When SAG reached out to the membership for their feedback on producers’ proposals, they included not only both sides’ proposals, but the following postcard asking members if SAG should continue to negotiate or accept the producers “final offer.”
Well, you should have heard the outrage from the UFS slate and their AFTRA First supporters. Ah, not because of producers’ proposals that would basically gut members rights from force Majeure, consent on clips, move over, French Hours, and the core principle of the guild, denying signatories the right to produce non-union projects. No the outrage was over the two lines at the bottom of the card that members were to return to the guild.
Oh, the shock! Oh, the humanity! You would have thought that the fact that SAG had an identifiable barcode on the response card, spelled the doom of SAG. In fact, one of the multitudes of anonymous posters on one of the various Blogs actually proclaimed, “SAG would be Forever Doomed”
Forget the intent of reaching out to the membership for their feedback, forget the proposals that could affect the destiny of our union, forget debating the very serious issues at stake. (You think maybe that was the idea of those protesting?)
Yes, forget all that! What was important here, was what one Blog writer suggested, rather facetiously, that a switchboard operator might get hold of the damning information. Shocking! I can just imagine that call in the middle of the night, “Yeah, Miller, we know how you marked your postcard, give us your last residual check or we’re going to give that info to Horwitch, Handel, and Diamond!” (All who had expressed great concern over the barcode.)
Well, of course, I wouldn’t have to worry about Diamond because his Blog had folded, most likely, because of lack of interest, but, but, the other two I mean what could I do, I’d have to give the caller the 38 cents.
But, I digress. This was of such importance that UFS’ Ned Vaughn, Kate Walsh and Adam Arkin felt compelled to merge and dash off a letter to SAG NED Doug Allen, and President Alan Rosenberg expressing their many concerns.
One of those concerns, “How will information about individual members’ votes be utilized?” came to mind when I received the following email from AFTRA.
Knowing AFTRA’s tendency to poach, I was immediately suspicious that maybe they were going to somehow poach my response to the guild without using a barcode, but, but nevertheless I proceeded.
Ned, Kate and Adams words reverberated in my head, “How will the information be utilized,” “How will the information be utilized,” “How will the information be utilized.?”
Yeah, what if I answered #Question One truthfully, and my information was sold to telemarketers or spammers? I could just imagine the call:
“Hi, my name is Jane, and I’ve got great news for “Old Timers” like you, about an exciting new breakthrough in denture cream”
No, I wouldn’t be answering that first one, nor the second one either. That switchboard operator might get confused and think that I had attended a Membership (First) meeting, and I’d be getting nasty calls from Sally Field and Tom Hanks.
Hmmm, better not answer “AFTRA Magazine,” or I could be getting more mail from the AARP about subscribing to their magazine, but, but, on the other hand, maybe I would get a call from Jamie Lee Curtis.
Hmmm, better not answer #Number Six’s Question by saying that negotiating for higher wages is ” Not important” or they’ll be bugging me to be on their next negotiating team. Man, look at all those questions. Hell, SAG only wanted to know if I wanted to continue negotiating or take the deal. If I answer all these questions, these guys will know how to push all my buttons. Yeah, they’ll have all my information. They got my name. They got my email address and with the answer to these questions, hell, they could formulate personal emails that would appeal to just about any member. “Dear Arlin, we see by your personal chart that you are a hard ass when it comes to negotiations. Therefore, we are pleased to tell you that this new contract offers higher wages while monitoring safety in the work place and increasing opportunities to get health and retirement benefits along with new job opportunities.”
Whoa! Look out for Question NUMBER SEVEN. Talk about a “Push Poll.” You get the idea, folks? There are only two choices at AFTRA– having more access for job opportunities, or having less opportunities but more pay.
Not, only that, but if you answer that question , they’ll know who you voted for in the last AFTRA election. You check the first box and they’ll know you voted for the current “go-along to-get-along” leadership. You check the second one, and they’ll know you voted for the opposing slate that actually wanted AFTRA to stop low-balling contracts and giving away residuals. Yikes! Talk about Big Brother Watching!
Ah, I know the answer to number #10, Ron Morgan. I remember that I was at an AFTRA membership meeting and I asked him why certain AFTRA members were allowed to work on non-union shows like “Best Damn Sports Show,” although the back of the AFTRA card clearly stated that members should NOT work for non signatory producers?
He just shrugged his shoulders.
So, now they’re getting your membership category and branch.
Okay, I’m gonna be honest with you, folks. Even though I wrote in their comment box, I ain’t sending this thing back, no way.
Okay, again. You’ll notice the disclaimer at the bottom of this thing, is lot like the disclaimer on the SAG postcard.
SAG says “The confidentiality of your response will be maintained.
AFTRA says, “The results of this survey will not be made public!”
The only difference here is that the only thing SAG learned about you with their poll is whether you wanted to go back and get a better deal, or not.
On the AFTRA poll, they learned all kinds of things about you. They learned whether you were a go-along-to-get-alonger or a hard ass, how you voted, your membership category, what branch your in., how long you have been a member, how to influence you in a referendum should they chose to do so–among other things.
About the only thing they didn’t ask was what your favorite color was and, if, you liked to take long walks on the beach.
Once again, Ned, Kate and Adams words reverberate “How will the information be utilized,” “How will the information be utilized,” “How will the information be utilized.?”
In light of all of the above, can we have an AFTRAGATE a brewing?
I mean, being how upset Ned and the UFS slate got over the SAG Postcard with one question, can you imagine how outraged they will be over AFTRA’s dossier of questions.
Why, I bet by tomorrow, they’ll be shooting off a letter to Kim and Roberta, emailing our media Blog Masters; Jonathan and Laurenah, Steve ain’t Blogging no more. They’ll have their core of Bagheads hitting the Blogs posting their outrage at AFTRA’s invasion of members privacy, they’ll.ah, wait a minute, come to think of it, when AFTRA violated their Qualified Voting code by soliciting broadcasters who had never worked the Exhibit A Contract, they never said a damn thing, ah.
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief
Speaking of barcodes. It’s post time!