrote more than 1 thing to make more money. So TV writers are better than Shakespeare, and therefore they deserve more?


if businesses want to make more money, they gotta make more stuff!
Exactly, that's why Ford makes more than 1 car or Kellogg's makes more than 1 box of cereal.

jin choung
11-07-2007, 09:03 PM
patents are the same thing. think about it a little while ok?

jin

prospector
11-07-2007, 10:06 PM
Yes, patients are the same, if you invent something then either you open a factory to build many units and sell each

OR

you sell to major company and get money. Then THEY build units and sell them.
They get whatever profits market will bear.

It's like a fisherman...he gets fish and sells to processor, and they sell to restaurant, and they sell to you at dinner.
At each step of the way the sale is the sale, the fisherman gets none of the processors or restaurants profit.
called capitalism...not socialism

jin choung
11-07-2007, 10:11 PM
...sigh.

nevermind. that is so far from what actually happens that it's not even worth speaking about it with you then.

anyhoo, unions are a fact of life. deal with it.

jin

ted
11-07-2007, 10:30 PM
Great to hear all sides. I'm still not sold one way or another.

I do know that if I make a great commercial for a client, then he sells a million products, I don't get any more for my time then if he sells nothing.

There are countless people between the writers and delivery to the audience. What makes the writers more important then any other part of the process?

Food for thought.

prospector
11-07-2007, 10:30 PM
anyhoo, unions are a fact of life. deal with it.
Hopefully not much longer :thumbsup:



According to Bureau of labor:
In 2006, 12.0 percent of employed wage and salary workers were union
members, down from 12.5 percent a year earlier, the U.S. Department of
Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of persons
belonging to a union fell by 326,000 in 2006 to 15.4 million. The union
membership rate has steadily declined from 20.1 percent in 1983, the first
year for which comparable union data are available.

jin choung
11-08-2007, 12:52 AM
Great to hear all sides. I'm still not sold one way or another.

I do know that if I make a great commercial for a client, then he sells a million products, I don't get any more for my time then if he sells nothing.

There are countless people between the writers and delivery to the audience. What makes the writers more important then any other part of the process?

Food for thought.

ok, let's look at it this way, let's say that your client sold movies. and you're the writer/director of the movie.

if he sells a million copies and you don't get a cut from the sales, that doesn't strike you as not only unfair but somehow DIFFERENT from your personal example?
----------------------------------------------------------
if the company made money from each showing of your commercial, i WOULD have a problem with that. but they have to pay to have your commercial shown.
----------------------------------------------------------
finally, it's held as common knowledge that it's possible to make a bad movie with a good script but impossible to make a good movie with a bad one. this is a view held from producers to directors to actors.

other creatives ACKNOWLEDGE the foundational nature of the writing.

an argument CAN be made that the movie's JANITOR plays as much a part in the quality of the movie as the writer or the director. not a good argument mind you, but it can be made.

but it might come down to infinitessimal slices of pie.

the residuals being spoken of are NOT huge per unit sold.... for some actors, it can be a few cents per re-broadcast of a tv episode....

so it could be that the janitor does indeed merit a slice of the pie but when his contribution is appropriately apportioned out, it pretty much equals zero.

jin

Red_Oddity
11-08-2007, 02:56 AM
ok, let's look at it this way, let's say that your client sold movies. and you're the writer/director of the movie.

if he sells a million copies and you don't get a cut from the sales, that doesn't strike you as not only unfair but somehow DIFFERENT from your personal example?
----------------------------------------------------------
if the company made money from each showing of your commercial, i WOULD have a problem with that. but they have to pay to have your commercial shown.
----------------------------------------------------------
jin

Doesn't that depend on the contract?
It is entirely possible to have a contract that demands you get paid a set amount of money for the work you did on a production.
It is also possible to get a parcentage share on a part of profits, be it by sales, broadcasting or otherwise.

The reason i'm confused is probably because i don't understand quite how the US guilds work, up to what point do they have the say in what a writer gets paid or gets in royalties?
Is a writer still allowed to work freelance on productions without beeing a guild member?
Up to what point can a writer get his own lawyer and setup a good contract?

androidmaker
11-08-2007, 04:11 AM
if you want to see what the writers get paid take a look at the schedule of minimus on the Writers guild of americas web site http://www.wga.org/uploadedFiles/writers_resources/contracts/min2004.pdf

prospector
11-08-2007, 06:36 AM
if he sells a million copies and you don't get a cut from the sales, that doesn't strike you as not only unfair but somehow DIFFERENT from your personal example?
doesn't to me....I made my profit on the sale up front.

anything else is pure unadulterated greed.
which brings it full circle

Unions are bad

Lightwolf
11-08-2007, 06:43 AM
doesn't to me....I made my profit on the sale up front.

Hm, you're right. The writers should just charge 10x as much as they do now, regardless of the quality of their script.


anything else is pure unadulterated greed.
which brings it full circle

Hey, that's what capitalism is based on.


Unions are bad
Yeah, spend even more money on laywers drafting a new contract for every script writer. ;)

Then again, the writers guild is in a very comfortable position. Similar organizations in other countries can only dream of contracts like that.

Cheers,
Mike

Bog
11-08-2007, 06:46 AM
All sweeping generalisations are wrong.

Including this one.

Lightwolf
11-08-2007, 06:51 AM
All sweeping generalisations are wrong.

You mean some, if not most. right? ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Bog
11-08-2007, 06:53 AM
You mean some, if not most. right? ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Had I said that, I would have failed to adequately illustrate the fact that my statement was, by nature of being a sweeping statement, itself incorrect ;)

Lightwolf
11-08-2007, 06:56 AM
Had I said that, I would have failed to adequately illustrate the fact that my statement was, by nature of being a sweeping statement, itself incorrect ;)
Where's Cptn. Obvious when you need him? :hey:

Cheers,
Mike

Bog
11-08-2007, 06:59 AM
I'm covering for him today ;)

It's interesting, 'cause we - as animators - should by any stretch get similar replay and reuse compensation as actors, musicians, writers, photographers, blah blah blah, every other creative type. And yet, it's rare and we always have to fight tooth-and-nail for every penny.

As to "greed". If it's greedy to want a cut when you see someone else making a large amount of money from something you've created, then what is the person selling it for that price to be called? And what of the person paying that price?

I think perhaps, Prospector, the word "Greedy" doesn't mean what you think it means.

prospector
11-08-2007, 08:06 AM
Lightwolf

Hey, that's what capitalism is based on.
That's way WAY wrong......

If I may...

I am a writer, I write the next greatest TV show,
I take my script to 10 production studios
7 not interested 3 are

Studio A offers 7 units (units are money values of any denomination..100, 1000, 10,000)
Studio B offers 9 units
Studio C offers 8.6 units
So now I know my script is valued between 7 and 9 units (what the market will pay)
I go to A and C and see if I can get them to offer more
A says it is as high as it will go, C goes to 9.5
I go to B and see if they will go higher and they do...11 units
I've raised the value of my script to between 9.5 and 11
I sell it for 11

Now I am producer

I take script I just bought and make a series promo and take it to 10 TV station execs

7 interested and 3 not
offers run between 20 units and 40 units (the beginning market value)
after tough negotiations I get it to 50.3 units and sell.

Everything is sold, all make profits at whatever market will pay

capitalism, pure, simple, works every time.

best writer sells for best price, best producer sells for best price.




Unionized;

Union says if all you writers join union, we guarantee that all script have value of 12 units and come with a percentage of all sales...of course we have to take 10% vigorish off the top for dues, but hey, you get more.

Now values of scripts are ARTIFICIALLY raised to overvalue (what market will ordinarily pay)
Most scripts not WORTH the 12 units to begin with, but because of unions and their extortional strikes, it must be paid.


Unions...not good for business, crap is not weeded out
not good for consumers who now have to pay more for cable because TV shows cost more because of artificially high costs to produce.

Lightwolf
11-08-2007, 08:11 AM
That's way WAY wrong......

You mean... capitalism is not based on greed? *gasp*
In the end all the unions do is provide some checks and balances - which in the age of shareholder values isn't a bad idea.

I'm not even going to get into your analogies... but I'd rather sell my script for 5 units and a bigger slice of the pie (if I believed in myself as a script writer). Not really fair because a lot of things can still screw up in the production chain, but that's life.

Cheers,
Mike

prospector
11-08-2007, 08:14 AM
The writers should just charge 10x as much as they do now, regardless of the quality of their script.

If he wants to hold out for more than what market pays, he is entitled to do so, his choice...He'll probably go hungry, but he is allowed to hold out.

Lightwolf
11-08-2007, 08:16 AM
If he wants to hold out for more than what market pays, he is entitled to do so, his choice...He'll probably go hungry, but he is allowed to hold out.
Well, it seems the market currently wants more scripts, which gives the guild a nice starting point for their strike, doesn't it? After all, this is nothing but negotiating a deal.

Cheers,
Mie

theo
11-08-2007, 08:16 AM
The intelligent people who framed Intellectual Property Rights in the US were well aware of how the creative industry can be plundered by shrewd and greedy business practices.

I am an armchair student of business history which has left me in a strange predicament as a businessman/creative. These two leanings tend to lack proper integration, in the real world.

Allow me this generalization for the moment:

The businessman cares about one thing- profit. The creative cares about one thing- artistic climax (daily, if possible).

Profit-driven creative enterprises are necessary for the artist and the artist is necessary for the profit-driven creative entreprise.

Because of this mutual dependency it is absolutely within reason for creatives to maintain their right to reap the rewards of businesses they, in fact, are being paid to help prosper.

This idea of pay-once-and-done is based on pure greed and is a short-sighted clear-cutting technique that does nothing to promote harmony and longevity between players in the creative business.

This whole idea is revolting to me, actually. And I consider myself a businessman.

prospector
11-08-2007, 08:16 AM
but I'd rather sell my script for 5 units and a bigger slice of the pie (if I believed in myself as a script writer).

And if you set deal with producer for that in contract then that's great.

It's just not artificially set by unions and their extortional strikes.

Lightwolf
11-08-2007, 08:19 AM
It's just not artificially set by unions and their extortional strikes.
Why? All they are is a counter balance to the organized business the writers are facing when making deals.
And who said there is anything wrong with teaming up if the opponent is a tad bigger than you are?

Cheers,
Mike

prospector
11-08-2007, 08:20 AM
And I consider myself a businessman. And as a buisnessman, do you look for best price or just pay any price that comes along?

prospector
11-08-2007, 08:23 AM
Lightwolf;
because values are artificial.
A union says that any script written by any union member will sell for no less than X price. Some scripts NOT WORTH that, but must be paid because of extortion strikes.

Lightwolf
11-08-2007, 08:26 AM
A union says that any script written by any union member will sell for no less than X price. Some scripts NOT WORTH that, but must be paid because of extortion strikes.
Nobody forces anybody to buy anything here. After all, nobody forced the production companies to buy any scripts in the first place - or produce content ;)

Cheers,
Mike

theo
11-08-2007, 08:26 AM
And if you set deal with producer for that in contract then that's great.

It's just not artificially set by unions and their extortional strikes.

If the unions were indeed powerful enough to be extortive, prospector, I would agree with you on this.

Unfortunately and in almost all cases, it is the corporation that yields far more control than the labor collectives.

Simply because the profit resides with the corporation not the union.

Whoever owns the profit owns the power. And no amount of legal behavior that is undertaken by the union on behalf of their members will amount to actual extortion.

Frankly, the media corporations own the finest PR firms on the planet and it would appear at this time that we are seeing a lot of their midnight oil sessions on display in the various news outlets and as a result Writers Guild has been able to say little above the din of the media moguls outside of Nikki Finkes' outlet.

theo
11-08-2007, 01:18 PM
And as a buisnessman, do you look for best price or just pay any price that comes along?

I don't think I have to be a businessman to look for the best price. This is pretty much part of human nature.

But there is an ethical consideration to this equation which has haunted mankind for centuries, particularly in industrialized societies.

This is one of the reasons why child labor laws were invented. At one time in the not-to-distant past it was completely acceptable to work children long hours in factories. This served the interests of business, both small and large, as disgusting as it seems now.

Take a stroll down business history lane someday and you will come away with some pretty startling realizations about business and its inherent pitfalls; one of the more potent is the tool of exploitation.

Exploitation takes many forms but in all cases is reprehensible. In spite of this, many dynasties throughout the centuries have profited from this human tragedy.

The Writers Guild exists to protect writers from exploitation, the which would happen in an instant if media moguls could get away with it.

Corporations would love slave labour if it were still allowed in this country. The proof of this sad fact is their incessant search for the poorest of the poor to exploit in other countries.

So, yes, prospector it does come down to more than 'best price'.

