What's this "Union"?


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Posted by Steve on April 10, 2000 at 19:26:16:

Hey gang.

I've been lurking for awhile now, reading everyone's posts, and I have to ask:

"Why join the Union?"

Union guys, don't take this as a slam. It's a legitimate question. As a non-union member (and might I
add, someone who has no interest in joining [so don't panic, Jon]), I don't understand what the benefits
are.

Obviously, they tell you how much you're worth before going into a negotiation, or at least they tell you
how much the average animator in your position could expect. So it's usefull in that regard. And I imagine
they offer some form of legal representation for wrongful termination and some medical bennys to boot.

But what I don't understand is what power they hold over any studio's heads with a 'no strike' clause.
Granted, I understand why the no strike clause is in effect. Striking is what birthed the Pacific Rim studios.
If you strike, the work goes overseas. If you don't strike, the work goes overseas. So what's the Union done and/or
is doing for you that makes it worth paying membership dues? Are they negotiating with studios for contracts or shows to stay in
the U.S.? Are they lobbying congress to keep our own government funding from going to Nelvana or China? Are they
presently doing anything at all to further the growth of the animation industry in this country?

Honestly, I don't know, and I'm asking. As an outsider, I see absolutely no benefit to being a Union member. So can anyone
here explain it for me?

And please, no flames. This isn't an anti-union message.




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