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As the Writers Guild of America teeters on a potential strike, their fellow entertainment unions are quick to offer statements of union solidarity. The SAG-AFTRA national board announced it was “strongly supportive” of industry writers, while the Teamsters issued a fiery declaration that the WGA’s battle was a “divided fight.” The Directors Guild of America and IADSE called on studios and streamers to sign writers, and the latter was one of the locals. He also sent treats To the WGA negotiating team of beloved SoCal bakery-slash-establishment Porto.
But what choices do members of other entertainment unions have when faced with a real picket from writers in front of a workplace? In the labor movement, holding a picket line (in other words, not crossing) means “respecting the dignity and collectivity and power of workers. [on strike],” explains history professor Nelson Lichtenstein, who directs the University of Southern California Santa Barbara’s Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy. Therefore, crossing the picket line is “a sin in the labor council.”
All major entertainment union contracts contain “no-strike” clauses — each with different language — that prevent labor groups from participating in a strike during their respective contracts. However, workers have the right to engage in individual “sympathetic strikes”. That includes when they honor a strike formed by a union other than their own. Of course, doing so opens up consequences for workers: when legal evidence is examined The Hollywood Reporter While not agreeing whether a breach of contract claim can or should be brought against an entertainer as a result of engaging in a sympathy strike, they acknowledge that by participating, those individuals may be subject to temporary or permanent changes in employment. In the circumstances.
Recreational associations have begun to advise members of their rights and obligations. They suggest how workers should act in the face of a potential picket line crisis if the WGA goes on strike after the deal closes Monday night:
Directors Guild of America: DGA President Lesli Linka Glatter and National Executive Director Russell Hollander told members in a directive issued on April 18 that no one can force them to work in the event of a WGA strike. However, there may be consequences if they do not perform previously agreed upon services: “As an individual, if you cross a picket line and refuse to perform your DGA-covered services, your employer has the right to replace you; “If you have an individual services contract, you may be subject to claims for breach of contract,” said Clatter and Hollander. The Guild itself must contractually assure employers that “our members will continue to perform DGA-covered services during the term of the underlying contract.”
IATSE: In a communication to US IATSE members on April 28, Matthew Loeb, the group’s international president, noted that several of its major agreements (including the basic agreement covering more than 40,000 West Coast members and the USA 829 agreement) “do not expressly prohibit workers.” from respecting lawful picket lines” so employees “retain the right to respect lawful picket lines.” Others (such as the Area Standard Agreement covering about 20,000 workers outside Los Angeles and New York and several New York local agreements) “expressly” allow workers to honor legal pickets. Warning? Employers can “temporarily replace” workers who decide not to cross those picket lines. They cannot stop their work unless there are “compelling business reasons” unrelated to the workers’ decision to strike, Loeb argued.
SAG-AFTRA: Artists Association Members instructed April 30 to “continue work” on any project in production during a possible WGA strike. If an actor decides not to report to a job they were previously committed to, the union continued, “you can have breach of contract claims or be fired by the producer.” The union cited its “no strike” clause and workers’ individual service contracts as reasons for the suggestion. To support writers, SAG-AFTRA advised members to walk the picket line or post on social media during non-work hours (such as lunch breaks). The union also recommended that members not take on WGA-covered writing work during the strike: “You should not write anything that striking WGA writers normally write,” the guild said.
Teamsters Local 399: Told members of the Los Angeles local several times that “Teamsters will not cross picket lines.” In a consultation Sent to members on 1 May, the union specified that if the WGA went on strike, Local 399 members could not join the picket line and that they would report to work if there was no picket line when they arrived at the workplace. However, the union told members that if there is a physical line, “you are protected if you choose not to cross any active picket line of the WGA,” due to provisions in many Teamsters contracts that protect workers from discipline. Respect such line.