Business Manager’s Message – May 2023

Local 40 Supporting the WGA in Their Fight for a Fair Contract

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of attending the WGA’s meeting at the Shrine Auditorium regarding its ongoing strike. The WGA invited representatives from each of the Hollywood Unions & Guilds, including Local 40 and the Basic Crafts. The solidarity in the room was inspiring. Although the WGA is on strike and not Local 40, we all negotiate with the same employers, some of which are among the largest corporations in the world.

As you know, the economic landscape has become increasingly challenging for working families in our industry and across the country. The WGA is fighting for some of the basic rights our local has and continues to fight for.

Here are four key reasons why we should consider supporting the WGA:

  1. An injury to one is an injury to all. If the WGA does not push back, the AMPTP will try to do the same with all the other Hollywood unions, including ours.
  2. Solidarity. We have shared interests and common goals. When we support each other and work together, we have a better chance of achieving those goals.
  3. Their fight is our fight. Most WGA members are middle-class working people, just like our members. They are fighting for the same protections and benefits our members seek every bargaining cycle.
  4. Fair Wages & Benefits. The WGA has seen stagnating wages, and by all accounts a reduction in pay over the last 10 years. Our members want to see their fair share of these corporate profits, and so does the WGA.

Over the last few weeks, we have been visiting lots and job sites to hand out stickers and buttons supporting the WGA. I encourage all of you to wear these to let the studios know that although we may not be walking the lines with the WGA, we support them in their fight for a fair and reasonable contract. If you have any questions regarding the WGA strike, we have a FAQ’s page on our website, and you can always reach out to the office.

Finally, I want to celebrate our achievements as a Local. Over the last 13 months since I stepped in as Business Manager, we have made significant improvements, such as upgrading the signage and exterior of the building and adding more training classes, including generator operator, battery storage, and lighting control. Soon, we will be updating our website and more prominently featuring our members and the vital work they do. Every step we take is dedicated to strengthening the pride we have in our Local and furthering our professionalism within our membership and outside the Local.

In addition, this last year we negotiated three agreements: the Stage Manger & Audio Mixer Agreement, The Special Effects Technicians Agreement, and the Inside Construction Agreement. Each contains increases in pay and healthcare protections in work opportunities. And, under the Inside Agreement, we added penalties for waiting for your paycheck. As we look ahead to next summer, we are already preparing for our Motion Picture Agreement, and working to strengthen that agreement.

We are proud to celebrate 100 years in the Motion Picture Industry and look forward to growing bigger and stronger over the next 100 years.

I hope to see you on the job site and at our 100th Anniversary event at the Warner Brothers backlot on November 4.

In Solidarity,

Stephan Davis
Business Manager & Financial Secretary

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