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Schwarzenegger Talks Strike

As I’ve posted, in the past day or so, there’s been considerable talk that it will take a white knight to settle the Writers Guild strike, with attention naturally turning to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the likely candidate.

So with rumors flying over what role he’s taking, Schwarzenegger clarified where he stands on the strike. He said that he’s “talking to the parties that are involved,” but says that he has not taken any role in the negotiations.

“If I’m asked, down the line, I will get involved. But at this point, I’ve been talking to them, but I’ve not been asked,” he said at a Sacramento press conference today where he announced a suit against the EPA so the state can be allowed to enforce greenhouse gas emissions standards.

Schwarzenegger took no sides, and zeroed in on who he felt was really hurt by the strike. He said that those who will really “suffer” will not be management or striking writers, but the crews that find themselves out of work because their productions shut down.

“I think it’s very important that we settle that as quickly as possible, because it has a tremendous economic impact on our state,” Schwarzenegger said at the press conference. “And the people that suffer the most with a strike like that are the people that really are suffering because of living with very little money. These are the people that cannot make their house payments, or the people that now cannot make their payments for the kids’ school, for their homework materials and all of those things, so we see very quickly a lot of people suffering in California.”

He added, “And so I think that’s the sad story, because the studio executives are not going to suffer, the union leaders are not going to suffer, the writers that are striking, they are not going to suffer. Those are all people that have money. But the people that really — you know, the electricians, the grips, the set designers, those are the people that are suffering because they will not get paid now, and they are out of work.”

Afterward, Schwarzenegger’s spokesman, Aaron McLear, said that one of his Sacramento staffers has been in regular contact with each side as well as a federal mediator. “We have been watching this throughout the process, and we will continue to be engaged with both sides.” But whether Schwarzenegger takes on a more expanded role depends on how the whole issue develops, he said.

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