Saturday, February 2, 2008

Let's Lose The Lagging Attitudes

When the troops came home after World War Two, many took jobs in broadcasting, film, and theater. Being college educated, officers tended to get management positions, while trade school trained enlisted men tended to gravitate to production/technical jobs.

This was such a standard practice that the original payroll system at NBC mirrored that of the military services with pay grades designated "E-1 to E7" for NABET broadcast technicians and "O-1, etc" designations for managers.

Managers were non-union; production/technical crafts were represented by trade unions; AFTRA, DGA, IBEW, IATSE, NABET, and WGA.

Now, here we are in the 21st century. Almost everyone in all facets of broadcasting, film, and theater is college educated, many with advanced degrees. Everyone starts out as an intern and/or production assistant at little or no pay. As soon as possible, they move up, taking the next job offered, sometimes production, sometimes technical, sometimes managerial.

The result is that young people in our business today discover a career path based on an accident of opportunity.

Therefore the traditional management/labor stereotypes have long since ceased to have any reality based relevance.

It is time for employers and trade unionists to re-evaluate the traditional "us vs them" paradigm and begin to look for ways to better utilize collective bargaining for the benefit of both management and labor to create safe, profitable workplaces that provide a decent living for all, and a product we can all be proud of.

Think about it.


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