Over here on the Right Coast, we've got that whole New Yorker magazine cover thing going on. Things diminish in importance the get further away they get from the Hudson River. So one wonders about the whole WGA strike thing with it’s lack of progress in contract negotiations and the catfight that’s going on with all the unions out there. There’s a continuing turf war going on and somehow they seem to think that this is going to benefit organized labor in some way.
I drove through Los Angeles one day back in the early 70’s in a VW van on my way to San Francisco so I’m not really up to date on the subtleties of labor relations out there. But I have done a little reading about it. For an interesting historical perspective I can point you in the direction of a book called “Class Struggle In Hollywood 1930-1950 Moguls, Mobsters, Stars, Reds and Trade Unionists”.
Another good book is Hollywood's Other Blacklist: Union Struggles in the Studio System . Neither one paints my union in a very flattering light but labor history is rarely as good as it’s painted nor as bad.
One side of why things are the way they are (at least with cartoonists) can be found in a recent post by Mark Evanier in the second “WGA Stuff” entry.
The other side is in a business article in the LA Times . It tells of the relationships and history of the Animation Guild the WGA and the networks.
In keeping with our self-criticism theme, here is a post with a view from the outside of the fray about certain labor leaders in Hollywood. In the Open Left Matt Stoller takes a dim view of the proceedings with When a Labor Union Goes Rotten It’s an unfortunate title since he’s talking about the leadership and not the 115,000 people, who make up the entertainment union.
You know, I feel like taking a shower.