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Going on Strike With My Fellow Coaches

· WGA writers strike,SAG-AFTRA,Labor Day,Artificial Intelligence,Strike Update

In honor of Labor Day, I want to share with you a video of my fellow coaches standing in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA and the Writer's Guild in their efforts to fight for fair wages, better working conditions and limits to A.I.

The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers haven't talked in two weeks, and WGA members haven't gotten any new updates on where negotiations stand.

 

Variety reports:

"Some writers have expressed a certain restlessness, especially as Labor Day has arrived with little hope of salvaging scripted series for the 2023-24 network television season."

 

However, the WGA still seems a lot more united than in the 2007-08 strike, even in spite of a Deadline article back in July, where studio executives said,

“I think we’re in for a long strike, and they’re going to let it bleed out.”

 

“Warner Bros Discovery, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Paramount and others have become determined to ‘break the WGA,’ as one studio exec blatantly put it. … ‘The endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses,’” a studio executive told Deadline. (I believe it was a certain Disney exec who said this.)

 

This is exactly why I went to picket in front of Disney with my fellow coaches. Not all of us are pictured below...

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I want writers and actors to know that it doesn't have to be this way. First of all there are a lot of resources to help you financially, as I wrote in this previous blog post.

 

Next, if you're not in California, you can qualify for unemployment during this strike, so please take advantage of that.

 

And I would also encourage you to take on some temporary gigs to help make ends meet. We cannot be creative, feel like going out and picketing, when we are in survival mode, and this strike is only as strong as its weakest members.

 

In order to inspire writers and actors to keep going, here are three historic strikes that were successful:

 

  1. United Auto Workers (UAW) Sit-Down Strike (1936-1937):
  • This strike occurred at General Motors plants in Flint, Michigan, and marked a turning point for the U.S. labor movement.
  • Workers conducted a sit-down strike, occupying the factories and preventing production until their demands for recognition of the UAW as the bargaining agent, better wages, and working conditions were met.
  • The success of this strike led to the rapid growth of the UAW and inspired other labor movements across the country.

 

2. United Farm Workers (UFW) Grape Boycott (1965-1970):

  • Led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, the UFW organized a successful boycott of grapes to protest unfair labor practices in California's agricultural industry.
  • The boycott gained nationwide support and drew attention to the plight of farmworkers, ultimately leading to improved working conditions and labor rights in the agricultural sector.

 

3. The Great Postal Strike (1970):

  • Postal workers, members of the National Association of Letter Carriers and the American Postal Workers Union, went on strike for higher wages and better working conditions.
  • The strike lasted for two weeks and resulted in significant wage increases and improvements in working conditions for postal employees.

 

While these historical strikes offer valuable lessons in collective action and advocacy for workers' rights, it's important to consider the unique circumstances of the recent SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. Labor unions have evolved over time, and today's strikes have different strategies and challenges.

 

A successful strike is going to rely on social media and public relations, in addition to traditional picketing and negotiations, as well as everyone supporting each other in this endeavor.

 

With Love & Gratitude,

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