Saturday, November 24, 2007

Message to Big Media: Share!

Newspaper Guild/CWA members were among thousands of unionized actors, musicians, drivers, nurses, dock workers, broadcast technicians, production workers, farm workers and service providers who joined the striking film and TV writers (Writers Guild of America/West) in a rally last Tuesday on Hollywood Boulevard. More than 10,000 writers are standing up to corporate power in their demand to preserve decent working standards and for a fair share of the hefty profits generated by the media companies from their creative work.

The industry is shifting toward new, digital media and the writers — without whom the companies have nothing — should be paid for their work when it is broadcast, streamlined or downloaded over the Internet. From a WGA fact sheet:

"What the media conglomerates are proposing is that there will be no Writers Guild jurisdiction over nearly all writing originally for the Internet, though nearly all writing will likely be transmitted this way. If we agreed to this proposal that could mean no more Writers' Guild, no more health and pension benefits, and no ability to make a fair salary. Writers want a tiny slice (2.5%) of the revenues that big Media earns when their shows or movies run on the Internet."
Alone, a working person — a writer, an actor, a journalist, a musican — can not compete with the squeeze for megaprofits Big Media doesn't want to share. Unions are necessary — and effective — in the fight fair a fair deal.

And in the fight for a fair share.

Mark your calendar: The International Affiliation of Writers Guilds, which represents 21,000 screenwriters in guilds worldwide, has set Nov. 28 as an international day of solidarity to show support for the WGA strike.

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