Thursday, November 15, 2007

Writers Strike

Like the protagonist of my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries, I live in Hollywood Hills. Today, the surrounding area is home to the Writers Guild strike.

What do we think of it? Well, Kendra’s a lawyer as well as a pet-sitter. I’m a lawyer as well as a writer. But I’m a novelist, not a screenwriter. Despite the often awful reputation of attorneys, I believe in fairness. So does Kendra.

So what’s fair? I’ve been reading articles and op-ed pieces and ads about the strike. As with any issue, there appear to be two sides. Writers want their fair share of proceeds from the productions they help to create when they’re sold via current and yet-to-be invented technologies, including the Internet.

An ad in the Los Angeles Times from AMPTP, which I gather stands for Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, said there were offers to pay writers for stuff like that on the table when the strike struck. True? Could be. But if so, the union reps apparently didn’t consider the offers fair or far-reaching enough.

Ouch. I have to admit I just cringed as I wrote “union reps.” I grew up in Pittsburgh, former home of steel mills and other major industries. Notice that I said “former”? Can’t blame it all on unions or strikers, but I do blame at least some of the shaky economy on a whole lot of strikes I saw as I was growing up.

Still, individuals have little bargaining power and therefore sometimes wind up living with unfairness more than groups of people negotiating shoulder-to-shoulder for something. There truly is strength in numbers. And it sure would be nice to believe that my striking sister and brother writers--and my nephew--will come out the other end of this ugly situation with more than just a semblance of fairness. Let’s hope both sides will compromise sufficiently to come up with a win-win solution.

Right, Kendra?


1 comment:

Camille Minichino said...

I agree, Linda, two sides at least to this story, and I for one feel helpless to do much except hope with you that it will be resolved soon with all parties coming out ahead.