Brothers & Sisters,
After six weeks of negotiations, the Writer’s Guild was unable to reach an agreement. As of 12:01 am PST Tuesday May 2, the WGA will be on strike. Below are some FAQ’s regarding the strike. Some media outlets are indicating that pickets will not start until the afternoon on Tuesday, May 2. In addition, those same reports indicate picket lines at the major studios, so be prepared to see picketers as early as tomorrow.
Please review some of the additional questions and answers below and please reach out to the Union Hall should you have more questions.
IF THE WGA GOES ON STRIKE, DOES THAT MEAN WE ARE ON STRIKE?
No. The WGA is on Strike, that does NOT mean we are on strike. You should report to work as scheduled.
SO, IF THE WGA GOES ON STRIKE CAN I JOIN THEM ON THE PICKET LINE TO SUPPORT?
No. Whether you are working or not, our members cannot join the picket line, carry a picket sign or banner, distribute literature for WGA at the picket line, or walk near any picket line.
Local 40 members cannot strike or picket any of the companies in the AMPTP, as our agreements with the AMPTP are still in effect.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE WGA GOES ON STRIKE AND I ENCOUNTER A PICKET LINE?
All Local 40 contracts provide protection from discipline should you choose to honor the picket lines.
All Local 40 CBA’s protect you from discipline, should you choose NOT to cross any active picket line of the WGA.
In our Motion Picture Basic Agreement, it states:
“The Producer will not discipline any employee covered by this Agreement because of his refusal as an individual to cross a picket line, providing that such picket line has been sanctioned by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. No employee covered by this Agreement shall be required by the Producer to go through any picket line when there is actual and imminent danger of bodily harm to the employee.”
Simply put, we support the WGA, and do not believe in crossing picket lines, as it goes against what the labor movement is all about. However ultimately that decision is up to you as an individual. Please keep in mind that although the WGA is on strike, and that while you have the right to honor the picket line where bargaining unit work is being performed, you do not have the right to strike. If you are headed to work and you DO NOT see an actual physical picket line, you are expected to report to work. If you DO encounter a picket line, please make your first call to your department head to make them aware of what to do next if you are choosing not to cross. If you have any questions, please contact the Union Hall for assistance.
WHAT IF I AM INSTRUCTED TO GO THROUGH A SPECIFIC RESERVED/ALTERNATE GATE?
If there is a picket line at the gate you have been asked to enter, you have the right not to cross that picket line. If there is no picket line at the gate you have been asked to enter, you should go to work.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE A PICKET LINE?
A picket line is a PHYSICAL line of workers in front of you picketing an employer. If there is not a PHYSICAL picket line in front of you, you should report to work.
Remember, all of our agreements are in effect, and if there are no physical picketers at your entrance, then you should report to work. Local 40 is NOT on strike.
We will continue to update you as we receive information.
In solidarity we stand!
Stephan Davis | Business Manager/Financial Secretary | IBEW Local 40