DGA, IATSE, and SAG-AFTRA Picket Line Rules – The Hollywood Reporter

As the Writers Guild of America rallied toward a possible strike, peer entertainment unions were quick to make statements of union solidarity. The SAG-AFTRA National Council declared that it stands “strongly in support” of the industry’s writers, while the Teamsters made a fiery declaration that the WGA fight is a “common fight.” The Directors Guild of America and IATSE called on studios and streamers to come to an agreement with the writers, and a local affiliate for the latter. Even send treats To the WGA Negotiating Committee from the SoCal Corporation for Porto’s beloved slash bakery.

But, when faced with an actual picket line of writers in front of the workplace, what options do members of other entertainment unions have? In the labor movement, noting (in other words, not crossing) the picket line means “to honor the sense of dignity, collectivity, and power of (striking) workers,” explains history professor Nelson Lichtenstein, who directs the University of Southern California’s Santa Barbara Center for the Study of Labor, Labor, and Democracy. Therefore, crossing the picket line is a “work-house sin.”

All major entertainment union contracts contain “no strike” clauses that – while each has different language – prevent labor groups from participating in work stoppages over the course of their respective agreements. However, workers individually have the right to engage in “sympathy strikes,” which includes when they respect a picket line formed by a union that is not their own. Of course, doing so could open workers up to consequences: while legal sources surveyed Hollywood Reporter Not agreeing whether a breach of contract action can or may be brought against an entertainment worker as a result of engaging in a sympathy strike, they agree that by participating, these individuals could be subject to temporary or permanent replacements on the job, depending on the situation.

Entertainment unions began advising members on their rights and duties. Here’s how they suggest workers react when faced with a potential picket line impasse, should the WGA go on strike after their contract expires Monday night:

Directors Guild of America: DGA President Leslie Linka Glatter and National Executive Director Russell Hollander told members in a directive released April 18 that no one can force them to work in the event of a WGA strike. However, there could be consequences if they don’t perform pre-agreed services: “If you, as an individual, refuse to cross the picket line and perform services covered by the DGA, your employer has the right to replace you; if you have a personal services agreement, you may be liable,” Glatter and Hollander said. for claims for breach of contract.” They added that the union itself must contractually assure employers that “our members will continue to perform services covered by the DGA for the duration of the underlying agreement.”

IATSE: In a call to USA IATSE members on April 28, the crew union’s international president Matthew Loeb noted that many of its major agreements (including the Core Agreement, which covers more than 40,000 members on the West Coast, and USA Charter 829) do not ” It expressly prohibits employees from honoring lawful picket lines” and employees therefore “reserve their right to respect the lawful picket line.” Others (such as the District Standards Agreement, which covers about 20,000 workers outside of Los Angeles and New York, and several local agreements in New York) “explicitly” allow employees to honor legal picket lines. warning? Employers can “temporarily replace” them with workers who don’t decide to cross those picket lines. Loeb said they could only terminate their employment if there were “compelling commercial reasons” unrelated to the workers’ decision on the picket line.

SAG-AFTRA: The Performing Artists Union advised members on April 30 to “keep working” on any projects still in production during a possible WGA strike. If the performer decides not to report for work to which he was previously committed, the union continues, “you may be liable for breach of contract claims or be liable for termination by the producer.” The union cited the “no strike” clause and workers’ personal service contracts as reasons for this advice. In support of the book, SAG-AFTRA advised members to walk strike lines during non-working hours (such as lunch breaks) or to post on social media. The union also recommended that members take no WGA-covered clerical work while on strike: “You shouldn’t write anything normally written by striking WGA writers,” the union said.

399- Masoud: The Los Angeles local repeatedly told members that “staff members don’t cross picket lines.” In an advisory report sent to members on May 1, the union specified that in the event of a strike by the WGA, local 399 members must not join a picket line and must report to action if no picket line is in place when they arrive at their place. employment. However, if there is a physical line in place, “You are protected if you choose not to cross any active WGA picket line,” the union told members, due to a clause in many Teamsters’ contracts that shields workers from the discipline when honoring such a line.

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