Monday, December 03, 2007

Strike Notes: Week 4


Monday - First week for the new hours and shorter shift, the 8-11am for me today. Quieter than last week, but still a good turnout. One picketer had a giant "HONK TO SUPPORT THE WRITERS" sign made, a big vinyl one that takes two people to hold upright, which quickly becomes the star of Gate 4. Very effective. Back at Gates 2/3, the insano jackhammering continues, and the WB Director of Safety very kindly comes out with a box of earplugs for us to use and pass around.

StrikeSnacks: Homemade cupcakes from visiting Fox reality show writers! The writers passed out the cupcakes themselves, but plenty of food has appeared with no apparent owner. This prompted a discussion on how in this weird time people will eat unpackaged food that just appears. Would you do that on the street, normally?

Tuesday - The big event today was the exorcism! A gathering of horror writers assembled, some dressed as nuns and priests, and exorcised the demons of greed that have been plaguing the studios. Spent some time at Gate 4B (or is it A?), the one further along past the executive gate. Pretty quiet. And idiot me got a parking ticket for not noticing the CLEARLY POSTED no parking 8-10am Tuesday for street sweeping sign. Doh.

StrikeSnacks: A student and 'Bucks barista generously brought coffee and Krispy Kremes and picketed with us for a while. And I missed what may've been the coolest moment of the strike at WB so far, the delivery by hand of croissants from the Wachowski siblings! They dropped off the treats at Gate 4 and voiced their support before heading into work.

Wednesday - Nothing to report, really. We're still amazed that people driving past continue to honk in support -- they must see us every day on their flight paths. We appreciate the honks, peeps!

StrikeSnacks: Anonymous doughnuts

Thursday - Was @ Fox today for a change of scenery. Love the stress-free 4-hour parking right by the picket base camp, but the bathroom situation, public bathroom in a park, leaves something to be desired compared to Gates 2/3 at WB. Fox has you sign in with the time you arrive and sign out, unlike WB. This feels a little Big Brotherish, but I see how it makes sense, since it lets people make their own custom shifts like my 8:07-11:15am.

Good turnout when I arrive, and MASSES when I leave. Apparently Fox is a bit of a scene, being the chief Westside option for picketers. Spotted Matt Groening. Fox also has a true picket line, walking in a circle instead of crossing the street back and forth like we do at WB, probably because there's space for a real picket. After a bit of that, I go on "honk duty" with a few other people, trading in my generic sign for one exhorting honks, which I then wave and generally look like an idiot trying to get drivers to honk. Worked out okay. Got two consecutive busfuls of kids hollering in support, which was excellent.

Oh! And I got a pedometer. Was curious how far I was walking... curious no longer!

StrikeSnacks: An odd assortment of stuff. Bags of nuts, homemade springerle-type cookies, doughnuts from a few places, and a case of Red Bull. Zing!

Pedometer: 2.74mi

Friday - Heard about the rally at Sony only after it was over. Nothing about it on the Guild site, United Hollywood, or by email. Ah well. It was cold and rainy anyway -- props to all who made it down there!


Fun Joel said...

I thought that was you on Thursday at Fox, but I figured I was wrong since i thought you'd be at WB. I arrived just as you were leaving! Bummer.

Anonymous said...

Just a question from overseas: why do you need to make shifts if you are on strike? I could understand why you want to organize that there is always somebody there, but how come it Fox that makes you sign in and sign out and not the WGA?
Hope you manage to negotiate a fair distrib model...

Kira said...

Sorry I missed you, Joel! I may go back there this Thursday, not sure yet.

Anonymous, I'm not sure I understand your question: the shifts are for picketing, as you noted, to make sure the various locations are covered over the course of the day.

I assume the sign in and out sheets are to help track how many people show up at which location, and as a secondary measure to make sure we're all carrying our weight (the Guild bylaws mention strike hours as a member responsibility). I don't know why some locations have sign out sheets (all of them have sign ins). Hope that answers what you were asking... feel free to ask again if I misunderstood!

Anonymous said...

hi Kira, sorry for the anon comment a few days ago, my name is Zoli.

you pretty much answered my question, save for one detail:

you say "Fox has you sign in with the time you arrive and sign out, unlike WB."

so it seems to me its Fox and WB who are administering the sign-in and sign-out sheets and not the WGA? that would puzzle me, as I thought it's in the WGA's and not the studios' interest to prove how many people are actually "on the frontlines"


Kira said...

Sorry for the confusion. The Guild does administer the sign-in/out sheets: when I say "Fox" or "WB" in this context, I really mean "the WGA gate captains at the Fox/WB studio location." The studios themselves are not involved in the strike, of course, except as the object of it!

Anonymous said...

thats what I thought :)
thanks for the answer!