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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

yes, the WGA is right to strike, and keep at it

I am stunned that there are people who do not understand why the strike by the Wriers Guild of America matters, who do not understand how important unions are, who do not understand how unbelievable inequitable today’s work environment is… or believe, for whatever reason, that it’s a normal and totally appropriate thing for corporations to be able to fuck over their employees for as much as they can get, yet not okay for those employees to come together and collectively fight back.

It’s the discussion in this thread that’s got my blood boiling.

And so I want to point out this news tidbit from this morning:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co President and Chief Executive Robert Iger received a 7 percent increase in total compensation in fiscal 2007, to $27.7 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

And the followup from Laeta Kalogridis at United Hollywood, the WGA’s strike blog:

By way of context — if the WGA got everything it was asking for, it would cost Disney $6.25 million a year. Mr. Iger could write a personal check to end the strike for his whole corporation — and still have a little over $21 million left over.

Yes, it’s true that almost every CEO is ludicrously overpaid compared to what his employees earn. So we should support those employees who have the power to fight back against that, not denigrate them because so many other underpaid workers cannot. We should be appalled that we’ve let things come to this, not that someone is taking the chance to make things a teensy bit better. Before if we aren’t appalled, then we’ve given up and given our stamp of approval to our own serfdom.

(Above links via Sideshow.)

As Anne Wayman at The Golden Pencil reminds us:

Even though the frame work for economic justice can be found in the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights, it took people who organized to push back against the power of corporations to get things we don’t even think about today like:

• A (mostly) 40 hour work week (with paid overtime).
• Laws against child labor.
• Workplace safety, including everything from mines to offices
• Laws against sexual discrimination.
• Etc. etc. etc… the list truly goes on and on

In each case, the corporations claimed, rightly so, that to put such fairness items into law would reduce their profits.

And to which I’ll add: So what? Of course any corporation forced to share more of its profits with its employees — which is what this strike is about — will see a reduction in its profits. If we genuinely have a problem with that, then we need to get rid of all those other pesky laws that reduce corporate profit.

If Disney can afford to give one man almost $28 million, it can certainly afford to spread a small percentage of that around to the people who create the product that earns the company its profit in the first place. There simply is no reasonable reason why it cannot.

And no, outrageous fucking tentacly Scroogey slimy bastard greed is not a “reasonable reason.”

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