Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Anatomy of a Shambles

1695 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 38 39 40 41 42 68 Newer→ Last

  • Jackie Clark,

    Getting back to the shambles

    Really? Do we have to? I can't imagine there's anything more to talk about, but then the whole subject bores me shitless. I'd rather talk about the fact that people are still being shot by hunters. Or that we are still killing each other in quite large numbers on our roads. Or any number of things. But then, that's just me.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Jaymax,

    I'm sorry but the people who earned them (ie the membership) should be handling the residuals. They do that through their union.

    I'd still say, rationally, it should be through the agents which puts the union into an oversight role. The agents (through a collective entity, obviously) should cover any operational costs out of the percentage cut they get of the residuals, just as they cover other operational costs of getting actors paid. (of course, if agents aren't entitled to a cut of the residuals, then I'm talking complete nonsense.)

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Peter - your comment re democracy is quoting Winston Churchill.

    I think it is fair assumption - others have also made this comment here and elsewhere - those residuals likely played a role in targeting the Hobbit.

    It is not a conspiracy theory to see via a disclosure process how the fees structure, residuals and capitation are established.

    A separate organisation to handle the residuals has merit as residuals would also be payable to people who were employed independent of any union.

    We are talking about a workforce that consists largely of independent contractors. Why would say NZAE – MEAA(NZ)I ibe collecting these peoples residuals.

    Also if you are suggesting residuals are union only and you leave the union do you lose the right to have them pay you the residual entitlement?

    So residuals are best kept independent of the union. It is not a theory it is common sense.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Jackie, sorry to hear of your loss.

    At a funeral for a mate who was a mason, they said a few rites but the Irish Vampires had the best costumes. Green Capes & white Crosses. I googled and found out they were the Order of St Lazerus or was that Lazarus.

    http://www.st-lazarus.net/international/index.html

    I volunteered during the Earth Quake & ran around with heaps of retired guys, every second hand shake was Masonic.

    I haven't got it down pat yet but can certainly tell if they ride goats.

    [edit] It's the stories/lies we tell about ourselves that I find really interesting.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Winston on the left - "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    Peter - your comment re democracy is quoting Winston Churchill.

    Yeah, I knew that ;), and yeah, we could swap Churchill quotes all day. I believe he has some doozies about the Arabs.

    I meant by conspiracy theory just in the suggestion that the CTU were somehow conspiring with the MEAA before this in regard to residuals. A Union being upfront about its residuals payment distribution methods is certainly necessary though.

    But at least a union has the luxury of the members being able to look at those structures and request changes.

    Also if you are suggesting residuals are union only and you leave the union do you lose the right to have them pay you the residual entitlement?

    No. The Union should also be responsible for getting residual payments to non-members, (and other international brother/sister unions, which is obviously not their direct membership.)

    @Jaymax, not sure if agents get residual cuts. I suspect they don't, but on the other hand, perhaps if they're negotiating extra residuals on behalf of their clients they have some mechanism in place to get a cut direct from their client?

    Either way, I'm not sure why an agents union would be any more effective than an actor's union. Certainly, it puts the power in the hands of a very limited number of people which is dangerous imho. At any rate, I don't think the actors would be thrilled with the idea. I know writers wouldn't be.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    All for one, one for all, look after their own, support scholarship for non masons, as well.

    Hmmm.... I applied for a masons scholarship once. They asked me why I was studying, and was I planning to have children any time soon, and would that interfere with my studies.

    BINGO, I thought to myself. Then... what shall I do about this...

    I responded by saying it wasn't an issue for me, because we were infertile. That shut them up.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Dexter, I hope you haven't mistaken this for the SoloPassion site or somesuch.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    SoloPassion - no I don't need a hand job though thanks for asking.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    DexterX- when it comes to actually getting collected funds back to people eligible, independent agencies have a far, far worse historical reputation than organisations run by the people meant to be receiving the money. Collection agencies tend to be very good at not following up with people who would be taking the money from them, and very good at creating self perpetuating bureaucracies. While in an ideal world any well auditable institution should do the job equally well, pragmatic history has creator controlled ones doing a better job.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Craig, what do you think of Adverse Occupation or Squatters Rights?

