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Latest Labor News


Money Blues For Special Fund For Musicians Reflects Record Industry’s Downturn

More than 3,000 musicians are owed money that's been collected on their behalf by the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund, which distributes annual supplemental wages to music makers. Among those owed money are Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Lionel Richie, Eric Clapton, Kanye West, The Who's Roger Daltrey, the E Street Band's Steven Van Zandt, actor-musician Johnny Depp, Booker T. Jones of Booker T. and the M.G.'s and all four members of U2. The estates of many late rockers… Read


Washington Post Staff Issues Open Letter To Jeff Bezos As Labor Dispute Heats Up

Jeff Bezos

An ongoing labor negotiation between Washington Post publisher and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his employees has ramped up, as an open letter has been issued by more than 400 Washington Post staffers asking for better pay and benefits. The signees included editorial, advertising, production, drivers and managers, as well as such prominent staff as White House reporter Ashley Parker and politics reporter Dave Weigel. The labor dispute between Bezos and the union that… Read


Chicago Teamsters Ex-Boss John Coli Sr. In Plea Talks Over Cinespace Studios Extortion Charge, Faces 20 Years In Prison

Former Chicago Teamsters boss John Coli Sr. is engaged in "ongoing plea negotiations" on federal charges that he extorted $325,000 from the Windy City's largest film studio, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. Coli was indicted last summer on charges of extortion "by the wrongful use of fear of economic loss from threatened work stoppages and other labor unrest unless such payments were made" (read that superseding indictment Read


Disneyland Minimum Wage Will Go Before Anaheim Voters

UPDATED with statement from Anaheim Chamber of Commerce chairman: Disneyland workers have been fighting a battle for higher wages for years, and now it appears that voters could decide the issue. Orange County has certified a petition to require employers who get subsidies from the city of Anaheim to pay a “living wage” –next stop: the November ballot. That is, unless the City Council either adopts a municipal ordinance at its meeting Tuesday or orders an environmental… Read


IATSE Leads Indie Film Crew On Strike In Puerto Rico


Puerto Rico’s film industry still is recovering from the effects of Hurricane Maria, and now it’s been hit by a strike. Crew members working on a low-budget film called Selfie have walked off the job to protest what IATSE says is the company's failure to pay crew members "over $100,000." "The IATSE is currently on strike against Selfie, Selfie Inc., in Puerto Rico," the union said in a communique to its members. "All IATSE members have left the show to support the… Read


SAG-AFTRA Reaches Tentative New Contract With Four Broadcast Networks

SAG-AFTRA has a tentative agreement with the four major television broadcast networks and other producers on a new contract, it was announced today. ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox have agreed on a successor to the National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting. If approved, the new contract starts July 1 and runs through June 30, 2021. The tentative agreement will be submitted for approval to the SAG-AFTRA National Board at its meeting July 21. Subject to the… Read


Apple Signs WGA Contract As It Ramps Up Scripted Shows

Apple's TV development arm, which is gearing up to produce scripted content, has signed the WGA basic agreement. Guild officials are calling it a "significant" development as they prepare for their next round of collective bargaining for a new industry-wide minimum basic agreement (MBA). "Apple has agreed to better-than-MBA terms if its programming is offered free to consumers online," said WGA West president David A. Goodman and executive director David Young, and WGA… Read


Bernie Sanders Rails Against Disney “Greed” At Anaheim Workers’ Rally

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders revisited one of the core themes of his 2016 presidential run during a rally for workers, excoriating the Walt Disney Co. for showering money on CEO Bob Iger while shortchanging Disneyland workers. Sanders told the crowd at an Anaheim church on Saturday, "I want to hear the moral defense of a company that makes $9 billion in profits, $400 million for their CEOs and have a 30-year worker going hungry. Tell me how that is right.” (See short… Read


SAG-AFTRA Network Code Negotiations Underway In New York

Negotiations are underway for SAG-AFTRA's Network Code, which generates more than $200 million a year in earnings for members working on a wide range of non-primetime and syndicated shows including soap operas, game shows, talk, news, sports and reality shows. The current contract expires June 30. The talks are being held in New York under a "news blackout for the duration of the talks," the union said, noting that it "will have no further comment." Chief negotiators in… Read


TV Producer David Slack Tells Male Writers: Don’t Blame Women’s Movement For Not Getting The Job

Television writer/producer David Slack has laid out a writer’s manifesto on Twitter, telling male television writers if they didn’t get a staff position this season, it was because they were out-competed, not because of any #metoo movement backlash. “If you didn't get staffed, it's because you got outcompeted, plain & simple,” Slack wrote on Twitter. “Other writers, both men & women, had better samples, better recommendations, & better meetings. It's okay. I've had years… Read


Stalled IATSE Contract Talks Set To Resume June 26

IATSE Hollywood

Stalled negotiations for a new IATSE basic agreement are set to resume on June 26 – just days before the July 31 expiration of the current contract. Long hours, safety and pension and health benefits are the union's chief concerns. An industrywide strike, if it comes to that, would be the first in the union's 125-year history. Bargaining with management’s Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers began April 2 but broke off just three days later. They are… Read


Morgan Freeman: SAG Reviewing Possible “Corrective Actions” Against Its Lifetime Achievement Honoree

With sexual harassment allegations coming to light from multiple women against 80 year-old actor Morgan Freeman, the Screen Actors Guild is reviewing what actions, if any, it will take against the actor who they honored with their Lifetime Achievement Award in January of this year. The award is is SAG-AFTRA's highest honor. Here is the union’s statement: "These are compelling and devastating allegations which are absolutely contrary to all the steps that we are taking to… Read