Posted by Charles on April 14, 1999 at 14:59:41:
Many artists don't quite understand the significance of the Union's "no strike clause" in its contract with the studios. They think that the elimination of that aspect of the contract means that everyone will automatically walk out from their jobs and start forming picket lines. That's not the case at all.
A no strike clause prevents the Union from mounting any kind of a protest, while the studios can do whatever they like, in effect.
For example, the Union could not officially participate, organize or sanction our April 1st meeting. The entire event had to be handled outside of the Union's infrastructure, which made it that much more difficult for those of us involved in the creation of the meeting.
It had to be completely grass roots. If it wasn't and the Union was seen as orchestrating it or officially participating in any way other than as an outside observer, it faced the possibilty of being held legally liable for a breech of contract.
Therein lies the problem with the infamous "NSC". The Union can do nothing but sit there while these gentle giants who run the studios are free to do just about whatever they please.
The Union has been trying to get artists at non-union studios to sign rep cards. It's not very compelling for a non-union artist to sign on for union representation if that union has signed away its power to launch even a tempered public demonstration on behalf of its membership.
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