Steamthrower
11-08-2007, 01:36 PM
Not only does this show in the mass number of product being manufactured in China, Indonesia, Taiwan, etc., but it shows up particularly to me in the offshore programming world. I do high profile web design & graphics work for a lot of research companies. But what hurts is that corporations are going to India or Pakistan for web design. They pay people $2 an hour for a whole MySQL ecommerce website.


The Writers Guild exists to protect writers from exploitation, the which would happen in an instant if media moguls could get away with it.

These guys are making so much anyway, they'd hardly be exploited. A cursory glance shows that they get paid around $50,000 for a single show. That in itself is the average annual income of an American. If they write three or four a year they're doing pretty well.

theo
11-08-2007, 02:00 PM
These guys are making so much anyway, they'd hardly be exploited. A cursory glance shows that they get paid around $50,000 for a single show. That in itself is the average annual income of an American. If they write three or four a year they're doing pretty well.

With due respect to your opinion this is an awful way to rationalize compensation. The value of the writing in this case is based on many factors the least of which is the annual income of the average American.

If a show can rake in millions in advertising dollars the value of the written word that drives the show is increased dramatically and the producers of the scripts should be paid commensurate to this value.

This is just smart business. Without this style of business being engaged in the by the Writer's Guild you get corporate exploitation of creative talent that literally can run boundless if unchecked by a creative collective.

Red_Oddity
11-08-2007, 02:33 PM
With due respect to your opinion this is an awful way to rationalize compensation. The value of the writing in this case is based on many factors the least of which is the annual income of the average American.

If a show can rake in millions in advertising dollars the value of the written word that drives the show is increased dramatically and the producers of the scripts should be paid commensurate to this value.

This is just smart business. Without this style of business being engaged in the by the Writer's Guild you get corporate exploitation of creative talent that literally can run boundless if unchecked by a creative collective.

So is this what the strike is basically about?
Not being able to tell how much a show is worth UNTIL it has aired, and only then is it possiblbe to really tell the worth of the writers (and the rest who worked on it's production), so they want a bigger piece of total gross of a production after they have been paid their initial income.

I read the WGA pdf posted above, and indeed it only shows set prices (or i read over something and missed it), the only time that percentages are mentioned (i believe those are percentages of the initial pay when delivering a script) is when they talk about reruns (which is quite a nice sum if it is taken from the amount of money i believe it is taken from).

Or, and correct me if i'm wrong (i read so much contradicting news articles it was getting way too confusing), the whole reason there is a strike right now, is because the WGA and the AMPTP couldn't find a middle ground on how much writers would get paid when a production would be sold or broadcast via the internet?
If that's so, then they have all the reasons to strike, as the internet is as much a different medium/data carrier for prodcutions as is film and tv, and in every other branch in the media there are somewhat clear rules on what one gets paid per medium.

Steamthrower
11-08-2007, 03:09 PM
Theo, I don't think I exactly meant that. I'm saying that, really, if the best use of unions is to prevent people from injustly suffering, i.e. coal miners working fourteen hour days, children in factories, old ladies hauling wood, etc., then no member of the Writer's Guild is suffering like that. Then, unions become just the equivalent of a corporation, trying to suck more money in.

I'm not opposed to individuals trying to get better prices. I am opposed to unions, which tend to be slightly ridiculous to me. A contract is a contract.

Bog
11-08-2007, 03:20 PM
You know what? I'll sum it up.

If you want to be self-employed, you have to be something of a businessman. Given that we operate without backup, without unions, without support, with only what our work, wits and charisma let us bag... I'm envious of all the other types of artists who have that support.

The fact that we're having huge rambling conversations about economic systems and so on tells me there are people here without payin' work to do.

theo
11-08-2007, 03:32 PM
Then, unions become just the equivalent of a corporation, trying to suck more money in.


In a sense, this is not too far from the truth.

To pull deals with mogul-based business a professional collective (union, if you prefer) has a much better chance of negotiating in their own favor when the powers that be are similar.

That is what unions are all about. Equalization of power to gain an edge that would otherwise not be available.

Unions have been incredibly maligned due to a lot of misinformation over the years. Unions are considered populist by big business which is a threat to corporate self-interest.

I can perfectly understand moguls seeing unions as threats. Not that unions are perfect or anything. But they do certainly keep the feet of big business to the fire and this is a good thing, in my view. Particularly since government appears to be in the pocket of most major corporations which gives them little incentive to protect the rights of the common working man. Hence the next best thing; unions or collectives of like-minded workers willing to stand up for their own interests.

'Course, here in the States, to protect the interest of the common man is considered populist and socialistic, which is absurd.

theo
11-08-2007, 03:33 PM
The fact that we're having huge rambling conversations about economic systems and so on tells me there are people here without payin' work to do.

Nah, I'm busy.

Lightwolf
11-08-2007, 03:41 PM
Nah, I'm busy.
Do you get paid by the paragraph? ;)

Cheers,
Mike - who's got nothing substantial to say really...

Steamthrower
11-08-2007, 04:10 PM
I'm a student. There's my excuse. Now for my thesis...

prospector
11-08-2007, 05:12 PM
Time to catch up :D

The proof of this sad fact is their incessant search for the poorest of the poor to exploit in other countries.
Is it really???
If the annual income of the country is $200 on average and a company goes in and pays labour 1 dollar a day, isn't that making those workers richer than other citizens of that country? And if they even pay a dollar an hour then it comes out to almost 10 times the national average...now they are living high off the hog for their economy, maby not here but for their country they are doing very well.
That's what needs to be looked at, wages for their country, not here or Britian or Germany or France.
I don't see that as exploitation.


A cursory glance shows that they get paid around $50,000 for a single show.
I wouldn't care if they made 500,000 a show, as long as it was market forces driving the price and not threat of a strike which makes companies lose money which is where extortion comes in.

Either pay what I want or we'll make you lose millions from a strike.

Bog
11-08-2007, 05:17 PM
If the annual income of the country is $200 on average and a company goes in and pays labour 1 dollar a day, isn't that making those workers richer than other citizens of that country? And if they even pay a dollar an hour then it comes out to almost 10 times the national average...now they are living high off the hog for their economy, maby not here but for their country they are doing very well.
That's what needs to be looked at, wages for their country, not here or Britian or Germany or France.
I don't see that as exploitation.


So the fact that they can feed their family for a month, rather than a week, but will never be able to have advanced medical care, will still have their wife give birth in a barn without access to modern antibiotics, antivirals, or even an epidural, the fact that their children will wear cardboard shoes should they be lucky enough to survive, and Gh0d below help them if they ever get cancer or any other disease requiring advanced treatments....

...will never have an active voice in the running of their country...

...the fact that they'll never be able to leave their country, be able to walk under free skies, being free people, never be able to browse books of the highest knowledge whilst supping a nice coffee...

...never be able to attend the centres of learning, never be able to rise above what their outsourcing company permits them to me...

...frankly never be ought but indentured slaves rings naught with you?

I have no further words to share with you.

Glendalough
11-08-2007, 05:23 PM
So the fact that they can feed their family for a month, rather than a week, but will never be able to have advanced medical care, will still have their wife give birth in a barn without access to modern antibiotics, antivirals, or even an epidural, the fact that their children will wear cardboard shoes should they be lucky enough to survive, and Gh0d below help them if they ever get cancer or any other disease requiring advanced treatments....

...will never have an active voice in the running of their country...

...the fact that they'll never be able to leave their country, be able to walk under free skies, being free people, never be able to browse books of the highest knowledge whilst supping a nice coffee...

...never be able to attend the centres of learning, never be able to rise above what their outsourcing company permits them to me...

...frankly never be ought but indentured slaves rings naught with you?

I have no further words to share with you.



Yes this is all just so true.

And cheap labour abroad doesn't help anyone at home either. All the junk and rubbish being shipped around the world isn't great as well.

Bog
11-08-2007, 05:35 PM
To do 3D properly requires the support of an advanced technological society. That society requires all it's parts. Start sending it elsewhere "because it's cheaper", and sooner or later, it'll bite you in the *** when the person you're counting on holds up his hand and says....

...."I never learned maths".

We - and our jobs - are the product of a technological society. I'm seeing first-hand what happens when a tech-based society decides that things must be "equalized" so that all students have "validation" rather than "qualification".

It turns my stomach. You've got to fight for what you've got, and you've got to fight to hold on to it, and you've got to fight to make it bigger and better than what it is today. If you think otherwise, you're a Gh0ds' damned idiot. If others who preach otherwise tell you what to do, walk away and don't be an idiot. For the love of Sagan, it's as plain as the nose on your face that outsourcing cannot hold the centre - it's a band-aid on a chest-wound.

The attitude that "They're doing better than they were before!" disgusts me because it insults us, the people who built the CG industry from the ground up and it insults the man who's still watching his wife lose her kid in a mud hut because they couldn't afford a syrette of atropine.

Anyone who doesn't understand this is damned oxygen thief.

Steamthrower
11-08-2007, 05:52 PM
Off-shoring and outsourcing hurts people in civilised countries because they lose jobs and potential income to other places.

The extra $100 per year, brought by off-shoring, that some Mozambiquan makes will buy maybe some food.

With the extra income gained by not farming out stuff to third-world countries, an individual who cares about the situation can use his extra income and fund a charity: whether non-profit or religious, it doesn't matter. But I dare say that a single basket of supplies does a poor indigenous person a good deal more than a job in a factory pushing transistors into circuit boards.

Not only do low-rate jobs like these pay little, but they destroy the person's mind. Being an assembly line worker never exactly broadened anyone's horizons, did it?

Bog
11-08-2007, 06:14 PM
Debating team is a great way to start - take one side and defend it and then take the other side and defend that.

*waves his Adelphi Society tie from school* Couldn't agree more.

But in this side, the flip of it is - why shouldn't we be happy with $5 bucks a week for what we do?

At which point, you slam straight into the fact that you need a thousand bucks of workstation and software just to get started, three thousand for a pro rig, and at least a grand a year in software updates just to stay current.

Boom. *snaps fingers* Biased argument with an insupportable postulate of symmetry - the irreplaceable side of the industry cannot exist without the first-world earning power behind the universitities, research institutions, large corporations making supercomputers cheaper than compact cars, massively commercialised television infrastructure et al.

The centre cannot hold on an assymetrical system, which is what outsourcing is. You need young'uns getting educated by their daddies to come up back into the system to make it - at best - metastable. Otherwise, you get the other thing.

Metastasis.

That which cancers do when they become malignant.

*edit* Oratory School Adelphi Soc, not the Masonry one.

jin choung
11-08-2007, 07:44 PM
Either pay what I want or we'll make you lose millions from a strike.

why is this bad?

jin

prospector
11-08-2007, 09:05 PM
Jin, I know your smarter than that.

But I seem to have hit a nerve earlier on last post. :)

jin choung
11-08-2007, 10:04 PM
what? no nerve struck.

why are you saying negotiation is bad?

jin

prospector
11-08-2007, 10:48 PM
Struck nerve with others

Nothing wrong with negotiations...as long as no threats are used
Company starts at point A, writer starts at point B.....haggle the difference and an agreed upon price is reached, or no sale takes place and both go their merry ways.
Unions threaten. Prices are artificially set. Not market value.

jin choung
11-08-2007, 10:52 PM
nah, it takes more than that. you've merely exasperated my patience and challenged my ability to condescend.

what if company A has an unfair advantage in negotiation?

jin

jin choung
11-08-2007, 11:02 PM
oops. forgot....


haggle the difference and an agreed upon price is reached, or no sale takes place and both go their merry ways.

so what do you think this strike is?

THEIR CONTRACT EXPIRED (however you reply, acknowledge this).

they were under NO OBLIGATION TO CONTINUE WORK until a new deal had been drafted.

AN AGREED UPON PRICE HAS NOT BEEN ACHIEVED.

do you expect them to work WITHOUT A DEAL?

it is exactly as you specified.

jin

prospector
11-08-2007, 11:50 PM
so what do you think this strike is?
Extortion


THEIR CONTRACT EXPIRED
NO OBLIGATION TO CONTINUE WORK
AN AGREED UPON PRICE HAS NOT BEEN ACHIEVED.
Correct on all counts

do you expect them to work WITHOUT A DEAL?
No

But the companies should look for other writers that they can get an agreed upon price.
And writers on strike should see if they can sell their scripts to a company who will agree to their price.
Not force a company to pay for something they don't think is worth what writers are asking.

jin choung
11-09-2007, 12:00 AM
But the companies should look for other writers that they can get an agreed upon price.

why don't they? it's not illegal to do so.

jin

p.s. please get some education. "Not force a company to pay for something they don't think is worth what writers are asking."

this is just embarassing. you're embarassing yourself. this is not what the writer's strike is about. who told you what you're saying? your little sister?

prospector
11-09-2007, 07:15 AM
this is not what the writer's strike is about.

