Here’s the joint WGA East and West email that went out to members just now intended to shame those weasels who went fi-core during the 2007-2008 writers strike. The WGA East roster consists of Pricilla Kay Alden, James Harmon Brown, Michael Conforti, Victor Gialanella, Josh Griffith, Frances Meyers, Pete T. Rich. The WGA West roster is: Maria Arena, Marlene Poulter Clark, John F Cosgrove, Paula F Cwikly, Clem Egan, Barbara J Esensten, Jeanne M Grunwell, Dena Higley, Mark Christopher Higley, Meg Kelly, Michelle Poteet Lisanti, Terry A Meurer, Shawn Morrison, James E Reilly, John Ridley, Hogan Sheffer, John F Smith, Darrell R Thomas Jr, Gary Tomlin, Janine A Vogelaar, Garin Wolf. (FYI, George Clooney went fi-core long before the strike…) To the union’s credit, this is a very small number, showing the incredible solidarity of the writers up against Big Media. The fractious membership of the Screen Actors Guild would do well to remember the lessons learned, good and bad, during the difficult WGA contract negotiations.
April 18, 2008
Dear Fellow Members of the Writers Guilds, East and West:
During our 100-day strike, the extraordinary solidarity you demonstrated on the picket lines and the courage and dedication with which you committed yourselves to our cause were not only an inspiration but also the key to making our actions successful.
In the face of enormous personal and financial hardship on the part of many, you sacrificed in the knowledge that your refusal to work would reap benefits not only for yourselves but countless others in the creative community, now and in the future. Your stalwart resolve paid off.
Yet among the many there were a puny few who chose to do otherwise, who consciously and selfishly decided to place their own narrow interests over the greater good. Extreme exceptions to the rule, perhaps, but this handful of members who went financial core, resigning from the union yet continuing to receive the benefits of a union contract, must be held at arm.s length by the rest of us and judged accountable for what they are — strikebreakers whose actions placed everything for which we fought so hard at risk.
While others forfeited paychecks to stand in unity with their fellow Guild members, many who went financial core continued to collect salaries. Without concern for their colleagues, they turned their backs and tossed the burden of collective action onto the rest of us, taking jobs, reducing our leverage and damaging the Guilds for their own advantage.
Even in cases of deep financial distress, there were other options, including generous no-interest loans from our strike funds, which would have sustained them until the end of the strike and beyond. That’s what unions are for.
Those who went financial core did not share in the adversity; and should not share in our victory. They cannot vote in our elections, run for Guild office, attend Guild meetings and other events, or participate in the Writers Guild Awards. Further, it has been determined by the National Council of the Guilds West and East, and affirmed by Guild East Council and the Guild West Board, that we send this joint letter with a link to a list on respective websites of those who went financial core during the strike. To view it now and for future reference, you can find it here.
The rest of us are all in this together.
Patric M. Verrone
Writers Guild of America, East Members
Who Became Financial Core Members
During The Strike of 2007-2008
Pricilla Kay Alden
James Harmon Brown
Pete T. Rich
Writers Guild West
Clark, Marlene Poulter
Cosgrove, John F.
Cwikly, Paula F.
Esensten, Barbara J.
Grunwell, Jeanne M.
Higley, Mark Christopher
Lisanti, Michelle Poteet
Meurer, Terry A.
Reilly, James E
Smith, John F.
Thomas, Darrell R. Jr.
Vogelaar, Janine A.