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HomeBlog the LineHuffington Post Op-ed on IATSE's stake in the WGA strike

Huffington Post Op-ed on IATSE's stake in the WGA strike

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The following is an excerpt from SAG Member Susan Savage’s Huffington Post piece on the IA’s — and the Below the Line community’s — stake in the current WGA strike:

While they don’t get an actual residual check like writers, actors, and directors, they do get a tremendous and direct benefit from residuals. If you pick up a copy of the general memorandum of agreement of Aug. 1, 2006 between AMPTP and I.A.T.S.E, the Moving Pictures Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the US and Canada, you will see inherent in their collective bargaining agreement with the AMPTP clearly outlines that the members of these unions get a piece of residuals too. It’s more than a piece actually, and I’m happy to elaborate.

The WGA has done extensive research on the subject, so feel free to log-on to their website for more information @ www.wga.org . So here’s where YOUR residual payments go. Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiated between the AMPTP and the following unions: I.A.T.S.E, IBT Local 399, Studio Utility Employees Local 724, IBEW Local 40, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 78, Plasters & Cement Masons Local 755, residuals from the reuse and sale of TV and feature films are paid into your pension and health plans.

According the WGA’s handout, these payments comprise a majority of the total funding for your pension & health plans, and here’s how the numbers break down,

From January 1, 2007 – September 1, 2007 residual contributions to the pension & health plans totaled $261 Million Dollars.

Projected residual contributions for 2007: $351 Million Dollars

Total P&H contributions from residuals in 2006: $339 Million Dollars

Total P&H contributions from residuals in 2005: $348 Million Dollars

Still think this is not your cause, my friend?

If you are a member of I.A.T.S.E, Teamsters Local 399 or the Basic Crafts, you work under a pension & health plan that is entirely funded by your employer.

Again, I cite the WGA’s information, but if you don’t believe this or me, then may I suggest you call the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans directly @ 310-769-0007. Because unlike the AMPTP’s ad in the LA Times and the NY Times last Friday, the WGA isn’t distorting the numbers. “The AMPTP uses numbers the way a drunk uses a lamppost – more for support than illumination.” So make the call and decide for yourself, who’s giving you the facts and who’s giving you the distortions.

In 2006, residuals accounted for 55% of total pension & health plan contributions. The remaining 45% of P&H contributions came from your employers who contribute a fixed percent on your behalf from every hour you work. This means that more money is being contributed to P&H from residuals than from actual hours of work. If there are funding surpluses from residuals, retirees receive a 13th & 14th check (instead of the 12 normally paid in a year.) Ask any retiree! Monies paid in the form of residuals will provide the MAJORITY of your pension when you retire. But don’t take my word for it or the WGA’s word, call the Motion Picture Industry P&H and ask them yourself. 310-769-0007

So if the Writers get residuals on the internet, then you, and all of the unions mentioned above will get residuals on the internet too!

There’s more, and you can read it at this link — and leave your comments and thoughts about it here.

And Happy Thanksgiving to all, in spite of the tenuousness of the times!

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