They want more money, so yes, that's what it's about.
Doesn't matter where it comes from,up front or down the road, it's still more money, and they may or may not be worth it.
I don't care if the companies do these payments or not...more power to the writers if they do.
AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT FORCED.= STRIKE = extortion

Lightwolf
11-09-2007, 07:21 AM
AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT FORCED.= STRIKE = extortion
So, anybody should just work, regardless of whether they agree with the terms under which they work?

Cheers,
Mike

theo
11-09-2007, 08:33 AM
who told you what you're saying? your little sister?

Jin, this comes across as very demeaning to me. I understand and am for your conceptual approach but I just think this type of communication tends to add little value to the discussion.

Red_Oddity
11-09-2007, 09:08 AM
They want more money, so yes, that's what it's about.
Doesn't matter where it comes from,up front or down the road, it's still more money, and they may or may not be worth it.
I don't care if the companies do these payments or not...more power to the writers if they do.
AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT FORCED.= STRIKE = extortion

I'm shifting my opinion somewhat after reading some more.
I don't think it is about getting more money, i think it is more about making sure they'll still be paid royalties when the broadcasting medium shifts to digital delivery and moves from television to on line broadcasting services.
Right now the writers get very little to no money at all when a show they worked on gets broadcast via digital delivery system (internet site).

What i read is that the broadcasting corporations happily take advantage of these contract loop holes that occured because of this shift in mediums (tv to internet, dvd to digital delivery/download).

So, in a way they are right to strike when all negotiations got to a stand still.

As long as the strike stays a fair fight, i'm somewhat for it.

ericsmith
11-09-2007, 09:11 AM
There are actually some rather complex issues going on here.

To begin with, Jin is right in that writers are trying to negotiate a new contract. They have no legal or moral obligation to write anything for the studios if they don't want to.

But the other side of the story is that if a studio pays for work from a non-union writer, every writer in the union will refuse to work for that studio under any circumstances.

So here's what it comes down to. If you're a writer, you'll never get work from the studios unless you join the union. So all the good writers are in the union. And this means that the studios are basically forced to hire union writers. Ergo, they are forced to pay what the union says they have to pay, or go out of business. Of course they can still produce shows that don't require writing, ie. reality shows, but when the directors come on board, they will basically be shut down.

If you look at the situation logically, the union is practically in violation of anti-trust laws. But from a legal point of view, I think unions are somewhat protected from anti-trust legislation because their intended purpose is to protect laborers.

At the end of the day, however, I'm marginally on the side of the writers. Simply because from the information that's been published, it seems like the writers are not asking for anything unfair, and the studios are just dragging their feet. But there's no telling what's really going on behind closed doors, so I'm open to the possibility that the writers are trying to strong-arm the studios for more than they should. No one but the writers and the union really knows.

Eric

Verlon
11-09-2007, 11:24 AM
I can't believe a bunch of guys in digital content creation are opposed to content creaters getting paid.

The only TV I watch 'live' these days are NFL games. I have seen every episode of Heroes, and not one commercial during the show. I fast forward past them. I know about the Nissan Rogue and Versa, though. How? Product placement. You've heard of product placement, right?

Now, are any of you naive enough to think NBC threw all that Nissan promotion out there for free? No? Do you think NBC didn't mention something like, "In addition to our ratings and DVD sales, we've had this many million downloads of our episodes?

If the writers are supposed to be paid by the broadcast, then webcasting matters.

If it was YOUR work, and the contract was something like X dollars up front and Y for each broadcast, you wouldn't want someone doing an end around on your income, would you? Especially after they already screwed you on DVD sales.

I mean, as long as SOMEONE is getting paid, I rather it be the writers.

As for the quality of the writing....how much of that is writing and how much is it the studios coming to the writers and saying "our focus group determined that we could get 4.3% more market share if we added a dinosaur in this scene....could you add a dinosaur--and do it before lunch?" (and the writer asking what dinosaurs have to do with a crime drama..)

As for unions being legalized mafia...

Yes, unions are just gunning down citiznes in the street....health care, 40 hour work week, child labor laws, safe working conditions, and minimum wages are killing people in this country.

Look at labor conditions around 1890. I'd say things have gotten better.

Now, unless you subscribe to some REALLY radical "ultrafast as in comic book fast" human eveloution theory, people are no better today than they were 120 years ago. Those factories had to be convinced to give up profits for the betterment of workers.

Or, in a purely self serving vein, how many of you guys have a chance at making money by creating content for TV? How many of you guys think you are more likely to be the head of FOX studios?

No one is saying the producers shouldn't get paid for their investment. They're saying they deserve a share of the income for their share of the work.

theo
11-09-2007, 11:38 AM
I can't believe a bunch of guys in digital content creation are opposed to content creaters getting paid.

Where is this 'bunch'? If I may be so direct.

Verlon
11-09-2007, 01:00 PM
Where is this 'bunch'? If I may be so direct.

The seven pages of posts above mine :)

Well, not all of them....but still reading through the first bit with comments like "let them strike and rot" and calling the strike 'extortion,' for example.

jin choung
11-09-2007, 01:43 PM
errr,

you're smack dab in the middle of a majority buddy. pretty much the only guy who's a staunch anti-union opponent is prospector.

jin

ted
11-09-2007, 01:48 PM
you're embarassing yourself....who told you what you're saying? your little sister?
jin, with all due respect, I think you've done that yourself.

I have strong opinions, but I'd rather strongly state my argument then attack someone. But that's just my opinion. :D

I still want to know if the actors, directors, electricians, grips, lighting guys, catering crew, Janitors etc. deserve royalties for the investment marketing of the risk takers? Who decides who is more or less important then the writers?

jin choung
11-09-2007, 01:53 PM
I have strong opinions, but I'd rather strongly state my argument then attack someone. But that's just my opinion. :D

that wasn't about a strong opinion. it was about a FACTUAL ERROR that prospector evidently has no intention of educating or correcting himself on. not much of an attack either, just some ribbing on ignorance.

as for who is to decide... ha.

ok, you tell me.

jin

Lightwolf
11-09-2007, 02:02 PM
I still want to know if the actors, directors, electricians, grips, lighting guys, catering crew, Janitors etc. deserve royalties for the investment marketing of the risk takers?
To be quite honest, looking at some of the tight grips of the unions on the complete industry in the US, the writers demands are peanuts.

Heck, you even have to hire a DoP even if the director himself does the camera, pay for extras even if you prefer amateurs... *sigh* no wonder movies cost so much to produce over there ;)

On the other hand, smaller specialized unions make them a lot more effective it seems... quite different from the position they have over here.

Cheers,
Mike

P.S. Nobody is stopping the Janitors from going on strike if they want better treatment... they'd just need to get organized.

Verlon
11-09-2007, 03:13 PM
well power corrupts, and that is true for unions, studios, politicians, or religious leaders...

I am not saying that everything every union has ever done is on the path to righteousness, but people didn't start them because they were happy with how they were being treated by their employers either.

And how many of those silly sounding rules are in place because someone tried to work around estalished agreements? While I can't think of a case off the top of my head in labor disputes, I can cite them like crazy through history.

When the US made it illegal to prevent African American men from voting in elections, several states simply made it illegal for them to vote in primaries (creating effectively the same results). When the US made THAT illegal, too, Texas came up with the concept of a 'pre-primary- where only whites could vote.

Now, somewhere in all the laws, there is a refernce to not having a racially discriminated pre-pre-election to see who goes to the pre-election to see who goes to the election. It further states that it is illegal to have a racially discriminated pre-pre-pre election to see who goes to the pre-pre-elction to see who goes to the pre-elction to see who goes to the election to get voted on.

Now on the surface, that seems pretty silly, but someone created a situation that called for it. When you look at things that large companies whill do for large ammounts of money, you have to believe that they own a share of the blame for union rules...

And Lightwolf, isn't Germany the country that wouldn't let Tom Cruise film a movie there because of his peculiar religions beliefs (and however peculiar they might be, its still his right to be peculiar)?

The trouble with janitors striking is that they are more easily replaced.

bobakabob
11-09-2007, 03:29 PM
Prospector,

What's wrong with creators campaigning for their rightful slice of the pie? Read a little history. Were it not for unions most of us would still be serfs with a friendly feudal landlord providing a barn for your family and farm animals for company.

The reactionaries here would doubtless be the first to whine if someone else were unfairly making money out of their ideas. It's well known writers are the bottom of the food chain in the film industry.

What's the alternative? Roll over and die?

Lightwolf
11-09-2007, 04:00 PM
And Lightwolf, isn't Germany the country that wouldn't let Tom Cruise film a movie there because of his peculiar religions beliefs (and however peculiar they might be, its still his right to be peculiar)?
Erm, no, that had nothing to do with that - more with the fact that the Bendler Block was not to be mis-used as a film set. It is just one of those national monuments that you'd have problems getting a permission in any country.
And, he did get the permission after all (later all takes but one were destroyed in the chemical lab - not sure about the current status).
As for his religious beliefs - Scientology doesn't have the status of a Church here (with a long legal fight over it as well on the basis that it is not in accordance with our constitution).

Cheers,
Mike

Sande
11-09-2007, 04:35 PM
And Lightwolf, isn't Germany the country that wouldn't let Tom Cruise film a movie there because of his peculiar religions beliefs (and however peculiar they might be, its still his right to be peculiar)?
Sorry to come in like this with nothing but off topic, but can you tell where you got that idea from? Just curious because I've read so much about his cult's influence over there.

jin choung
11-10-2007, 12:17 AM
ok, i think i have a way of communicating this that you might get prospector:

here is an example i can imagine YOU could make:

1. business wants to pay as little as possible.
2. worker gets little money.
3. worker can't complain, he can just go somewhere where they pay more
4. worker can't find anywhere that pays more. that's not fair. that's extortion. you're FORCING me to work for an unfairly low wage.
5. too bad. he's getting paid what he's worth. no one's forcing him to do whatever he does. he should change his line of work.

how's that? anything you disagree with?
---------------------------------------------------------------------

but here's the thing you're not getting.

it is the RIGHT AND PROPER goal of the worker to try to get paid as much as he can.

so here is the converse situation:

1. workers strike to get paid as much as possible.
2. business pays too much as it is. it doesn't want to pay more.
3. business can't complain. no one's forcing them to comply with a strike. find other workers if you can.
4. business can't find any workers to break strike (not always true btw), union too powerful, incur too much wrath. but it's not FAIR! you're forcing me to pay way more than i want to.
5. too bad. you have to pay what you're forced to pay. no one's forcing the company to continue doing what it's doing. if it's not worth it, bail out and do something else.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

this is not about FAIR or UNFAIR.

this is about POWER.

historically, businesses had MORE POWER than a single worker and so they could exploit worker.

worker didn't like that.

boom. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING. UNION. ganging up on the big guy.

this is just as fair businesses all deciding to pay similar wages for like work. in any given area, the pay for a certain kind of job doesn't vary wildly. there's no such thing as "ANTIPRICEFIXING" for wages.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

you keep talking about market forces and stuff.

what you fail to acknowledge is that the WORKER is a valid market force.

COMPANY'S IMPERATIVE is to pay as little as possible.

WORKER'S IMPERATIVE is to get paid as much as possible.

BOTH are equally (in)valid and (non)arbitrary.

jin

jin choung
11-10-2007, 12:21 AM
and, to re-iterate:

businesses CAN FIRE ALL THE STRIKERS. it IS AN OPTION.

recently, a trash collector's strike in l.a. was broken up in just this way. the company started replacing all the striking employees.

a union is not all powerful. the company has OPTIONS.

but if it ends up being WEAKER than the UNION, that is a valid fallout of market forces.

THAT IS HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED. the stronger party wins the negotiation.

no crying foul (or in your case, extortion).

--------------------------------------

your position is not only that you prefer power to be with the company but that is somehow its rightful place.

it's not.

power is where you find it.

jin

jin choung
11-10-2007, 12:23 AM
and finally,

the balancing factor is EVERYONE WANTS TO GET PAID.

if the company is pushed so far that paying such wages will do the company in, that doesn't do the union any good does it?

so things have a way of evening out.

you don't have to worry.

jin

IMI
11-10-2007, 10:29 AM
Sorry to come in like this with nothing but off topic, but can you tell where you got that idea from? Just curious because I've read so much about his cult's influence over there.


Without looking it up, I think it was that he wanted to use certain buildings or historical locations for shooting, and was denied just those requests. In the same way they denied The daVinci Code movie people access to that church in England.

Verlon
11-10-2007, 11:12 AM
http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSL253889920070625?feedType=RSS&rpc=22&sp=true.


