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Verrone: ‘Every step you take really does matter’

Verrone1WGA West president Patric Verrone has sent his first email message to members since the WGA announced its interim deal with David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants.

He indicates that more deals are coming but isn’t specific. “Some of our efforts are potentially very encouraging, some may not pan out,” he notes.

Verrone also praises SAG and president Alan Rosenberg for their refusal Friday to cross pickets lines at the Golden Globes, citing the pressure it brings on the congloms to return to the bargaining table.

“We are in a struggle with seven powerful, multinational conglomerates and, while our own dissension and disagreements are never more than a blog posting away, we do not see the discord in management’s ranks until it breaks out in a very public way,” he adds. “One side’s solidarity is the other side’s pressure. Your ability to hang in, to literally walk the line, builds the pressure on the other side.  Accordingly, every step you take really does matter.”

Here’s the entire letter —

To My Fellow Members,

As the first full week of the new year begins, we return to the picket line tomorrow with renewed determination to get a fair contract.  I hope most of you spent the holiday season relaxing with family and friends but, to those who leafleted at various locations, joined our very wet picket line at NBC last week, or spent any personal time and energy working with us to achieve our concerted goals, thank you.

Since I last communicated with you about the independent agreement with David Letterman’s company (the deal points of which can be found here: http://www.wga.org/contract_07/wwp_exec.pdf), Guild leadership has been working overtime on a number of fronts to take advantage of the opportunities that deal was designed to create.  Some of our efforts are potentially very encouraging, some may not pan out.  As soon as any one of them is a certainty, I will be sure to pass it along.  In the meantime, I ask once more for your patience and your resistance to reliance on rumors and misinformation – both good and bad.

As most of you know, on Friday the Screen Actors Guild announced that its members would not cross our picket lines at the Golden Globes and struck late night talk shows.  Allow me to once again thank Alan Rosenberg and SAG’s membership for that tremendous support.  That announcement (and the inter-Guild unity it professes) has brought real pressure to bear on the conglomerates. Pressure that can only be lifted when they return to the table (collectively or individually) to bargain a fair contract and put our industry back to work. 

Remember always that our solidarity is the key to our success.  We are in a struggle with seven powerful, multinational conglomerates and, while our own dissension and disagreements are never more than a blog posting away, we do not see the discord in management’s ranks until it breaks out in a very public way.  One side’s solidarity is the other side’s pressure.  Your ability to hang in, to literally walk the line, builds the pressure on the other side.  Accordingly, every step you take really does matter.

This week’s picketing schedule can be found at: http://www.wga.org/subpage_member.aspx?id=2536. We must continue our impressive presence on the picket line to show the industry our commitment and resolve.  And to confirm, once again, that we are all in this together.

Best,

Patric M. Verrone, President, WGAW