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Monday, December 17, 2007

From today's NYTimes:
The alliance “represents all the companies both individually and on a multiemployer basis,” Mr. Counter said. In all, about 350 production companies are represented by the alliance, whose stance is controlled by representatives of the big corporations.

Even if forced to bargain separately — and representatives from both sides said they expected the unions’ position to be challenged — the companies would remain free to deal through the alliance and would be permitted to let other companies monitor their separate talks, allowing them to remain on common ground.
Ask your congresspeople how it is not illegal collusion for the 6 media companies running the AMPTP to coordinate their strike strategy against the WGA. If General Motors, Chrysler and Ford all sat down at the table together against the UAW, that would beyond a doubt be illegal collusion. Ask your congresspeople how this isn't. And tell them you'd like your tv shows back.

You can easily find and email your Congressman here.

You can easily find and email your Senator here.

Here's what I wrote
Currently the AMPTP is refusing to negotiate with the Writer's Guild of America.

Why exactly is the AMPTP allowed to negotiate with the WGA at all? Why is this not collusion?

The strike would be settled already if the individual studios and networks were actually competing with each other, and negotiated with the WGA separately, the way the auto companies negotiate separately with the UAW.

I think you should investigate the AMPTP for illegal collusion.

I want my tv shows back!
You don't need to go into more detail than that. They just want to know how many people are on which side of the question.

UPDATE: Ryan asks how the WGA can negotiate 350 different deals.

They don't have to. They would agree with Worldwide Pants on a deal that gives them what they're asking for, or most of it. And then other producers can sign onto the same language.

Any producer that breaks ranks with the AMPTP will insist on a "most favored nations" clause that says that if anyone else gets a better deal, that producer's deal is improved accordingly. So there will only be one set of terms.

Also, if the WGA winds up signing with even 20 production companies, then the AMPTP will probably begin really-negotiating instead of posturing, and the strike will soon be over.

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I don't even want to begin to imagine the WGA having to negotiate a new contract with every single signatory. They have enough trouble enforcing the regular MBA. How successful would they be negotiating and enforcing 350 separate MBAs?

By Blogger Ryan Paige, at 3:01 PM  

But you're asking why it's not illegal for those 350 companies to negotiate as a single unit.

If it is illegal, then the WGA would have to negotiate separate deals for everyone.

And, actually, according to the WGA's current reading of the law, if any or all of those 350 companies wanted to open up separate negotiations, the WGA would be required to do so.

By Blogger Ryan Paige, at 3:20 PM  

Aren't there provisions for collective bargaining that allow the AMPTP to act on behalf of the studios legally? Doesn't it work the same in sports?

By Blogger Diane Kristine Wild, at 5:41 PM  

Diane is correct. The bargaining relationship -ie. the AMPTP representing signatory companies in collective bargaining - is something agreed to in the MBA by the WGA. As such, it's kind of hard to consider it collusion.

By Blogger Ed McNamara, at 6:14 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:07 AM  

The folks who make over 5 million a picture can stop this strike. Ask each one, George, Julia, Will, Tom, to have his or her production company sign a contract with the WGA. The corporates have never had a "Product" that was a hit that could think for itself. They could save our artistry from corporate take-over.

Muse Watson, SAG member

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:54 AM  

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