Tom Cruise was filming a movie "Valkyrie" and Germany wasn't going to let the film at certain historic sites.

Still, getting permission and filming at alternate locations and all drives the cost up a bit....

And what is the difference between a religion and a cult? As a religious person myself, I am still willing to say that it would be difficult to distinguish between the two in legal terms.

Given Scientology's media relations, I am surprised they haven't had more to say about this.

IMI
11-10-2007, 11:15 AM
And what is the difference between a religion and a cult?


The simple answer to that is, a religion is a faith structure or organization one follows and believes in, while a cult is something everyone else follows. ;)

Verlon
11-10-2007, 11:16 AM
Erm, no, that had nothing to do with that - more with the fact that the Bendler Block was not to be mis-used as a film set. It is just one of those national monuments that you'd have problems getting a permission in any country.
And, he did get the permission after all (later all takes but one were destroyed in the chemical lab - not sure about the current status).
As for his religious beliefs - Scientology doesn't have the status of a Church here (with a long legal fight over it as well on the basis that it is not in accordance with our constitution).

Cheers,
Mike


Defense Ministry spokesman Harald Kammerbauer said the film makers "will not be allowed to film at German military sites if Count Stauffenberg is played by Tom Cruise, who has publicly professed to being a member of the Scientology cult".

(from that same article)
That isn't misuse of historical sites unless you count letting Cruise onto the site a misuse while other stars are ok...

Verlon
11-10-2007, 11:17 AM
The simple answer to that is, a religion is a faith structure or organization one follows and believes in, while a cult is something everyone else follows. ;)

Yeah, but that isn't in legal terms ....

But it kinda is the difference

IMI
11-10-2007, 11:36 AM
I don't know if it's possible to define a cult in legal terms, at least in America, what with the separation of church and state thing. Alot of religions which other religions consider cults are technically and legally recognized by the government as legitimate churches, for tax purposes and such.
For example, the Protestant faith generally considers the Mormon faith a cult, but both have equal status under the law.

There are certain requirements that need be met for a religion to be recognized as such, but they don't necessarily have to conform to any defined principles of belief. They do, however, have to operate in a way that isn't violating other laws, of course.

prospector
11-10-2007, 11:59 AM
how's that? anything you disagree with?
number 4
Worker has 3 choices;
A.work for price company wants
B. Go into different industry and find higher wages
C. capitalism....get likeminded individuals, pool funds, and start a company for wages they want.

I like C :thumbsup:

Second scenerio;

Company has 3 options;
A. Pay strikers extortion demands.
B. Pay new non-union workers more than union workers WERE making but not as much as they currently demand.
C. Punish union by closing shop and moving to right-to-work state or move offshore, thereby making union workers out of work completely.

I like C. :thumbsup:


Buisnesses and workers NOT equal.

Buisnesses make jobs for workers, the inverse is not true.
So power IS with company as it should be.

Lightwolf
11-10-2007, 12:07 PM
Defense Ministry spokesman Harald Kammerbauer said the film makers "will not be allowed to film at German military sites if Count Stauffenberg is played by Tom Cruise, who has publicly professed to being a member of the Scientology cult".
Cruise's Scientology affection was a (big) part of the public discussion, but not a part of the (initial) official denial for permission.
As a side comment, Nicole Kidman also didn't get permission to shoot at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp (which is now a memorial).

That isn't misuse of historical sites unless you count letting Cruise onto the site a misuse while other stars are ok...
Previously only one production team had permission to shoot there. And the lead actor wasn't an open member of an organization that is considered as being unconstitutional either (which, as I mentioned, did fuel the public debate).

Cheers,
Mike

Red_Oddity
11-10-2007, 01:12 PM
The seven pages of posts above mine :)

Well, not all of them....but still reading through the first bit with comments like "let them strike and rot" and calling the strike 'extortion,' for example.

Sorry to jump back to this one.

I made the 'let 'm rot' remark because i thought it was about something else, the internet can be a complete mess when it comes to delivering proper and clear news information, i was misinformed and didn't realize what really (as far as the guild and the studios are willling to let us know) was going on.
Since you skipped the rest of the pages after the first few, you might have missed me somewhat grasping the geist of the situation later on.

Carry on.

achrystie
11-10-2007, 02:16 PM
Buisnesses and workers NOT equal.

Buisnesses make jobs for workers, the inverse is not true.
So power IS with company as it should be.

LOL.
This is quite possibly the most ignorant opinion I've seen in a long time. It's such a poignant yet saddening mirror of exactly the problem with a large number or businesses and the executives that run them. Short sighted thinking at its best.

Considering the American consumer market is pretty much the largest in the world, where, pray tell...will all the purchasing come from (particularly at current pricing) when all the jobs are shipped off to some "far off land" where labor is 25 cents per hour? These are the conversations that make me hope for a day when the unemployment rate skyrockets and half the "market" is bankrupt and all the businessmen turn around, look at each other, and go "oops...well at least we made our money and paid ourselves huge salaries while we could".

Not to mention the moral implications of paying people and families a bare minimum such that they have a miserable and quite frankly inhuman life style while a small percentage of people reap HUGE rewards from the labor of others, in the vast majority of cases, purely from being in the right place at the right time and/or coming from money in the first place.

The typo on "businesses", twice, further cements the deal.

That said, having been on both sides of the fence myself, there are definitely some large issues with unions, particularly the way they all too often enable people to exploit the system by reaching a level of seniority and/or years that make them practically bulletproof, despite their serious drop in work ethic, but that's just the worst of the other extreme. If you're going to spout off anti-union, at least get some better arguments against them.

jin choung
11-10-2007, 02:48 PM
Company has 3 options;


right.

so including the option to pack up and go somewhere else.

not extortion.

they are completely free to do that. but you know what will convince them to stay and resolve the strike, it's not some large hearted generousity - it's in their own economic self interest to do so.

market forces at work.

TWO equal and opposite imperatives.

pay as little as possible, get paid as much as possible.

if the union ends up being more powerful this time around - tough noogies for the companies.

it wasn't always that way.

jin

prospector
11-10-2007, 02:53 PM
where, pray tell...will all the purchasing come from (particularly at current pricing) when all the jobs are shipped off to some "far off land" where labor is 25 cents per hour?
I'm only speaking about union workers.


Buisnesses make jobs for workers, the inverse is not true.
And this is so true.

How do I know?
try getting a job from homeless people.
Or
get a job from a company

which is your better chance of employment?

And sorry about buisnesses which should be businesses, but I am on LW on one computer, the VT on another, watching Top Gear on the BBC channel and listening to wife talk about antiques and monitoring this at same time. :D

achrystie
11-10-2007, 03:22 PM
I'm only speaking about union workers.


And this is so true.

How do I know?
try getting a job from homeless people.
Or
get a job from a company

which is your better chance of employment?

And sorry about buisnesses which should be businesses, but I am on LW on one computer, the VT on another, watching Top Gear on the BBC channel and listening to wife talk about antiques and monitoring this at same time. :D

And workers are customers of businesses.
Try selling to a homeless person
OR
Try selling to someone with a salary that pays their basic living expenses...and then some.

This is what I mean by shortsighted and honestly it's all too often that business people don't think about both ends because our entire system is based on short term profit and not looking at the ramifications of "business" decisions. Call it "business is business" but it isn't right no matter how you choose to brush it off. A machine can't run effectively if you don't regulate what goes out AND what goes in. That's all that business is, a money machine, unfortunately, we have too many businessmen that focus on what's going out and keep putting cheap gas "in", happy to be running at "top speed" for their short period of time. Then the machine blows and they walk away from it. That's not a sustainable system.

jin choung
11-10-2007, 03:33 PM
And workers are customers of businesses.

exactly right.

the CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX is a HUUUUUUUUUGE indicator of economic well being in the united states.

also, the largest MARKET (in terms of money) for consumer goods is the united states.

if either of those factors change for the worse, it is a tremendously bad thing for global economy - companies.

jin

Verlon
11-10-2007, 08:24 PM
Why is it perfectly acceptable for investors to pool their resources to negotiate a better deal for their goods(money), but extortion for workers to pool the resources to negotiate a better deal for their services (work)?

Its the same thing.

Would it somehow become palatable to you if instead of a union, a few top end writers formed a corporation that worked sort of like a writers' staffing solution. Then they hire up all the writers they can find, and set them up with a fee structure and health care. They could set up a business whereby you hired writers off of them at specific rates ('a' list, 'b' list, 'daytime TV list' etc).

They could require that you use ONLY, or perhaps at least 90% their writers if you wanted to use ANY of their writers, and as long as they kept the top talent on board, they'd have even more power. They might, as an incentive, offer a discount on the rates if you used their writers on >90% of their projects, you could get a last 10% effectively free. This would work to strangle out aspiring freelance 'workers' who didn't want to work for the big company.

Then the company could could make certain that all the writing was even more formulaic than it already is. Would this be acceptable?

And it'd be hard to argue that tactics of the writers' corporation, since these are the practices of companies like Intel, DeBeers, and so on.

What is the difference between a union and a company? Just reverse your thinking: The workers are paying work to the company to do something it would rather not be doing -- give money to people.....It is simply a trade between two groups of people.

Prospector: ask a few real estate companies who is more likely to buy their products....a homeless person or a union worker with a marketable skill? See, all workers aren't the same either. Companies are NOTHING without someone to buy what they sell.

Who would you rather trust your nest egg with: union bricklayers to build you a house, or those fine visionaries at Enron who were SOOO good to their employees.

Owning a company doesn't make you better than the next guy. It just makes you a company owner.

Running a union doesn't make you a great philantropist. It just means you run a union.

jin choung
11-10-2007, 10:01 PM
Just reverse your thinking: The workers are paying work to the company to do something it would rather not be doing -- give money to people.....It is simply a trade between two groups of people.

ahh nice. very apt and very clarifying as it pertains to prospector's line of reasoning.

jin

ted
11-10-2007, 11:42 PM
I honestly don't understand the hard-line hatred of companies by some people.
Sure there are the Enronís. But there are countless slouches that don't put near a full dayís work either.

My wife works for a LARGE national company. She says the majority of employees aren't worth garbage. Between using EVERY moment of sick leave and family leave, they don't work when they are there, whine about everything and do everything to get out of work.

My average is one out of 7 people are worth what they get paid. My brother had to close his company because he couldn't find enough employees that felt they owed the company 8 hours work for 8 hours pay. And he paid the HIGHEST in the market.

All of my 3 childrenís bosses say they are the best hardest working employees they have. I was just told this again today by my daughterís boss.

So before you go saying how evil companies are, where would the average worker be without them. UNEMPLOYED.
Iím not dissin employees, but the majority Iíve seen just donít get it these days.

jin choung
11-11-2007, 01:05 AM
nobody seems to be villifying companies in this thread.

but neither is it advisable to TRUST THE COMPANIES TO DO THE RIGHT THING.

companies aren't in it to make the employees life better. the companies aren't in it help people out or make the world a better place. business is all about SELF INTEREST.

ever hear of the sales term WIFM? what's in it for me? this is the sole (and in capitalism, rightful) motivating force in business.

companies exist to MAKE MONEY for themselves. almost irregardless of anything else. if an employee no longer serves a purpose, they're gone. bottom line.

and for every employee that's slackin' off (well, not every... then it would be fine... more wealt spread out... alas), there's a ceo that gets paid faaaaaaaaaaaaaar too much more than an employee. if we're talkin' about getting paid what your worth, if those guys are pulling down millions of dollars whether the company does well or not... i dunno, they better be working nights.... weekends... holidays... no bathroom breaks.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ultimately, it's not villifying. it's NEUTRALITY. companies are not evil. NEITHER ARE THEY GOOD.

they are engines of money making.

haha... and your final point is somewhat ludicrous.

where would the average company be without WORKERS! OUT OF BUSINESS.

there is no THANKS to be owed to either employee or employer. this is the DEFINITION OF BUSINESS. each partakes for their own sake and no one elses'.

again NO THANKS OR GRATITUDE NEED APPLY. on either side.

jin

Verlon
11-11-2007, 02:31 AM
I am not saying all companies are evil. As I said above (more than once) they're all just people, no better no worse, and no different. They are the SAME as the unions.

Ted, I am going to have to disagree with you. You say 1 out of 7 are worth what they get paid. Lets look at that. That means that 85% (roughly) of this country is overpaid. Lets, for the sake of decency, assume its the top 85%. So, the bottom15% of income in America is 'worth what they're paid.'

About 12.5% of those officially live in poverty. At that level, they need help just live. Actually, the next 8% or so need help to get by, too. So that means that, by calculating out your valuation of the american worker, around 20% of the US (minimum) or about 60 million people, don't deserve enough to have a roof over their head and enough to eat.