    Here in Christchurch, so many are without safe fully serviced housing and still so many vacant overpriced apartments in Christchurch. There is a real need and a simple solution.

    Squatting, as the Air Raids over London force the UK Govts hand on humanity over property rights, the birth of the welfare state in Britain. So too, I see the very real human need pushing against property rights.

    This could be a course of govt facilation, or if that fails, citizen action & judicial rulings.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Getting back to the shambles
    Really? Do we have to? I can't imagine there's anything more to talk about, but then the whole subject bores me shitless.

    I with you on this Jackie. I just wish everyone would have a cup of tea and a lie-down, and wait upon what our masters at Warners might decide. After the bloody awful display by Holmes on Q&A yesterday, the whole debate has struck rock bottom.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    David Hood - where is the proof of what you say.

    Also when you say - "Collection agencies tend to be very good at not following up with people who would be taking the money from them, and very good at creating self perpetuating bureaucracies", - are you talking about the Millions of unpaid residuals held by MEAA Oz?

    I would say it would need to be an entity independent of the union that does just that thing - the collection and distribution of residuals.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Can I ask is that a generalised distrust of unions or just this particular one? I thought we had a long history in this country of unions providing services and handling funds responsibly.

    It's what makes the current situation so disappointing for me.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    "About 40" supporters turned out in CHCH...

    I was in Matama...ahhhh, Hobbiton today. About 10 people showed up. Had a beer with a Hobbit and a Warlock from Tauranga. The Hobbit had been an extra in the first film, and was friends with a swordsmith, another metal working craftsman (forgot what he said, there) and a couple of the seamstresses. He said that everyone was very happy with the way they were treated, how PJ made a point of chatting with them all, how they were well paid and well catered for, and how good the daily food baskets they would get each day were (fresh trout, tuna, salad, etc). Reckoned he'd never had it so good.

    As for poor Gollum, though - he was pretty badly vandalised last night. Lost his eyes, nose, ears and chin. WTF is wrong with some people. :(

    It seems to me that even if AE had valid issues that needed addressing, they should have targeted maybe Spartacus, not The Hobbit, as it appears PJ is already a fair - magnanimous, even - employer.

    Which leads me to wonder if, in their naivety, they targeted PJ because he was not only a big name, but also a name that was devoted to NZ and the NZ Film industry. But because of legalities making it impossible for him to come to their party, it all went sour - thus creating a opportunity and a situation that Warner's could exploit financially, and the government could exploit politically.

    But I'm just speculating, of course...

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    Which leads me to wonder if, in their naivety, they targeted PJ because he was not only a big name, but also a name that was devoted to NZ and the NZ Film industry.

    I think they just figured there was zero chance of it going offshore. Time will tell...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Collection agencies have no better history than the MEAA at distributing rightfully owed revenue, as anyone who's dealt with CLL can tell you.

    However, the fact that MEAA clip the residual ticket at 15%, as opposed to SAG at 2-3% I'm told, should give anyone pause. If I were not a member of MEAA(NZ)I, and I think the Devil would be bringing me my card on ice skates if I were, I should be very reluctant to have the MEAA handle my revenue in any of its incarnations.

    Which raises a point for the industry - if residuals are to become a standard part of contracts (a Good Thing tm IMHO), it behooves the industry to sort out how it will be managed to everyone's satisfaction. It might even be best to get SAG to help out.

