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Organized Labor in Post-Racial America: Where’s the Progress?

May 12, 2010 Leave a comment

The civil rights movement and the labor movement are inextricably intertwined because their goals were, and continue to be, essentially the same. 

Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez
United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
 

This year on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, during a speech to the AFL-CIO commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-ins, AAG Perez, the chief civil rights officer of the nation, reminded the gathering that Dr. King had once declared, “Our needs are identical with labor’s needs. Decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old‐age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community.” 
 
Perez speculated that if Dr. King were here today, “He would join with you, and with your fellow workers nationwide, in calling for the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act to ensure workers can stand up for their rights in the workplace.” 
 
Civil Rights and the Labor Movement 
 
We know civil rights and the labor movements are intertwined, so why is African American membership in Local 600 no more that 1.7 percent according to a 2004 membership survey? 

I’ve been a union member for over three decades. I believe many of my fraternal brothers and sisters are truly revolted by expressions of white supremacy, misogyny, and sexism. I enjoy honest and deep friendships with union members that have stood strong over decades. Together, we have participated in work on set and still participate in activities outside of work. 

Some of my other fellow union members openly have made it clear that they harbor bigoted views. The best of them, however, see the benefit of leaving such divisive views at home. For them, the workplace is about the work before us and the skills people bring to the job. Thus, at work we all are able to achieve a common goal and prosper because of this “progressive” choice.    Read more…
Categories: Diversity, Progress?

Doug Hart Responds To Claims by electstevenposter.com

May 5, 2010 Leave a comment

On April 27, 2010, I read the following statements that were posted on electstevenposter.com, the website of president and candidate Steven Poster during this election campaign. It is time to set the record straight.

The bold italic text was posted on ElectStevenPoster.com.

The indented text contains  commentary by Doug Hart.

Who We Are, What We Stand For, and Why

Openness

· This Administration has held more Craft Meetings than any administration of Local 600, ever! We do that so that we can spend the time we need to get down to the real issues that our members need to see addressed.

Yes, but these Craft Meetings were ALL scheduled DURING the 2007 election, during the period between the mailing out of the ballots and the ballot return deadline. The meetings “conveniently” served as a campaigning opportunity for Poster & Gitlin, AT THE LOCAL’S EXPENSE. Read more…

The Reality Check Is In The Mail

May 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Dear Local 600 Member:

You’ve probably just received a notice from the Motion Picture Industry Pension Plan that the Plan is in “endangered” status. Mine arrived, ironically, on the same day as the latest campaign mailer from Steven Poster proclaimed, “Continue the Progress.”

Many West Coast members were also notified this week that they are about to be dropped from the Industry Roster, putting them in a Catch-22 limbo and severely endangering their ability to continue to work on the ever-dwindling number of union productions.

If this is “progress”, I’d hate to see the Poster Slate’s definition of failure.

Since our industry is once again breaking box office records and raking up profits faster than they can be counted, where exactly is the money going?

FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD

When our jobs left the country, the residuals that help pay for our pension and health plans left with them.  Read more…

Should We “Continue the Progress”?

April 19, 2010 Leave a comment

• Hundreds of gainfully employed members, and their dependents, will lose health coverage in 2011 due to the 400 hour qualification requirement. Many new members may never be able to qualify. Meanwhile, residuals and hourly contributions from the 8 to 399 hours worked by these unqualified members will continue to fund the health plan for those who do qualify.

• We now have to make our own pay deals on Internet projects without any of the customary protections for staffing, job description, work hours, or working conditions.

• We face the possible loss of over a half century of successful protection under California’s corporation laws. {This may be stopped if enough members Vote No on the “Green Ballot” initiative.)

• A Top-Down “we know what’s best for you” style of governance has become the norm in Local 600. Dissenting opinions on corporate dissolution and other issues are routinely swept under the rug.     Read more…
Categories: Progress?