(because the only reason they don't starve is that they're overpaid and/or getting help for the government - and I can only assume you do not believe they deserve that help either if they are already overpaid). If you pick any other part of the economy, then even more people could end up 'deserving to starve.' Food for thought on 1 in 7. Maybe the pay isn't worth as much as people think.

Well, to be completely fair, if you were to assume that the LOWEST paid people in the country were actually UNDERpaid, you could 'redistribute' the wealth and all could eat. However, those guys working for minimum wage are not always the highest performers, and many of them are likely to fall in you 85% of the overpaid workers.

Come to think of it, if 85% of the workforce is overpaid, then doesn't that mean that AT LEAST 85% of the companies are overcharging for substandard products because their workers suck? So that kind of works out in the wash...If life was fair, everything would be cheaper but most would get paid less and....someone get me an aspirin.

Minimum wage hasn't adjusted to inflation. It has lost ground steadily since 1972 (the increases to minimum wage have only slowed the bleeding). There will ALWAYS be a bottom 10% of the population, and yeah, some people are so worthless it defies reason. That doesn't mean I want to starve them.

True story: my father worked construction. He worked non-union jobs until I was 12. Then he got a union job (in a right to work state) at another company. The difference to me was that after he went union, I never went to bed hungry again. I never again had to help run a paper route so we could afford potatoes. I never had to watch my brother eat ketchup because it was literally the only food in the house, or depend on the kindness of others for my school books. It meant my mother had health care before she died.

So tell me again about how evil unions are... I'll tell you about a boss that cut workers wages so he could get a new Cadillac, and because he had the employees over a barrel, he got away with it.

I have done at least one thing at work that will pay for all the money my current employer will ever pay me... benefits included. So, for at least one shining moment, I was so vastly underpaid it defies belief. I didn't even get a bonus. So, if I need to miss a day of work to take my son to the dentist, I won't lose any sleep over it.

cresshead
11-11-2007, 03:08 AM
I honestly don't understand the hard-line hatred of companies by some people.
Sure there are the Enron’s. But there are countless slouches that don't put near a full day’s work either.

My wife works for a LARGE national company. She says the majority of employees aren't worth garbage. Between using EVERY moment of sick leave and family leave, they don't work when they are there, whine about everything and do everything to get out of work.

My average is one out of 7 people are worth what they get paid. My brother had to close his company because he couldn't find enough employees that felt they owed the company 8 hours work for 8 hours pay. And he paid the HIGHEST in the market.

All of my 3 children’s bosses say they are the best hardest working employees they have. I was just told this again today by my daughter’s boss.

So before you go saying how evil companies are, where would the average worker be without them. UNEMPLOYED.
I’m not dissin employees, but the majority I’ve seen just don’t get it these days.

:agree: at most of the places i've worked at from 1979 to present day i'd say 90% don't 'do a days work' for a day's pay...

it's sorta engrained that this country ''owes you a job'' [england]

and i never got the idea of ''sick pay''...if your ill your not working
why are you paid?...in essence your salary includes days where you won;t work cause of illness etc that includes holidays..

also i find that some people get promoted if their really crap at their job just to get them moved out of the department to somewhere else!
...companies find it difficult to get rid of deadwood and most often hard workers don;t get recognized as their lazy managers take the credit for their work.

companies are their to make money, their not a social club:D


personally if i was running a business that had to employ people i#d have a VERY difficult task to hire people who i'd believe would earn their pay...
so i'd probably drop the wages and get people who woulld be 'good enough' and who'd move on to other jobs...so get rid of any deadwood
employees that got thru an interview somehow.

parm
11-11-2007, 04:09 AM
So before you go saying how evil companies are, where would the average worker be without them. UNEMPLOYED.

Self Employed. Possibly?

Edit. If you don't want sick pay. Be self employed :)

cresshead
11-11-2007, 04:12 AM
more likely...filling out forms for family credit and housing benefit...:D

never ''over rate'' a 'worker':thumbsup: :hey: :)

prospector
11-11-2007, 05:36 AM
Ted...you are such a softy :D :D

I'm thinking and seeing the reverse is more true, but maybe you were giving some benefit of doubt there? :D

Or maybe you were talking about NON-UNION workers (who could be fired for slacking) whereas I am thinking more towards UNION workers who almost need an act of congress to be fired (think teachers unions and government unions here), if they slack off.

And that brings me back to my original point that some people are not worth the money that unions force (extort) you to pay them or face the proposition you will be struck until you capitulate or declare bankruptcy.

Which in turn goes back to the writers strike, who do not deserve the money they want as they had nothing to do with the marketing, packaging, or placement of anything past the main script they wrote and were paid for in the beginning.

"he who risks the money gets the booty"

(which is profit for those who don't speak pirate) :hey:

prospector
11-11-2007, 05:43 AM
OOPs...sorry Ted
re-read and your right
1 out of 7 are worth it....mis read that..
I was more on the line of 1 in 20 but your on the right end of the scale :D

prospector
11-11-2007, 05:46 AM
If you don't want sick pay. Be self employed
How true
Employees just don't know how easy they have it :thumbsup:

cresshead
11-11-2007, 06:54 AM
yeah employee's don't take many 'risks' but employers DO!...mainly with their own cash and the people they 'trust' to work and make the business grow.

btw i'm 'employed' and self employed! [currently]

Lightwolf
11-11-2007, 07:02 AM
yeah employee's don't take many 'risks' but employers DO!...mainly with their own cash and the people they 'trust' to work and make the business grow.
That depends a lot on the size of business though. Small private or family owned businesses... surely. But they usually handle their employees a lot different then big, publicly traded, multi-nationals. And in the case of the big corps... who is taking the risks?

Cheers,
Mike

prospector
11-11-2007, 08:01 AM
And in the case of the big corps... who is taking the risks?
Investors, with their money.

Glendalough
11-11-2007, 08:40 AM
Yeah it doesn't suprise me that people do nothing in work, they hardly get paid. For example, airline pilots get paid about as much, even less, than truck drivers did in the 1970's.

Most employers want stupid malleable people however else they may define it, and so this is the downside. Many companies and corps are just trying to maintain market share so their whole existence is just trench warfare.

At one time corporations had to tread carefully. In America, anyway, people were suspicious of them. This was a normal healthy outlook. So to respond to this, corporations gave a lot in money and benefits. Over the years they have managed to change people's perceptions, and bad mouthing is considered slightly subversive. Find this really weird in a country that is supposed to espouse things like 'rugged individualism', Freedom etc. no doubt Very Vierd.

parm
11-11-2007, 08:47 AM
Investors, with their money.

Compared to the risks that an employee takes when choosing an employer. I wouldn't really rate that with much concern at all.

Investors are glorified gamblers. And risking money is part of the game.

For an employee. Who has a mortgage, a family and day to day bills to pay. On the back of a salary. Risks losing a lot more than just money. If their employer decides to offload staff or doesn't have the acumen to run a business properly.

cresshead
11-11-2007, 08:47 AM
Yeah it doesn't suprise me that people do nothing in work, they hardly get paid.

well that's THEIR choice isn't it?:)
if they want to earn more money they might get off their rear ends and start their own business.

parm
11-11-2007, 08:51 AM
And when everyones got their own business?

cresshead
11-11-2007, 09:15 AM
And when everyones got their own business?

they sell their services and or products to one another...

working for a company is a relatively ''new'' thing actually...go look in your history books....and i don't mean american history!...no proper history
that's hundreds of years old...

most people's last names are dirived from what they ''were''...ie what they did to earn THEIR income...a majority were in effect self employed

ie
smith:- horse shoes
potter:- worked with clay...and NOT wizards!
etc..

Glendalough
11-11-2007, 09:17 AM
well that's THEIR choice isn't it?:)
if they want to earn more money they might get off their rear ends and start their own business.

There is very little scope for this. The marketplace has been monopolized by large corporations, who now they are in, are delivering very low quality service. Their only threat is similar large corps whom they can negotiate with, say, perhaps after an initial tussle for something in the market.

On top of this, we really get screwed by 'investors' who used to get 4 to 6 percent. Now they expect 10 to 20. This money has to come from somewhere, it's not abstract, and we pay for it.

parm
11-11-2007, 09:36 AM
working for a company is a relatively ''new'' thing actually...go look in your history books....and i don't mean american history!...no proper history
that's hundreds of years old...

most people's last names are dirived from what they ''were''...ie what they did to earn THEIR income...a majority were in effect self employed

ie
smith:- horse shoes
potter:- worked with clay...and NOT wizards!
etc..

Well the world is a very different place now. Post industrialisation, with a huge population.

Not many people called Mr Automobile or Aeroplane. It really wouldn't be practical for individuals to set up their own, one man silicon chip manufacturing plant for example.

cresshead
11-11-2007, 09:46 AM
my point, i suppose is that there is 'choice'...you don't HAVE to work for anyone...you can work for yourself if you detest the downsides to employment at a large or small company.

Lightwolf
11-11-2007, 09:53 AM
my point, i suppose is that there is 'choice'...you don't HAVE to work for anyone...you can work for yourself if you detest the downsides to employment at a large or small company.
You also have the choice of getting organized. (just as you do being a company owner or being self-employed. After all, they have their lobby groups as well).

Cheers,
Mike

prospector
11-11-2007, 10:20 AM
If their employer decides to offload staff or doesn't have the acumen to run a business properly.
Wouldn't that be something an employee has to weigh? Before he hires on? Before he goes to job interview?

Employees take risks???
By what, papercuts when looking thru ads?

prospector
11-11-2007, 10:33 AM
Find this really weird in a country that is supposed to espouse things like 'rugged individualism',
Use to be like that.
Being old enough to have seen the changes;
People actually took pride in their work, only took off work when they were actually sick, and actually worked 8 hours for 8 hours pay.
Before unions came along that is. Then came strikes for more money, Then even the sloppiest, laziest worker got paid the same as others.

And pride in work and meritorious pay raises went out.
You could do much better than others and your pay went nowhere....so why try? Your laziness was same pay as best worker, so why try harder?

Lightwolf
11-11-2007, 10:37 AM
Being old enough to have seen the changes;
How old are you? 110, 150? Considering that the first union was formed in 1866 in the US... (1848 in Germany by the way, but there were strikes going back as much as 1329).

Cheers,
Mike

parm
11-11-2007, 11:40 AM
my point, i suppose is that there is 'choice'...you don't HAVE to work for anyone...you can work for yourself if you detest the downsides to employment at a large or small company.

It's a reasonable point. Depending of course on the job market at the time. And how dependent the employee is on the employment. Not everyone has the luxury of time to shop around.

The other point, of course. Is that companies, large and small. Absolutely require and depend upon employees, in order to function at all. The arrangement is not one sided by any means. It's totally in a companys own interest. To have a healthy, well educated, well motivated workforce. Who have a personal and vested interest, in the companies success. It goes far beyond mere wage slavery.

ted
11-11-2007, 11:43 AM
I spent 18 years at the NBC affiliate. The last 5 sucked big time with management doing everything to rid us senior employees and hire part timers.

I took destiny in my own hands. I started my own production company with no business education and no money from anyone.

I don't hate that company. They were trying to save money. I didn't care for the union, they were more self serving then the company and their best attribute was not helping the hard workers, but saving the dead beat workers from loosing thier jobs.

So I've been on both ends and feel strongly that if you are unhappy, it's your own fault. Not your boss's or companies fault. It's up to you to make your own happiness and wealth.
Is that so hard to understand? What is all this corporate bashig about? I just don't get it.

parm
11-11-2007, 12:08 PM
What corporate bashing Ted?

prospector
11-11-2007, 12:12 PM
How old are you? 110, 150?
No but I've seen this since early 60's, so for at least 50 years and the work ethic has really gone downhill and it's getting worse faster as more and more kids coming into workplace think they are owed everything without any output on their part.

gatz
11-11-2007, 01:04 PM
No but I've seen this since early 60's, so for at least 50 years and the work ethic has really gone downhill and it's getting worse faster as more and more kids coming into workplace think they are owed everything without any output on their part.


I think what we are seeing is a corporate mindset infesting the rank and file workers. They sense no loyalty, they extend no loyalty. They are screwed on behalf of the shareholders with "cost of living increases" in leu of merit pay and they give themselves raises in the form of only working part time. They are told that their creativity is the property of thankless overseers, so they keep their thoughts to themselves. Corporations and their enshrinement of "management" are responsible for the decay of our work environments. When the value of "doing" is held above "administering" things will change. Until then unions are the best response to overbearing corporate influences.

