If the new contract Extension is approved, will it put an end to the Great Digital Devide and FINALLY put an end to the rush to Consolidate?
At the beginning of the Great Consolidation SAGa, we were warned that the main reason that we had to consolidate was because of a Digital Divide!” A divide that would eventually lead to an all out Digital War! This led to Cromwell’s Consolidation Cry of “One World Union–Or No Union at All!” A cry many of us felt should have been altered to “One World Union– And No Union at All!”Consolidationist put the fear of jurisdictional disputes in our ear! Warning that we would deplete our treasuries fighting each other– and of course their Favorite Fear Factor Fallback “It’s gonna be the “Wild West Out There!”
Well, now President Gilbert is touting the new proposed contract extension by proclaiming “the extension locks down the right for SAG & AFTRA to negotiate ALL prime time dramatic programming together, giving the unions unprecedented leverage that we have not had since the advent of television!”
Hmmm, okay perhaps a tad hyperbolic! But still a positive indication that our unions can work together without the need to spend millions more of our dues dollars on Consolidation which will dissolve our great Screen Actors Guild— and turn its assets over to Jamie’s One World Union?
So does this Right granted to us by the AMPTP mean that we will no longer need to Consolidate? One would think so, but NOOOOO!!!! According to Jesse Hiestand’s article in today’s Hollywood Reporter (2/19/04) “Union leaders say resolving a MAJOR PART of the digital jurisdictional problem does not diminish the need to consolidate the guilds despite the fact that It was held up as a PRIME REASON to end the WAR.”
The article continues that AFTRA’s NED Greg Hessinger proclaims that there are “Other Elements” that still exist! Oh, yeah, I forget! Okay, okay, I say we give Greg his $150,000 dollar raise—and be done with it! Sorry about the size of Mr. Hessinger’s photo! Apparently, he is a much bigger man at AFTRA.
A.L. Miller SW’s Award Winning Editor & Chief