    Personally, I think Mr Whipp was more motivated by the prospect of unionizing the NZ industry after the Australian model than he was by the prospect of handling the residuals, but I may be giving him more credit than he deserves.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Don't know why that double posted. But deleted.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    IMHO the most sensible thing the unions could have done is take part ownership of today's rally and join the rest of the workers. AE members should have been there and made a point to be there, but shut up about the recent past and just simply said: 'let's keep the hobbit in nz'/keep NZ strong, and nothing else. Everyone, including the unions, CTU rep should have been there in contrite support, and saying: unions can be good things for keeping nz strong, let's work together for everyone. Philippa Boyens was the NZWG Executive Director for years FFS. She's not anti-union. Enlist her, get her onboard with helping the union image, by pulling your socks up and showing some maturity even if it means biting your lip a bit. Keep it positive. And for all that is sane: whether you believe it or not, don't frgging attack Peter Jackson; which means forget the 'all we wanted is a meeting he could have solved it with that but he didn't' line.
    If the debate is about positive national identity, put the unions on the positive side of that debate instead of f**king Gery Brownlee/John Key.
    Hint: attacking John Key for taking advantage of the situation will not do it.
    But yeah, as Gio says, resist the temptation to pull this revisionist spin conspiracy BS. Saying 'all we wanted was a meeting'/'it was never boycott' is not a great move when there's letters out there in the public sphere that quite clearly say the opposite.

    qft

    Yes! Hear, hear!

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    let's convert our rest homes into primary production facilities. We'll catch up with Australia in no time, while supplying the world with dog tucker.

    Soylent Green...


    Brendon, you do realise that there are also some pretty amazing, high paying, creative work in the film industry, don't you? It's not all slave labour.

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Jaymax,

    Either way, I'm not sure why an agents union would be any more effective than an actor's union. Certainly, it puts the power in the hands of a very limited number of people which is dangerous imho

    I can think of several reasons, not least being the financial incentive to negotiate better deals and to make sure the money comes in, which doesn't apply if the union isn't taking a cut (and unions taking a % cut of any earnings is just a disincentive to membership). I can't help wondering if both the union AND the agent in Australia manage to take a % bite.

    As for the power - splitting things so that the daily financial operations are distinct from the oversight, and making sure the union is in a strong position to provide oversight (visibility of the accounts etc) tends to be effective (and more fraud and apathy resistant). Oversight of the process is a better reflection of the functions unions typically provide looking after members, than being involved in handling and distributing member 'wages'.

    However; I suspect here is not the best place to have this debate. :)

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Sacha - I used to hold the view that the unions and the CTU were the only honest ones in the game – the reality is light years from this. IMHO the CTU are pretty self-serving and incompetent.

    With NZAE Hobbit situation it is to my mind BS perpetuated by fools - I have a trouble tolerating bullshit and fools.

    I do not hold a blanket distrust of unions Mike Treen and John Minto are great advocates and get on with “it”.

    However some unions, like a lot of NZ institutions, fail to fulfil the purpose for which they were established – there is more concentration on the spin and manufactured melodramatic aspect than on what should be done or what is required to be done in accordance with the rules or the law.

    To make the point - Take for instance the Auckland City Council – they resourced the parking enforcement section and left the building inspectors under resourced – what is going to cost Auckland more. What was the prime function Council should have attended to and what was the ancillary role they could at their discretion pursue.

    It is interesting that up until Nov 2009 there was no basis at law for the 50 metre bus zone – The Council never actually passed a by law – they did not go through the process – but hey they issued the fines anyway from 2004 through to 2009 when the road user rule came in.

    This last 18 months I have represented three people, who were members of unions, who had employment problems and the unions couldn’t be arsed helping them.

    The thing is that “we” were able to get settlements for them. I have two more on the go at the moment. By “we’ I am talking about me and the worker working together and taking matters to mediation, the Authority or the Court. These situation have included CTU affiliated unions.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Dexter, you're concatenating a number of different problems as if they all share a common source. It's not helping your overall argument.

    If you want to discuss how bad unions are, by all means make your case, but bringing the ACC into the discussion is pointless and the sort of tactic that weakens your case, as we may tend to disregard you as a raving loony.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    I think they just figured there was zero chance of it going offshore.

    Yup. That, too.

    I think it'll stay here. Too much has been invested already.

    But an opportunity to play out an endgame presented itself, and so will be played out by those who have the most to gain in spinning it out a bit - Warner's and Key.

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    And how come Paul Holmes is an "award-winning journalist"? He doesn't write all that well, and he's certainly not investigative...

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 38 39 40 41 42 68 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

This topic is closed.