From the Scribe Vibe mailbag

Scribe Vibe received an email from a reader who asked:

What happens to people who do scab writing during the strike?

— Joel Frost

Short answer: Nothing good. For more detail (much of which we’ve already covered, but what the hell), here’s labor reporter Dave McNary:

Any union that’s on strike will deal very seriously with strike-breaking and the WGA is no different on this issue.

A recent letter to WGA members from WGA West board member Dan Wilcox noted that the strike rule states:

“You must inform the Guild of the name of any writer you have reason to believe is engaged in strike-breaking activity or other scab writing.”

Discipline can include expulsion, suspension, fines and censure; nonmembers who perform banned work during a strike will be barred from joining the WGA.

When the strike rules were issued a month ago, the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers responded with information on its Web site showing how to go financial core — that is, give up full membership in the guild and withhold the dues spent on political activities in order to continue writing during the strike. The AMPTP pointed out that WGA members who take that step can’t be disciplined for working during a strike.

But, given the high stakes of the conflict, it’s probable the WGA would move to publicly embarrass members who take such a step. Said Wilcox:

“The mission of the SRCC is to ensure that the Strike Rules are strictly enforced. The SRCC will primarily concentrate its efforts on unearthing and discouraging scab writing. There is no more fundamental working rule than the prohibition against a WGA member performing struck work.”

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