If you were to imagine a world run completely by TV execs, you could hardly be blamed for wondering about what strike. After all, it's the holidays, so isn't it natural that Jay Leno and David Letterman have the month of December off? And they've messed up the airing of new episodes on series so bad, that lots o' reruns is the new black, isn't it?
But there is a Writers Guild of America strike and the big evil corporations are, for once, being totally evil and big about the whole thing. There's very little gray area.
Wiggle Room Or Scabs
Some of the people in the business, though, are torn. Is Ellen Degeneris a total scab? Or is she trying to keep her staff employed rather than getting fired right before Christmas? Dammit, I've no good answer as I can see both sides.
My total union experience in my life was a year or so when I was listed as full-time at WMU and so paid AAUP dues. But most of my 47 semesters of teaching have (a) been at WMU as (b) a part-time instructor and (c) not a union member. So whenever there's been talk about a strike, I sit quietly and hope things get settled so I don't have to decide whether making house payments beats the scabbiness of crossing a picket line when the union isn't supporting me.
So I leave you with two views of the situation:
This entry on my 2004 Clarion classmate Trent Hergenrader's blog, from someone he knows:
In the case of CBS, CEO Les Moonves makes in one year 21 times what it would cost to settle with the entire union everything we ask of his company over 3 years.
And from perpetual firebrand and writer nihilistic_kid Nick Mamatas, a report from a rally in Cambridge MA:
It was a good turn-out, and there were a bunch of ...well, moments. But for so many of the attendees, it was really their first encounter with organized labor as the project to eviscerate the union movement coincided almost perfectly with their lifetimes. Thus when a city council member, ironically dressed in a leopard-skin coat and wearing a Jobs With Justice button, declared that this was about all workers, there were tepid applause. When she mentioned that she was also a huge Buffy fan, the house exploded.
You can click on the links to see the whole entries and the pictures from Harvard.