Friday, July 9, 2010

Animator #85 - July 14, 1944. Holiday Issues

We have about seven of these newsletters left before we move on to the complete run of the New York based "Top Cel".

In order to get through them we'll probably be posting one every couple days.

Disney Studio

It has been the firm conviction of the leadership of the Guild that every effort should be made to try to find a basis for peace and harmony with the producers and particularly with our largest employer.  The following record is a perfect example of how far we have been willing to go in an attempt to bring about decent labor relations.

The following excerpt is take from a letter written to Mr. O'Rourke as Executive Secretary of the Association on December 29.

"On your return to this city I spoke with you in relation to the coming Xmas and New Years holiday. In our conversation you promised to take this matter to the Association and give me a reply.

"To date we have had no reply from you..."

On January 4 we received a reply as follows from Mr. O'Rourke:

"The matter was submitted to all of the members of the Film Producers Association and it was unanimously decided that the provision of the contract would be followed. The provision stipulates regarding holidays:

'If not worked, these holidays if they fall within the work week will be paid for at straight time.'

"Since Christmas and New Years did not fall within the work week they will not be paid for."

We quote our reply of January 10:
"you state cateqorically that, 'Since Christmas and New Year days did not fall within the work week they will not be paid for.' This, of course, creates an impasse which can only be solved by arbitration. You will recall that we pointed out to you that the intent of the contract contemplated six annual holidays and in so far as the Guild was concerned we would, in order to meet the producers half way, accept two other holidays in lieu of Christmas and New Years. We assume from your letter that this proposal was likewise rejected.

"Under the grievance and arbitration procedure of our existing contracts with the employer members of your organization, we suggest an immediate meeting to designate an Impartial Chairman. So that there may be no question we hereby offer to meet with you at anytime to designate such person to arbitrate this dispute..."

The remainder of the page is an escalating letter from the Guild's lawyer to Disney.

On page two we learn that -after a long struggle with Disney, the arbitrator found in favor of the Union.

It then goes on to explain that the company still refused to pay the two days wages under the pretense that the could "go to jail" for crossing the War Labor Board.  So they would wait for permission from the WLB.

It's no surprise that a company would spend so much effort to delay the inevitable payment of its obligations.

Page 3 lists newly elected board members including Chuck Jones from Warners.

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