Video of the “Justice For Actors” Rally Read his letter to US Attorney General on employers Anti Trusts Violations
We’ve added the Metro Mail Map, along with the Downtown LA Map *051 “The Justice for SAG Members” Rally: All the Details National Labor Relations Board has informed SAG General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland that a member has filed unfair labor charges against SAG.
Here’s video from today’s “Justice For Actors” rally.
Here’s Scott’s letter to the US Attorney General.
Mr Eric Holder,
US Attorney General,
US Department of Justice,
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW,
Washington D.C. 20530-0001 3/25/09
Dear Attorney General Eric Holder,
I am a longstanding member of Screen Actors Guild and a former Board member and have served on many committees, among them the Negotiating Committee for the TV/Theatrical contract. If you go to www.Imdb.com and search Scott Wilson, I am the first Scott Wilson, you can see my credits over the years. They range from the movies IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT and IN COLD BLOOD to the television series CSI : Crime Scene Investigation.
For the last 8 weeks a cross-section of the members of SAG, made up of professional actors, stunt people, dancers, jingles, background, have been rallying at different studios and in front of SAG offices in Los Angeles. We are concerned about the negotiations between our union and the AMPTP, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers that are currently at an impasse. Our concern is that given the AMPTP’s Last, Best and Final Offer, we will be unable to sustain a living and that we will lose our health coverage and pension benefits on the lost revenue that will result from the rollbacks that the AMPTP is demanding in new media.
This Thursday we will be rallying in front of the Department of Justice in Los Angeles. You may well wonder what this has to do with the Department of Justice.
We are drawing attention to the real lives that are being negatively impacted by the fact that the international conglomerates that own the studios that make the films, that own the networks that make the shows, that own the cable companies that make the programming, that have barter deals with retailers that give them stock and revenue sharing, in short, this handful of companies own and control every aspect of the entertainment industry, the production, distribution and exhibition of entertainment. Independent producers bring their product to market only to find they can’t make a deal because of the self-dealing that shuts them out.
There was once a quote system that allowed negotiation and the opportunity to make a living for professional actors below star level. This is a thing of the past. Now SAG members below star level generally receive the minimum (scale), plus 10 percent for the agent, or a reduced fixed price across the board. This resembles price fixing more than negotiation.
The rollbacks that this handful of conglomerates are now demanding in New Media will result in a 50-66% loss of income for our members in just one area of their demands. Thousands of our members will be knocked out of health coverage and pension benefits. Attached is a summary of the quantifiable losses in just 2 of these areas.
The self-dealing of these deregulated media conglomerates has undermined the very basic assumptions of how creative talent, other than the few at the top, can bargain for fair compensation and a participation in the rewards of this very lucrative business.
Another serious consequence of this concentration of control in so few hands is a loss of the cultural diversity that has entertained and enlightened audiences here and around the world.
We call on the Department of Justice to investigate the anti-trust implications of the corporations that have abused their market power to disadvantage the entire creative community and deprive the general public of a diversified entertainment.
Cc Associate Att. Gen. Thomas Perelli
US Attorney Los Angeles Thomas P. O’Brien and US Senator Dianne Feinstein, US Senator Barbara Boxer, US Congressman John Conyers, Jr, US Congressman Henry Waxman
Scott Wilson and His SAG Stalwarts have planned a Rally for Thursday (3/26/09) in front of the Department of Justice.
This rally is timely in light of the fact that the NLRB is investigating SAG Interim NED David White and SAG Board members on unfair labor practices because of their refusal to give members a chance to have a voice in their future: Whether voting on the AMPTP’s final offer, or a strike authorization. This is all part and parcel of a conflict of interest that is rampant in our industry.
This from Scott:
This week’s Rally is at the Department of Justice, 312 N Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles on THURSDAY, March 26, at 11am-2pm. Public parking at the Olvera Street Market. The nearest Metro Rail station would be Union Station, from there head west on Arcadia Street or Aliso Street , turn L on Spring Street. 312 is on the first block of Spring Street after the freeway bridge, 3-4 blocks from Union station.
We are drawing attention to the fact that the handful of vertically integrated corporations who finance, distribute and exhibit motion picture and video productions, have gained unchecked control over the entertainment industry. They are denying the professionals of the Screen Actors Guild below star level -supporting actors, stunts, dancers, jingles, background – a fair participation in the rewards of this very lucrative business. In our collective bargaining process these giant corporations have demanded rollbacks that ruthlessly cut down the minimum safety net on which our membership depends – residuals, pensions, health care. All our unions have been impacted. Conflicts of interest are rampant. We call on the Department of Justice to investigate the anti-trust implications of these corporations that have abused their market power to disadvantage the entire creative community.
The letter to SAG General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland from the National Labor Relations Board is dated March 20, 2009. It begins, “This is to advise you that the enclosed charge alleging the commission of an unfair labor practice within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Acthas been filed with this office.”
The letter asks for full cooperation and advises Mr. Crabtree-Ireland that a refusal to fully cooperate might cause a case to be litigated unnecessarily. It stipulates that the Region cannot honor any limitations, including claims of confidentiality.
It, also, states that all unfair labor practice charges are subject to prompt disclosure to the members of the public upon request under the Freedom of Information Act.
The charges in this case stem from a claim made to the NLRB, by a paid up SAG member, that his rights were being violated by interim NED David White and others on The SAG National Board, who were working against the membership by not getting out the contract to allow them to vote on it. The member included the Sixty Day Clause advising the NLRB that if no action was taken within the sixty day period, the AMPTP could arbitrarily impose the contract on the members.
Secondly, he advised the NLRB about his concerns of the “gagging” of SAG President Alan Rosenberg, and curtailing his ability to speak to the membership about what the member characterized as coup of our board by New York and the Branches.
The member, also, said that he was told that if any other SAG members had similar concerns they should contact the NLRB.
The NLRB regional Director is James J. McDermott. He can be contacted by phone at (310) 235-7351 or by email www.nlrb.gov
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief