Big talk from someone who isn't facing the prospect of losing their home. We are part of the group that could be "collateral damage" due to this strike. My husband is Local 80 and was forced out of work four weeks before Christmas when his TV show went down. We support our local brethren when they are actually "talking". Both sides are being greedy and aren't even going to the table. Can't solve a problem unless you are talking! And unfortunately to leave the american dream in CA. you have to live paycheck to paycheck. My husband is making six figures and we are barely surviving. Yes, we could live somewhere else but he has been in the industry for 15 years. And where is in the country do hey produce the amount of shows/movies that they do in Hollywood? So please have a little respect for the people who are actually suffering due to this arrogant strike.
This is a true story.
About six or seven years ago, there was a man whose nickname was Moon who was a truck mechanic in North Carolina. Now, Moon liked giving us a hard time when we were in meetings or out in the shop and, because he was sort of thick-headed, he could really be a pain-in-the-butt.
So, one day, when we were in a meeting and in front of about 30 of his co-workers, Moon says to us rather proudly:
"I'm a union man. I've been a union man all my life and I'll be a union man until the day I die."
My reply was pretty straight-forward and simple:
"Moon," I said, "I can respect that. I may not agree with it, but I can respect it."
Well, a couple of days later, the Teamsters union threatened to call all of the truck drivers out on strike. The company that Moon and his co-workers worked for had pretty deep pockets and it took the threat seriously and hired replacement drivers and trained them over the course of a weekend.
About a week later, we saw Moon in another meeting. Fully expecting his 'I'm a union man' diatribe again, we were rather shocked when Moon stood up and said rather loudly:
"If those f**king drivers go out on strike, I'm going to be one of the first ones to cross the picket line! I can't afford no g**damn strike"
Now, understand we've been in and around unions most of our adult lives so it takes a lot for us to get shocked...but, lady, we were shocked!
The only thing I could say to Moon was:
"Moon, you're not a union man....You're a scab!"
As a former union activist, I went on to explain to Moon that being union isn't like getting on a bus, then getting off at the first stop if you don't like the driver. If you get on the bus, you gotta be able to ride that bus all the way to the end--whether it's a good ride or a bad ride.
Now, ma'am, if the Teamsters called those drivers out on strike, Moon (because he was a mechanic) was going to be collateral damage, just like you and your husband are today. No disrespect.
You have a right to work to feed your family. However, we can only assume you're not one of those mouths that tell other people how to live their lives...Or are you? You see, we're not really picking on you unless you're one of them.
And if you're one of them, that would mean you're a wealthy union elitist, like AFL-CIO boss hog John Sweeney or the SEIU's Andy Stern, who hypocritically tells the rest of America from their bullhorns and pulpits how to live our lives. Or, it could make you one of them--those who can afford to withhold their labor (like Colbert, Daly, Degeneres, Leno, Letterman, Stewart, et al.) and who has decided to abandon your purported principles to cross the picket lines of their union "brethren" with your "oops, sorry..." sheepish, guilty half-shrugs.
[BTW: As an aside, if you're union, ma'am, you don't just support your brethren when they're talking, you support them when they're NOT talking 'cause that's usually when they're on the picket lines--And there's always collateral damage in a strike.]
You see, ma'am, as former unionists ourselves, we've walked the picket lines of others and have been on strike ourselves. We've endured the hardships that strikes bring.
We've seen too many times the havoc wrought upon countless workers and their families during strikes that had nothing to do with them--but had everything to do with their union bosses' power.
You see, ma'am, when you witness union fat cats take their paychecks while their members starve, get permanently replaced, only see those same union fat cats end up representing the replacement workers and take their dues, there's a sense of disgust you feel down deep in your gut towards those union fat cats that would cause thousands of workers such hardship.
So, ma'am, the fact that you and your husband are collateral damage is a dirty shame. But, if you're one of those who sings the union tune, don't complain...