Corporations only function honestly and efficiently when they are competing in the marketplace. Now they only seem to competing against their employees.

rg

jin choung
11-11-2007, 01:31 PM
So I've been on both ends and feel strongly that if you are unhappy, it's your own fault. Not your boss's or companies fault. It's up to you to make your own happiness and wealth.

and if a company suffers or goes under because of bad employees, it's the companies fault for not doing something about it. it's up to the company to make their own happiness and wealth.

it's not fair to say that employees can't complain and then say companies can.

if you have incompetent or lazy employees fire them and get better ones.

jin

jin choung
11-11-2007, 01:34 PM
Then came strikes for more money, Then even the sloppiest, laziest worker got paid the same as others.

again, misinformed.

a union or a strike does not guarantee that you get to keep your job. neither does it guarantee (in the case of writers) that all scripts or jobs pay the same.

if an employee stays on the job and is stupid, sloppy and lazy, it is entirely the EMPLOYERS fault that he's still there.

jin

jin choung
11-11-2007, 01:35 PM
No but I've seen this since early 60's, so for at least 50 years and the work ethic has really gone downhill and it's getting worse faster as more and more kids coming into workplace think they are owed everything without any output on their part.


that's funny. at least in the u.s. WORKER PRODUCTIVITY numbers are at record highs....

jin

prospector
11-11-2007, 02:41 PM
if you have incompetent or lazy employees fire them and get better ones.
If ONLY it was that easy when unions are involved.

neither does it guarantee (in the case of writers) that all scripts or jobs pay the same.
The starting wage is magically the same for them no matter how bad someone is or how good someone is. No reason or rhyme for it except the union says so. Called starting pay.


if an employee stays on the job and is stupid, sloppy and lazy, it is entirely the EMPLOYERS fault that he's still there.
again, if it was only so easy to get rid of them.


at least in the u.s. WORKER PRODUCTIVITY numbers are at record highs....
more to do with machinery putting out product than workers doing it.
Just because there is more product coming out the shipping doors does not mean workers are doing it.
The unions just want more money for pushing the right buttons.

bobakabob
11-11-2007, 05:09 PM
The unions just want more money for pushing the right buttons.

And why not?

prospector
11-11-2007, 05:51 PM
because pushing buttons is not a skilled job. I doesn't take a rocket scientist.
It's like a minimum or less wage job. Ma-by for high school students who need extra money or college students so they can pay their way thru college and quit getting tax money. Like flipping hamburgers is a student job.

ted
11-11-2007, 06:26 PM
and if a company suffers or goes under because of bad employees, it's the companies fault for not doing something about it.
jin

That, unfortunately, is the reasoning of people now days. No personal responsability and not just in the workplace either.

This ain't black and white! For God's sake people, there are problems on both sides.
Unions are not the demon, it's the need for power on both sides, companies as well.

But in general, most people don't seem to take charge personally for their situations. They want the union, government or big brother of some kind to make their world perfect. Well, life isn't perfect. Deal with it and make the tough changes you need and stop WHINING! :stop:

Bog
11-11-2007, 06:32 PM
That, unfortunately, is the reasoning of people now days. No personal responsability and not just in the workplace either.

This ain't black and white! For God's sake people, there are problems on both sides.
Unions are not the demon, it's the need for power on both sides, companies as well.

But in general, most people don't seem to take charge personally for their situations. They want the union, government or big brother of some kind to make their world perfect. Well, life isn't perfect. Deal with it and make the tough changes you need and stop WHINING! :stop:

I salute you, sir.

Verlon
11-11-2007, 07:04 PM
to sign a petition to support the writers (not sure how much good it does), go to http://www.petitiononline.com/WGA/petition.html

Verlon
11-11-2007, 07:12 PM
That, unfortunately, is the reasoning of people now days. No personal responsability and not just in the workplace either.

This ain't black and white! For God's sake people, there are problems on both sides.
Unions are not the demon, it's the need for power on both sides, companies as well.

But in general, most people don't seem to take charge personally for their situations. They want the union, government or big brother of some kind to make their world perfect. Well, life isn't perfect. Deal with it and make the tough changes you need and stop WHINING! :stop:


Well I won't argue that. Everyone wants to blame someone else for their problems.

And loyalty is lacking on both sides as well. For the companies, its "Oh, things are kinda soft lately....fire everyone and hire them back as temps for 2/3s pay and no benefits.

For the employees, "Acme is offering $1 an hour more, match it or I am gone..."

ted
11-11-2007, 07:38 PM
Isn't it nice when we all can find common ground. People suck in general! :D

jin choung
11-11-2007, 07:59 PM
That, unfortunately, is the reasoning of people now days. No personal responsability and not just in the workplace either.

This ain't black and white! For God's sake people, there are problems on both sides.
Unions are not the demon, it's the need for power on both sides, companies as well.

But in general, most people don't seem to take charge personally for their situations. They want the union, government or big brother of some kind to make their world perfect. Well, life isn't perfect. Deal with it and make the tough changes you need and stop WHINING! :stop:


uhhhh... wow.

just please... take a minute and reread what you wrote.

you are applying a very strange argument to a very inappropriate example.

y'know how the above strikes me?
--------------------------------------------

a company should TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for its success or failure and not blame "lazy, incompetent employees".

the company owner should "Deal with it and make the tough changes you need and stop WHINING!"

----------------------------------------------

how's that? do you see the irony in what you say?

as i said, if employees can't [email protected]#$ and blame others, neither can companies.

jin

jin choung
11-11-2007, 08:25 PM
more to do with machinery putting out product than workers doing it.
Just because there is more product coming out the shipping doors does not mean workers are doing it.
The unions just want more money for pushing the right buttons.

oh mama,

that's stunningly ignorant! lol... if you're gonna setup a strawman, take some pains to make it look somewhat anthropomorphic...

the worker productivity numbers are across a number of different kinds of jobs. and there are precious few jobs that simply involve "pushing buttons"... with the exception perhaps of programmer.

and look at the worker productivity reports... they do not attribute the increases of late to automation.

anyhoo, we get the idea. you have a BLIND hatred for unions and workers. that's all you had to say.

message received.

jin

prospector
11-11-2007, 11:09 PM
the worker productivity numbers are across a number of different kinds of jobs. and there are precious few jobs that simply involve "pushing buttons"...
Hmmm..across the board...let's see

Automotive worker..unionized
push button to start assembly line..pays about 22 an hour
car comes down line..worker holds parts and presses button, parts get welded by robotics, car goes down line, worker presses button, car gets painted.

machinist, mostly unionized
Pushes button to lift block of metal onto assembly line. worker pushes button to turn on computer and holes drilled into block, block moves on down, worker pushes button and bridge-port shaves metal areas flat, moves down line, worker pushes button and robots paint...engine made...gas diesel, plane engines same.

computer maker, mostly unionized in this country
worker pushes button, whole motherboard, video card, CPU, built and assembled.

So there are 3 of the top products made which accounts for quite a bit of product. And that's without wanting to go deeper.



you have a BLIND hatred for unions and workers.
your putting words where they aren't.
you should have said "you have a BLIND hatred for union workers."
Then it would be true :thumbsup: :D

Verlon
11-12-2007, 12:03 AM
Yeah, I know a girl in a button pushing job. Its not quite a standard assembly line gig, but its something like that.

Just load some product (not anything CLOSE to heavy..maybe a pound), and push a few buttons.

Oh, but she walks about 10 miles a day doing that job. We measured it while doing labor modeling. Oh, and sometimes, pushing the "start" button doesn't work the way it supposed to. The wrong job tries to start, the system gets confused, or something else goes wrong. She stays plenty busy. But, she's just a button pusher.

Do you REALLY think there is a job at GM that pays $22 an hour where Ralph comes in and pushes the big green "start the line" button and 8:00AM and sits there watching the line go by until noon, when he pushes the big red "stop the line button" while everyone goes to lunch. Then restart at 1:00 and stop again at 5:00? Do you REALLY believe that? If so, why haven't you gotten that job? Or at least tried to?

My father-in-law is a bricklayer (retired this year). There a "push the button to build a factory" button job somewhere?

If you hate unions and all they've done, you could always do some honest work for your employer (i.e. refuse all the great things unions have earned for workers. I am certain that if you explained how you felt that vacation time was completely unfair, for example, they could work out a system where you never got it anymore. I mean, you're not at work, why should you be getting paid.

jin choung
11-12-2007, 12:08 AM
yes. completely ignorant... as in like CARTOON CARICATURE! lol....

prospector, if such a job as you describe exists and they didn't automate THAT away, the employer or business deserves every beating it gets.

you think that automation is helping productivity and yet they can't automate a button push?! : ) one has to smile.

if they couldn't find a way to AUTOMATE a BUTTON PUSH (!), the entire world deserves to come crumbling down.

lol...

well, at least you admit it is a blind hatred. good for you. owning up to it is the first step y'know.

jin

parm
11-12-2007, 12:13 AM
because pushing buttons is not a skilled job. I doesn't take a rocket scientist.
It's like a minimum or less wage job. Ma-by for high school students who need extra money or college students so they can pay their way thru college and quit getting tax money. Like flipping hamburgers is a student job.

3d modelling, animation and visual effects. Involves a lot of button pushing. And that's considered quite skilled.


So there are 3 of the top products made which accounts for quite a bit of product. And that's without wanting to go deeper.


Have you actually ever done any of this kind of work? or is this something you've just seen on the telly.

prospector
11-12-2007, 02:07 AM
:D :D :D
I know you guys like to see things that aren't there, and it's quite funny really.

Are you all thinking that there is some secret code that you read every 7th or 20th letter, then translate that to some cuneiform language ??

Jin said there were 'precious few button pushing jobs' so I gave just 3 industries where most jobs involve pushing buttons.

I didn't say 'all', and unless there is white text on this white background that I can't see, I didn't even mention bricklaying.

I don't work for an employer, and haven't for many many years.
And I tried explaining to myself that I need a vacation, but I would have to fire myself if I took time off.
And yes, I am at work, and I am in front of these computers about 18 hours a day average, 7 days a week. But at least most of the time I get to stay in pajamas. :D

And I have done the automotive and machining thing, but not computer board building, tho I know how it's done.

Glendalough
11-12-2007, 06:34 AM
...But at least most of the time I get to stay in pajamas...

Yeah, you need to do something about this, could really raise your self esteem. Have you ever heard of a tie?

Verlon
11-12-2007, 07:43 AM
so you're just a button pusher, eh prospector?

no skill involved since 'the computer does most of the work.'

Meanwhile, Ford has found a way to automate the entire automobile welding process, but can't automate the big green 'go' button.

Oh, and nothing I've seen in the computer industry is unionized, and if you think its as simple as you described.... well it would be like saying "rendering that Beowulf movie was easy...you just push the big red render button and the computers do all the work."

I have worked in making the actual chips for the last 13 years (and have never heard of a union job in the industry), and made components before that, where there still weren't any union jobs.

Finally, you DID say productivity increases were because of automation, not workers. Well, in bricklaying, productivity by union workers is up (they are building more). You house, however, is highly unlikely to have be built by union bricklayers. Instead, less skilled workers will have done a less skilled job. I might never make a difference to you (unless some drunk drives into your living room). However, schools, factories, and the like won't settle for that. They pay for and get the good work done.

Finally, "minimum wage or less job?" What is less than "minimum?" Isn't "minimum wage" by definition the LEAST amount you should be paid for ANY job? How many 'high school students looking for extra money" are available to work 40 hour weeks while being subsidized by parents working 'real jobs.' Once you take out the automotive industry, computer industry, machine shops, other button pushing jobs, and the jobs that are already minimum wage, how much is left for those parents?

parm
11-12-2007, 09:26 AM
And I tried explaining to myself that I need a vacation, but I would have to fire myself if I took time off.

And you bought that :foreheads

prospector
11-12-2007, 09:34 AM
Have you ever heard of a tie?
Funny you should ask..I do have a tie :thumbsup:
Tho it is a T-shirt with a fish imprinted on it to look like a tie. :D

But that's only for special occasions.


well it would be like saying "rendering that Beowulf movie was easy...you just push the big red render button and the computers do all the work."
Well isn't it?
After everything is done and set, all I do is hit 'render' and computers do it all.
because you DID say RENDERING right? Not making...just rendering? At least that's the word I read.

And I gotta get one of your soldering guns because I haven't seen one for sale at Radio Shack...
So you build computer chips? I commend you because I can't even find a magnifying glass that can see a 45 nanometer circuit, and to build them and solder the joints? You are good. I give you that. :thumbsup:

prospector
11-12-2007, 09:36 AM
And you bought that

Had to...saw what happened to last person who asked. :D :D

Verlon
11-12-2007, 03:06 PM
Well isn't it?
After everything is done and set, all I do is hit 'render' and computers do it all.
because you DID say RENDERING right? Not making...just rendering? At least that's the word I read.

