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Bill In Congress Would Protect Child Actors Nationwide

September 7, 2017 (15:52) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would, for the first time, create nationwide workplace protections for child actors. Currently, kids working in the film and TV industry are exempt from federal laws governing the employment of children, and must instead rely on a crazy-quilt of wildly varying state laws governing their safety and the hours they can be employed.

Introduced by Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY), HR 3691, or the Child Performer Protection Act (read it here), would also cover children working in the modeling industry.

“We must do all we can to protect our kids and keep them out of harm’s way, and that includes safeguarding children that work as actors and models,” Meng said in a statement today. “For too long, kids in entertainment and modeling industries have not been adequately protected in the workplace and it’s way past time for that to change. This legislation would finally accomplish that goal by shielding vulnerable child performers from workplace abuses that they constantly face and in many cases have been forced to endure. Only a federal law, rather than a patchwork of different state laws, can sufficiently protect these children throughout the entire country. I urge my colleagues in Congress to pass this important bill.

As Deadline reported in October 2014, laws in many state laws designed to protect child actors are astonishingly lax. California, for instance, is one of the few states to specifically prohibit the employment of prematurely born babies on film and TV productions. In 18 states, there is no regulation or protection of them at all. California has the strictest laws governing child actors, and Linda Stone, who was then business rep for IATSE Studio Teachers Local 884, said it should be the national model. “There should be a national law for the protection of babies and children working in the entertainment industry,” she said.

The new bill would establish a maximum number of hours child actors can continuously work, based on their age, and would require that 15% of a child’s earnings be placed in a trust account until they turn 18, unless a financial need for the money is demonstrated. This provision is modeled after similar laws in California and New York, whose intent is to prevent parents from taking all the money earned by their children.

The bill would also create a private right of action for child actors and models who are sexually harassed, allowing children to sue their employers if sexually harassed while on the job. It would also require that compensation for child runway models be paid in cash wages. Meng said they’re “sometimes not fairly compensated for their work and are instead paid with unusable clothes or handbags that were worn in fashion shows.”

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We can only hope this bill can help our kids!

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

*Headline photo selected by Watchdog

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Spanish Broadcasting System Blasts SAG-AFTRA For “Malicious Claims”

September 6, 2017 (19:57) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

  September 6, 2017 4:35pm
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The Spanish Broadcasting System has fired back at SAG-AFTRA, which has accused the media company of failing to pay minimum wages and overtime to its employees at Los Angeles Spanish-language radio stations La Raza and Mega and refusing to bargain in good faith for a fair contract for them.

“The recent allegations trumpeted by the union against our company are not only totally false and malicious, they are, in fact, an insult to the talented and professional on-air personnel the union claims to represent,” SBS chairman Raúl Alarcón said in a statement. “Not only are the recent claims not true in the case of our Los Angeles personnel, they are untrue as evidenced by hundreds of employees who have worked at SBS during nearly 35 years of operations at dozens of broadcasting facilities throughout the country.

Alarcón said SBS “is one of the last remaining broadcasting entities owned, operated and controlled by Hispanics and a source of pride for millions of listeners as well as the artists and advertisers it has served since 1983. I find it ironic that, at this critical juncture when Latino culture and its institutions are under relentless attack, the union has singled out for criticism the one truly national Hispanic media organization with an unblemished historical record of service to our community. Nevertheless, the company will vigorously defend itself against these false claims to the fullest extent permitted by the law.”

La Raza and Mega are the first Spanish-language stations to organize in Los Angeles after their on-air talent voted overwhelmingly to join SAG-AFTRA on August 1, 2016. The union claims that since then, SBS “has violated federal law by refusing to bargain in good faith with SAG-AFTRA, and by retaliating against its on-air talent for unionizing by terminating eight employees who were openly supportive of SAG-AFTRA’s organizing effort and/or were owed monies in connection with SBS’ wage violations.”

Gabrielle Carteris
REX/Shutterstock

SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris last week called on the State Labor Commissioner “to vigorously investigate the rampant violations of California wage and hour laws at SBS. Over the past 12 months, the company has also engaged in extensive and severe unfair labor practices, which are currently pending before the National Labor Relations Board. It has also done everything possible to hamper its negotiations with SAG-AFTRA. This is absolutely unacceptable. I have a message for SBS: We are not going away.”

“It is unfortunate that SAG-AFTRA once again is resorting to blatant and transparent attempts at intimidating our company into accepting unfair contract demands,” SBS General Counsel Richard D. Lara said in a statement. “SBS has provided witness testimony and thousands of documents to the NLRB directly contradicting the outlandish SAG-AFTRA allegations concerning a handful of employees at our two LA-based radio stations, and we fully expect to prevail against these spurious claims. Despite the union’s schoolyard tactics, SBS will continue to coordinate, cooperate and negotiate in good faith with SAG-AFTRA as we expect the union to focus on the facts and discontinue making untrue and inflammatory remarks in the media.”

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Okay.  maybe I’m showing my age , but, but, but my advice can best be summed up in the title  of the great Old classic Open the Door Richard!

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

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WGA Calls Donald Trump Ending DACA “A Shameful Crime Of Prejudice”

September 5, 2017 (22:57) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

Calling President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind DACA “a shameful crime of prejudice and malice,” the WGA East and West vowed today to fight for hundreds of thousands of young “Dreamers” who were brought to the U.S. as children.

Related

Obama Blasts Donald Trump’s ‘Cruel’ DACA Announcement: ‘Not Required Legally,’ ‘Political’…

“From its early days, the entertainment industry has been built by the imagination of immigrants,” the unions said in a joint statement. “Our guilds are unions of storytellers who have always welcomed those from other nations, and of varying beliefs, who wish to share their creativity with America. We are grateful to them, we stand with them, we will fight for them.”

Rex/Shutterstock

It was the same message the unions made in January, when Trump first attempted to impose a ban on Muslim immigration

In today’s statement, the guilds said, “applies equally to the children of undocumented immigrants who came to this country not of their own volition but because their parents and families sought a better life and, in many instances, to escape from persecution,” the guilds said. “They have become a vital and productive part of American society and our unions, which represent many DACA recipients currently working in film, television and digital news. To summarily send them into exile, to deport them to other countries that many of them have never known, is a shameful crime of prejudice and malice.”

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Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdaca

*Headline Photo selected by the Watchdog

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Labor of Love

August 30, 2017 (17:37) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

In the previous Labor Day post I felt that ‘Close early Friday’  was a tad ambiguous.

So after a bit of website searching with no luck, I finally  decide to call our union here in LA.  And, of course, I got a recording. without any applicable options…so I finally did something smart…I hit 0 for operator…and, and, and, I finally got a real person, as it turned out a very helpful person.

I asked him what “close early” translated into time wise,  and stated that I suspected it meant 12:30 pm.  He said that was correct,  then  went on to say he would inform those responsible for the omission of the concerns I had expressed.

Nice guy…no, no don’t thank me.  It was a Labor of love!   Have a great one!!!

Arl

The Ol’ SAG Watchdog

*Photo selected by Watchdog

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Happy Labor Day Message from SAG-AFTRA

August 30, 2017 (15:55) | 2016 | By: Arlin Miller

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