Today in Labor History: August 7
Actors Equity is recognized by producers after stagehands honor their picket lines, shutting down almost every professional stage production in the country. Before unionizing, it was common practice for actors to pay for their own costumes, rehearse long hours without pay, and be fired without notice – 1919
(Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions: The entertainment industry relies on many behind-the-scenes workers. Sito tells the fascinating story of Hollywood animators, from the early days of Betty Boop and Popeye to today’s world of Pixar. He describes fighting for unionism during the era of virulent anti-Communism in Hollywood, during which if an artist stood up against management he or she was labeled a Red.)
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Labor Humor: When Wishes Come True
Labor and management negotiators are working very late one night, struggling with a new contract. Suddenly, a genie appears before them and offers each one wish.
Management’s union-busting consultant shyly admits, “I’ve always dreamed of writing the great American novel. I’d like to go to a tropical island where I can concentrate and write my masterpiece.” The genie says, “No problem!” and poof! The union-buster vanishes.
The company’s HR director says, “I’ve always wanted to create a painting so beautiful that it would hang in the Louvre Museum in Paris. I want to go to the French countryside to work on my painting.” “The genie says, “Your wish is granted!” and poof! The HR director vanishes.
The genie then turns to the union negotiator and says, “And what is your wish?”
The union negotiator says, “Those last two wishes took care of it, thanks.”
—From Workplace Jokes: Only SOME of Them Will Get You Fired!