And I gotta get one of your soldering guns because I haven't seen one for sale at Radio Shack...
So you build computer chips? I commend you because I can't even find a magnifying glass that can see a 45 nanometer circuit, and to build them and solder the joints? You are good. I give you that. :thumbsup:


Well rendering is all there is to making a movie. All that other stuff doesn't actually MAKE a movie. That's just setup. It doesn't actually accomplish anything. Those are probably useless jobs created by unions to keep lazy people employed. That's just button pushing anyway.

Prospector.... does your car have power steering? Does that mean it drives itself? What if we added a navigation system? Would it drive itself then? At the very least, you could quit paying attention to the road. You'd just be a 'key turner' to start the car, right?

No (figure I better spell it out), the power steering just assists you in what you're doing, but it doesn't really drive the car on its own. I use tools at work in this manner. They help, but they can't replace me just yet. The Navigation system is also helpful, but there are some issues. First, its not even CONNECTED to the steering system, so it CAN'T drive the car. Second, sometimes, its 'a little off' and it has to be baby-sat to make sure you don't drive off a bridge, because that would be bad. Third, it doesn't account for the latest construction of new roads. Fourth, it doesn't know traffic, so it cannot react to common sense like "avoid I-35 during rush hour." Fifth, it doesn't react to other cars, trucks, people, animals, or strange objects on the road. Sixth, it doesn't avoid bumps (pregnant wife...bumps are a big deal). Seventh, in this day of high gas prices, I find I can drive better fuel economy than cruise control.

And driving is MUCH easier to me than the stuff we do at work.

Glendalough
11-12-2007, 04:50 PM
Isn't it nice when we all can find common ground. People suck in general! :D


No, just the people at the top who shirk their responsibilities.

Noblesse oblige.

It's pretty bad in America which is supposed to be classless and democratic that people at the top are taking up all the snotty behavior that they so derided in their European counterparts.

Verlon
11-12-2007, 05:03 PM
No, just the people at the top who shirk their responsibilities.

Noblesse oblige.

It's pretty bad in America which is supposed to be classless and democratic that people at the top are taking up all the snotty behavior that they so derided in their European counterparts.


Its because people haven't changed, and lying, cheating, backstabbing, immoral scoundrels can still claw their way into positions of power in any society.

Not saying that everyone in power is like that, but a few go a long way. If that guy down the street is a jerk, we don't invite him over for barbecue. If the president of the US is one of those types, 300 million people have to deal with his nonsense. The power wielded makes a difference.

Mr Rid
11-12-2007, 05:10 PM
We live in the 'champagne glass' shaped economy where 20% of the world's population is controlling 82.7% of the world's income.

Short, funny explanation of the writer's strike situation- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd_x_ivCSKw

--------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------
email from Richard Jeffries-

http://www.petitiononline.com/WGA/petition.html

"All,

Since major news outlets are owned by the same 6 mega-corporations we are negotiating against, it has been difficult to get our side of the story to the public.

WGA writers in previous generations have fought for and won residual payments when our work is reused in ancillary mediums such as television, cable, video cassette, dvd, etc. The same way a musician, playwright or novelist receives royalties for each use of his/her work.

We are now at a watershed moment in the history of the entertainment industry. The means of delivering all motion picture and television product will soon be digital, via the internet. You will watch your TV or plasma screen, hooked to a computer inside your set-top box, via the internet. You will not notice the difference between this method of delivery and your current system (cable, dish, dvd). The quality will be the same, the choices will be as vast. The early stages of this transition has begun: You can now purchase download movies from iTunes, Amazon.com, and, as of today, Netflix.

The residual payment the mega-corps now pay writers for such digital delivery? ZERO. They residual payment they want to pay writers in the future? ZERO. This, in a climate of record profits for the entertainment divisions of the mega-corps.

As traditional methods of generating residuals fade way, digital delivery will become the whole pie. We writers stand to lose 90% of our residuals. Residual payments which see working families through the inevitable dry spells between writing jobs. Residual payments which support our health care and pension funds. Residual payments which can mean the difference between keeping one's house and losing it. While the mega-corps love to publicize the image of the millionaire writer, they are not eager for you to know about the years of struggle and financial hardship these super-star writers endured before they hit it big. And they really don't want you to know that most writers are middle class or lower middle class, suffering though the financial uncertainties of this business because they love what they do.

You may think most entertainment product is crap. I agree. But please remember, it is not the writer who decides which of their scripts get purchased and which are produced for your consumption - it is the mega-corps. Most writers yearn to bring you something better than they are typically asked to write. In fact, residual payments help writers pursue such projects on their own, between jobs.

We cannot accept the mega-corp's version of our future, so we are on strike. This a case of individual human beings against raw corporate greed and dominance. If you support corporate greed, please do nothing and thereby help the mega-corps win this battle. If you favor individual human beings, please follow the link above, sign the petition and pass this e-mail along. Public support will help us more than you know."

Thanks,
Richard Jefferies
WGA member since 1987
11/10/07

prospector
11-12-2007, 05:39 PM
Prospector.... does your car have power steering?
No my truck does not have power steering.. And because I built it from an older truck, it doesn't even have seat belts :D which annoys the local police to no end, I don't have to install them if it wasn't manufactured with them. :thumbsup:

I just have to laugh everytime they don't see a shoulder belt and do a flip and try to give me a ticket. :D

Verlon
11-12-2007, 07:35 PM
No my truck does not have power steering.. And because I built it from an older truck, it doesn't even have seat belts :D which annoys the local police to no end, I don't have to install them if it wasn't manufactured with them. :thumbsup:

I just have to laugh everytime they don't see a shoulder belt and do a flip and try to give me a ticket. :D


But you see the point, don't you? Or do I have to point out that there is still a gearbox in there that gives you a mechanical advantage when you turn the steering wheel. Ditto for the breaks (hydraulic system to give you the advantage).

Oh, and does your boss know you are slacking off of your 120+ hour work weeks (7 days * 18 hours per your post) to lurk around these forums? :devil:

And as for the decline of ethics in America...I have been hearing that crap all my life. Decline of Western Morals this, not as ethical that, don't make em like they used to...

Lets see, we've made a big push toward equality of races and genders, even in the last 50 years. Maybe if I could vent my frustrations by taking advantage of certain ethnic groups, I could work all that unethicalness out of my system.

We allowed women to vote in 1919. Perhaps its their feminine influence that is causing my ethical decline.

I think the last state outlawed dueling in 1908. Perhaps if I could call people out to pistols at dawn for insulting my ethics, I could work harder.

Maybe if I owned a few slaves, I would have more TIME for ethics.

Maybe if we were feeding people to lions down at the local football stadium, I'd have a better appreciation for my ethical responsibilities.

We're really falling apart here, I tell you.

Or how about this..

In a hunter-gatherer society, it takes 20 hours work a week to provide for your family. You're up to 120, and what do you get for your trouble. Just to keep up with CAVEMEN, your job should be paying you enough to support your entire family on just 20 hours a week. Talk about declining.

Even MY job requires more than twice that, and yours is SIX TIMES that. You should consider a strike. You could go live in the woods and be better off.

jin choung
11-12-2007, 07:55 PM
prospector,

you have an axe to grind on this issue.

it's pretty clear that you're dealing with caricatures of unions and union workers instead of actual so the benefits of further discussion have reached an impasse.

it's pretty clear that despite the absence of an all robot workforce, you cannot accept that the worker is just as important as a business.

it's pretty clear that for some reason, you don't feel that the imperative to make as much money for one's work is as valid a capitalistic impulse as the imperative to pay as little as possible for goods and services rendered.

you are admittedly one-sided.

fine.

but what i'd like to know is - what happened? were your relatives brought to ruin by union action? your daddy killed in a union riot? hair mussed by an errant union picket?

where's the personal vendetta come from?

jin

prospector
11-12-2007, 10:24 PM
where's the personal vendetta come from?
There is none... nothing personnel that is.
But I will tell you why should you take the time to read the reason.

Your choice.

I chronicled time-lines and actions and results for certain things for a documentary to be released at a later time, and it involved various subjects, 8 in total, unions were 1.
After chronicaling the time-lines and strikes from their inception in 1886 in Columbus Ohio to present for both AFL and CIO, it came to this conclusion.

Unions are not there for the people. They are NOT there for the union worker.

Now let me explain.

In the documentary we go thru many union locals but I think I can get the point across with 3. Doesn't matter the names of locals here so for this example they will be A, B, C, and their relationship to the FLSA of 1938.

Local A contract is up so they strike for more money. Company X pays new contract.
Local B contract is up 3 months later and negotiate with company Y for new wage contract.
Local C contract up 6 months later and they too strike for more money and health benefits. Company Z pays.

And as usual companies X Y and Z pass on costs to consumer

So far so good? All sounds copacetic ?

So the next round of negotiations they all complain they need a cost of living increase.........
can anyone see a problem yet?

They all strike and get increases.

Again companies pass on costs to consumer.

See yet?

Unions are self feeding entities. The more they strike for the more the others have to have more money. In an endless cycle.

But that's NOT the bad part...That's only the actions

Here are the reactions.

The elderly on fixed income and the low income earners, and the people on govt help all suffer because all the increase wages and health and yes royalties are passed onto them. The ones who can least afford it. The ones who suffer because of it.

But it does NOT only affect them. Oh no, it only affects them once.
It affects the rest of us twice.

Not only do we as consumers have to pay the increased costs passed on by companies, but we have to pay increased taxes to pay for the elderly increase in SSI and the checks passed onto the welfare recipients. And union workers pay 3 times tho they are so swayed by union leaders they can't see it. They pay increased costs for the items they themselves make, they pay increased taxes so low income people can buy the product they make AND they pay union dues for the privilege of paying both of the above.
Now do you see the problem?

You may think unions are good on the surface, but a short look at the underbelly shows the truth about them.
They are not good for the people, they are only good for putting money in their union dues (which always go up) coffers.

They slowly suck the lifeblood out of any economy the infiltrate. They intentionally raise prices for everyone. Just to fill their pockets for doing nothing other than organizing strikes.

So you can look at unions thru pie in the sky eyes, or you can look at the reactions thru logic and truth.

Which is why I despise them.

jin choung
11-12-2007, 11:18 PM
Now let me explain.

In the documentary....

hogwash...

i call hogwash.

i don't actually think i can believe you made a documentary. listen, you get ALL the details wrong constantly. in earlier posts, you say that the writers were violating previously made contracts when they were renegotiating new ones, you are clueless to the terms that their fighting for.

it might be that you're just not hip to this strike but for someone who claims to know something about unions and stuff your complete and utter unfamiliarity with the issues just paints you as a... as a what.... ?

not exactly as someone who knows anything whereof he speaks... but also not really as someone who particularly cares either.... just shootin' the breeze perhaps.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

- so you're saying that INFLATION is directly caused by unions. and the lack of unions will cease the constant escalation of said inflation.

lol. absurdly unsophisticated notion. seriously, congrats on a knee slapper.

- so you're saying that the cost is always passed down to the consumer regardless of COMPETITION with other companies, some perhaps that are not unionized or are perhaps FOREIGN.

sigh.... jack the prices continually skyward until they are no longer in shooting range of the competition. brilliant notion.

caricature. you deal strictly with caricature... to the point of cartoon.

you better pray that you're actually just trying to rile people up (i may be wrong but i dunno... ) and don't actually care one way or another. cuz if you really do despise them, you've gone huntin' with your sleep mask on.

lol.... but seriously thanks. i got quite a few really good laughs in. and i think i got your number now so.... good.

jin

Verlon
11-13-2007, 12:31 AM
Prospector: Inflation exits without unions because people who market goods and services are always looking to improve their positions.

You make flashlights and buy batteries from me. If my position is strong, I try to get more for my batteries. If your position is strong (battery market is flooded), you try to make me sell them for less. Let's say I win that.

Now you have increased costs. Do you just eat those costs? Do you lay off workers? Maybe you raise prices to cover your costs.

The same cascade, and no union involved-- just a few companies trying to make a buck.

As I have said, the unions are no better and no worse than the companies they work for. If the union has to sacrifice workers to maintain its existence, it will. BUT, the union gives the workers more equal footing to negotiate with companies that aren't there for the worker.

It is in the union's best interest to keep the workers as happy as possible. This is the source of the union's power. However, it is in the employer's best interest to provide workers with as little as they can while still keeping the employees working. Employees have to know that they are getting an advantage with the union, or they won't support said union.

Large companies have, in the past, used collective bargaining themselves (ever hear of someone being 'blackballed?' that's the same thing from the other side, now isn't it? Play nice or you won't work for us OR anyone else...).

