Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NLRB Proceeds On "Fi-Core" Complaint Arising Out of WGA Strike

The National Labor Relations Board general director is transferring that fi-core case from Washington back to Los Angeles and ordering the regional director to issue a complaint. Remember that during the WGA strike earlier this year, some members of the Guild decided to go "fi-core." That is, they opted to pay dues directed for certain activities and withhold dues for others (lobbying, for instance). The WGA, in a statement to its members, said in part,

Yet among the many there were a puny few who chose to do otherwise, who consciously and selfishly decided to place their own narrow interests over the greater good. Extreme exceptions to the rule, perhaps, but this handful of members who went financial core, resigning from the union yet continuing to receive the benefits of a union contract, must be held at arm's length by the rest of us and judged accountable for what they are - strikebreakers whose actions placed everything for which we fought so hard at risk.

While others forfeited paychecks to stand in unity with their fellow Guild members, many who went financial core continued to collect salaries. Without concern for their colleagues, they turned their backs and tossed the burden of collective action onto the rest of us, taking jobs, reducing our leverage and damaging the Guilds for their own advantage.

Even in cases of deep financial distress, there were other options, including generous no-interest loans from our strike funds, which would have sustained them until the end of the strike and beyond. That's what unions are for.

Those who went financial core did not share in the adversity; and should not share in our victory. They cannot vote in our elections, run for Guild office, attend Guild meetings and other events, or participate in the Writers Guild Awards. Further, it has been determined by the National Council of the Guilds West and East, and affirmed by Guild East Council and the Guild West Board, that we send this joint letter with a link to a list on respective websites of those who went financial core during the strike. To view it now and for future reference, you can find it at: subpage_member.aspx?id=2828.

The rest of us are all in this together.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which had explained on its website how WGA members could "go fi-core," filed a complaint with the NLRB. Apparently the agency is now proceeding on the matter.

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