Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Don't-Get-Involved AFM

As reported by the New York Times, every relevant union connected to the arts (including the Teamsters) has taken a positive stand in unequivocal support for the Writers Guild of America. Contrast this with the recent press release from President Lee's office. "Support the WGA or not...we don't care which, it's up to you," it says.

Perhaps the reason the AFM has taken no stand is because it itself has bargained away back-end payments along with other traditional benefits by adopting the recent "one-off" video game agreements. This so-called "negotiation" has yielded a one-page agreement relinquishing the prized back-end payments to Sony, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft.

"We are taking a stand for the next 20 years," said one writer on the picket line. What stand has the AFM taken?

2 comments:

sazer said...

Thank you for raising the issue of supporting our WGA brothers and sisters. As you can see from the WGA website, both Local 47 and RMALA are strong and committed supporters: http://www.petitiononline.com/WGA/petition.html

Also, www.rmala.org has a link to a petition in support of the strikers that we encourage all committed union supporters to sign.

Marc Sazer

Matt Plummer said...

Hi Ed. I'd also like to thank you for raising the issue- the lack of support and basic publicity from the AFM is upsetting.

However, even if you argue we lowered our standards too much for the new videogame agreements, it's a decidedly different issue.

The AFM is mostly organizing work that has been non-union or non-existent in the past, while the screenwriters' guild is negotiating rates on work that has always been union work.

Am I incorrect? I do realize that the RMALA videogame contract has better benefits and residuals, but it hasn't been widely adopted, or so I've been told.