And the whole cascade thing CAN work..like when Henry Ford increased worker wages and reduced the costs of automobiles so his employees could afford the cars they were making. Everyone thought Ford was nuts and was creating a circular economy, but it worked. Remember that all the changes in the cascade are not instantaneous.

Remember that costs go up with or without union involvement. Just look at some predominantly non-union fields. How much was a hamburger at McDonald's when you were a kid? A loaf of bread?

parm
11-13-2007, 12:44 AM
Had to...saw what happened to last person who asked.


And I tried explaining to myself that I need a vacation, but I would have to fire myself if I took time off.
And yes, I am at work, and I am in front of these computers about 18 hours a day average, 7 days a week. But at least most of the time I get to stay in pajamas. :D


Eighteen hours a day, hey?...... 7 days a week? Pajamas ?

Inefficiency, poor time management and sloppiness!

Give yourself the sack anyway. Your company deserves a better employee.

prospector
11-13-2007, 01:23 AM
Jin,
you put up lots of words without saying anything....cool:thumbsup:
So what is wrong in the statements of documentary (yes,1 is done and will be released just before elections).
Are you saying unions are not filling coffers with dues?
Are you saying strikes don't hurt companies?
Are you saying companies never pass on costs?
Are you saying we don't pay the increased costs?
Are you saying we don't pay increased taxes for cost of living increases for elderly and govt helped people?
Are you saying that union workers are not paying extra for product and taxes AND union dues?

Megalodon,
Saw that long time ago and is used to support claims.
As unions strike to increase wages and their coffers, other companies follow suit albeit slower. Which increases all product costs, which makes low income earners and no income earners even harder to afford any product, which in turn increases taxes even furthur to pay cost of living increases.

Verlon,

Remember that costs go up with or without union involvement.
All costs can be traced to union activity thru 1 channel or another.
mostly by govt costs of living increase bills to make up for costs of products, as seen exampled in Megalodons post.


There are other parts of documentary that interact with this part, but each part was done seperatly and most important without emotion...just numbers.
And all numbers point to the same circle illustrated above...it's just a feeding frenzy.

prospector
11-13-2007, 01:36 AM
Parm,
Inefficiency,???
I don't take time to get dressed, have wife bring meals to desk. Seems efficient to me, I'm here all the time.

poor time management and sloppiness!

Yes, sometimes after the 15th hour it takes longet to click on things, and I have spots of lost time (ZZZZZZzzzz), but I am working on that.

Give yourself the sack anyway. Your company deserves a better employee.
Tried that
I tried that 3 years ago..was it 4?
Took a year off, and went mining for gold in Ariz and southern calif during winter months and then went into mountains here in Calif for summer. Got back home and found, nothing at all was done in LW during my absence, so I had to rehire myself.

jin choung
11-13-2007, 01:45 AM
Jin,
you put up lots of words without saying anything....cool:thumbsup:

well, i say that you play fast and loose with facts (all here in b&w on this thread btw) thereby undermining your credibility. that says something doesn't it?

let's cut to the crap:

you're saying that INFLATION IS DRIVEN BY UNIONS - WHOLLY and/or PRIMARILY!

that's hilarious! seriously. seriously hilarious.

it's sooooo un-nuanced as to be really thoroughly enjoyable!

yes, fine, you track numbers... ooooooh numbers. but your finding is that unions happen therefore inflation happens? dontcha think there could be other factors involved?

kinda like saying AIDS became full blown only after the advent of the 16bit gaming system and therefore we know that AIDS is caused by modern video games.

brilliant.

reminds me of:

"a deductive scheme of a formal argument consisting of a major and a minor premise and a conclusion, as in "every virtue is laudable; kindness is a virtue; therefore kindness is laudable." Faulty syllogisms sound logical, but aren’t."

don't worry about the vids though. just like with ufo conspiracy theories, you make any claim extreme enough and you'll always find somebody to agree with you... for some reason... i don't know why that is but.... <shrug>

jin

prospector
11-13-2007, 02:16 AM
didn't mention inflation anywhere. Where did you get that?

I really REALLY need one of those translators you have.
So I ask again;
Are you saying unions are not filling coffers with dues?
Are you saying strikes don't hurt companies?
Are you saying companies never pass on costs?
Are you saying we don't pay the increased costs?
Are you saying we don't pay increased taxes for cost of living increases for elderly and govt helped people?
Are you saying that union workers are not paying extra for product and taxes AND union dues?

Which one of the number facts I've listed are wrong?

Verlon
11-13-2007, 03:41 AM
ALL costs can be traced to union activity?

So it doesn't cost ANYTHING to make a car...they just have to pay the unions..

What about price decreases? Are those a credit to the unions?

prospector
11-13-2007, 04:22 AM
Except for material costs, yes
when unions raise their labor costs to companies, other markets follow unionized or not, then govt raises min wage to get those that don't follow, then increases taxes to pay for the increase payments to SSI (because they get a cost of living adjustment) and to low and no income families( because they also get cost of living adjustments).
So in 1 way or another, raising costs and higher taxes (not every, but cost of living) can be traced back to unions.

I am ONLY talking about unions and their effect...nothing else. Tho other forces also act upon prices, this chapter only covers unions without the cheerleading or the feelings...just the bottom line numbers.
I don't get into feelings...they give tainted results.

Verlon
11-13-2007, 04:32 AM
So when unions take a pay cut, prices should go down then....right? Because those companies who are all looking out for the little guy and would NEVER take advantage of workers or customers would immediately lower prices if the union workers took a pay cut, right?

Only that doens't happen, does it. How do you explain that?

Also, you're saying that a company is INCAPABLE of covering the cost of a union wage increase by any means other than increasing the cost of its product. They can't efficiently make more product, dicover more effective means of production or anything like that.

Why does this only apply to union wage increases? What about other wage increases? Are you suggesting for the good of the country that I should decline wage increases? REALLY? Have you tried that approach yourself?

prospector
11-13-2007, 08:26 AM
Well Verlon, here is one that's so easy a first year echonomics atudent would know.

1. Gov't puts in place some manditory program. Line medical, retirement tax increase. Workers must take lower wage or risk layoffs, therefore company bottom line is static, therefore no price reduction.

And again you want to get into emotional content. What a company does has nothing to do with Labor wages and their results on country.

I don't go there

Lightwolf
11-13-2007, 08:37 AM
Well Verlon, here is one that's so easy a first year echonomics atudent would know.
...
What a company does has nothing to do with Labor wages and their results on country.

Don't tell me somebody who believes that actually gets into the first year of economics (wouldn't surprise me though) ;)
Maybe you really meant the study of returning sound though :p

Then again, if you believe that then the opposite holds true as well: "What a union does has nothing to do with company income and their results on country." (bad grammar explicitly included).

Cheers,
Mike

parm
11-13-2007, 10:16 AM
I tried that 3 years ago..was it 4?
Took a year off, and went mining for gold in Ariz and southern calif during winter months and then went into mountains here in Calif for summer. Got back home and found, nothing at all was done in LW during my absence, so I had to rehire myself.

What?.... You took a vacation, without arranging cover. That is culpable negligence. No excuses, fire yourself straight away.


No my truck does not have power steering.. And because I built it from an older truck, it doesn't even have seat belts which annoys the local police to no end, I don't have to install them if it wasn't manufactured with them.

I just have to laugh everytime they don't see a shoulder belt and do a flip and try to give me a ticket.

Out of curiosity. Were you still wearing pajamas while driving?

Glendalough
11-13-2007, 10:44 AM
No my truck does not have power steering.. And because I built it from an older truck, it doesn't even have seat belts :D which annoys the local police to no end, I don't have to install them if it wasn't manufactured with them. :thumbsup:

I just have to laugh everytime they don't see a shoulder belt and do a flip and try to give me a ticket. :D

Pajamas, no seat belt, baiting the police...What next? Really you got to get a hold of yourself, get organized, join a union.

My advice to you is wear the seat belt UNDER the pajamas so you still have the satisfaction of annoying the cops but it's there if you need it. Never know when some Jerk, drunken crackhead Media Mogul is going to ram you in their Porsche SUV.

Lightwolf
11-13-2007, 10:51 AM
Pajamas, no seat belt, baiting the police...What next?
Rebel yell.... :rock:

Cheers,
Mike

Glendalough
11-13-2007, 10:58 AM
Rebel yell.... :rock:

Cheers,
Mike

Yeah, next he'll start hanging out with The Wild One(s) or James Dean.

jin choung
11-13-2007, 02:19 PM
prospector,

seriously? talkin' about first year economics are ya?

inflation - n. An increase in the price level of goods and services.

sigh....

----------------------------------------------------------

your questions are too simple-minded to address. each question has a RAFT of caveats and exceptions and footnotes and contributing factors that are involved.

but i don't see the point in getting into all that with you when your FOUNDATIONAL PREMISES ARE WRONG TO BEGIN WITH.

come on, you're already disqualified:

1. you say business is more important than worker. (again, even though business cannot possibly exist without worker [!!!])
2. you say that business' imperative to pay as little as possible for work is more important and valid than the workers' imperative to get paid as much as possible.
3. you say a strike is extortion when businesses have plenty of options and do not in fact have to abide by any strike.
4. you do not see that the above is analogous to a worker just having to quit and find somewhere where he can find better pay.

so no point in getting into the nitty gritty when your base is off.

jin

Verlon
11-13-2007, 02:40 PM
Well Verlon, here is one that's so easy a first year echonomics atudent would know.

1. Gov't puts in place some manditory program. Line medical, retirement tax increase. Workers must take lower wage or risk layoffs, therefore company bottom line is static, therefore no price reduction.

And again you want to get into emotional content. What a company does has nothing to do with Labor wages and their results on country.

I don't go there

I have NEVER seen a company reduce wages due to some new law by the government. Slumping sales? Yes. Restructuring costs? check. Downsizing? Seen it? Taking advantage of a generally gloomy economic outlook that isn't even affecting them so they can renegotiate for lower wages? Yes.

Come to think of it, what law are you referring to in recent history....say the last decade?

You say that "what a company does has nothing to do with labor wages AND their results on the country" (emphasis mine).

1. What a company does has EVERYTHING to do with labor wages. A company DECIDES what to pay labor (above and beyond minimum wage).

2. If what a company does has nothing to do with the results on the country, what harm is there in negotiating with a union for higher wages?

You're arguing that everything that unions do is bad. That they wield awesome power that wrecks the whole economy and causes inflation (that is the technical term for prices spiraling upwards and money becoming less valuable as you describe) despite representing only about 12% of the workforce. Somehow, you manage to believe, every union wage increase is a strike against the whole US economy. When the unions take a decrease (even when they agree to it more or less willingly because the recognize the situation), This does absolutely nothing to help the company because some law was passed that keeps costs fixed and the union workers are actually at least 'breaking even' because the get increased health care or some other benefit.

Now clearly, I am a staunch supporter of unions, but I am willing to admit that some of those cats are a bunch of criminals, and that a union's first priority is to serve the union, which is not the same as serving the worker.

You're telling me, though, that no company or group of companies has EVER tried to take advantage of their workers? That everything those companies do is on the path to righteousness? That supply and demand will balance things out those companies would (and have) NEVER try to manipulate the market just so they can make even more money?

If unions are ABSOLUTLEY and ALWAYS evil as you describe, then the companies must, by definition, be ABSOLUTELY and ALWAYS right.

No one is always right. No one is always wrong. It doesn't matter how many shares of stock you own or what union you joined.

*Pete*
11-13-2007, 05:19 PM
when unions raise their labor costs to companies, other markets follow unionized or not.

Salaries have been rising far before unions were existing.
the main factor with rising salaries is low unemployement, meaning a factory will have to compete with other factories to get the best workers, or to prevent them from changing job to a better paid one.

employees follow the free market rules, the same as rice, cars, computers..you name it, if there is high demand and low supply, prices will go up, and vice versa.

Unions were created for other reasons than simply raising salaries, it has more to do with workers rights than money.

ted
11-13-2007, 08:45 PM
And to think all I was trying to do was see what people thought of the writers strike. :D
Good thing I didn't ask what peole thought about Wal-Mart and if they are good or bad for the economy! :eek:

Did I say that out loud? :help:

bobakabob
11-14-2007, 01:34 AM
And to think all I was trying to do was see what people thought of the writers strike. :D
Good thing I didn't ask what peole thought about Wal-Mart and if they are good or bad for the economy! :eek:

Did I say that out loud? :help:

Agreed. At least no-one's mentioned Hitler yet (see Poser thread) :eek:

*Pete*
11-14-2007, 04:17 AM
Agreed. At least no-one's mentioned Hitler yet (see Poser thread) :eek:

or school shootings, weapons, crime, politics, and methods of making fried potatoes (church thread)