Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nothing But Good News -Top Cel, 12/17/43, vol. 1 issue 1

Here's the first issue of "Top Cel" the New York Screen Cartoonists Local newsletter.

December 17, 1943.

We have a full run and these are in much better shape than the West Coast guild's, so we'll be uploading them in sequence once or twice a week for the next few years.

Prexy McKee must be offered reinstatement as must Sam Singer.

In an Intermediate Report to the National Labor Relations Board dated Dec. 6, 1943, Howard Myers, Trial Examiner, stated conclusions of law to the effect that "by discriminating in regard to the hire and tenure of employment of Robinson McKee and Samuel Singer thereby discouraging membership in Screen Cartoonists Local 1431m the respondent has engaged in as is engaging in unfair labor practices, within the meaning of Section 8 (3) of the Act." and that

"By interfering with, restraining, and coercing its employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the Ace, the respondent has engaged in and is engaging in unfair labor practices within the meaning of Section 8 (1) of the Act."

On the basis of these conclusions of law the Trial Examiner recommended that: 1. Cease and desist from:

(a) Discouraging membership in Screen Cartoonists Local 1461, or any other labor organization of its employees, by discharging, or refusing to reinstate any of its employees, or in any other manner discriminating in regard to the hire and tenure of employment or any terms or conditions of their employment;

9b) In any other manner interfering with, restraining, or coercing its employees in the exercise of their right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection as guaranteed in Section 7 of the Act.

2. Take the following affirmative action which the undersigned finds will effectuate the policies of the Act:

(a) Offer to Robinson Mckee and Samuel Singer immediate and full reinstatement to their former or substantially equivalent positions, without prejudice to their seniority or other rights and privileges;

(b) Make whole Robinson McKee and Samuel Singer...... for any loss of pay they may have suffered;

(c) Post immediately in conspicuous places in its New Rochelle, New York, plant, and maintain for a period of at least sixty (60) consecutive days from the date of posting, notices to its employees stating; (1) that the respondent will not engage in the conduct from which it is recommended that it cease and desist in paragraphs 1; (2) that the respondent will take the affirmative action set forth in paragraphs 2 (a) and (b) of these recommendations and (3) that the respondent's employees are free to become or remain members of Screen Cartoonists Local 1461......and that the respondent will not discriminate against any employee because of membership in or activities of that organization;

(d) Notify the Regional Director of the Second Region in writing within ten (10) days from the date of the receipt of this Intermediate Report, what steps the respondent has taken to comply herewith.

Those conclusions and recommendations resulted from a lengthy hearing during the week of November 8th., which was brought about by charges filed with the NLRB by the Local.  We charged the Terrytoons, Inc. was engaging in unfair labor practices and that McKee and Singer had been discharged for union activities.

In discussing his proceedings in his report to the NLRB the Examiner said: "The undersigned finds McKee's version of what transpired at this interview (when McKee was discharged) to be substantially in accord with the facts and that Terry made the statements attributed to him by McKee.  The latter was a credible witness,  Terry was not."

This is the first time in the history of the cartoon industry that an employer has been convicted of unfair labor practices.  We sincerely hope that such a need never again arises and that our relationship with all Employers can be as amicable and fruitful as they are with most.


Future meetings: Subject to the approval of the Famous unit, it was voted to hole the monthly meetings in New York one month and in New Rochelle the next..  The next meeting of the Local will be held early in January in New York City, the exact time and place to be decided later and the information given in a subsequent issue of "Top Cel".

On Famous  Unit: At that plant negotiations are continuing.  After a rather hectic week for the Committee during which time they met with Sam Buckwald, a unit meeting was held at the Capitol Hotel on Monday Dec. 6th. While some minor concessions has been made by the management of the Studio, the issues involving salary increases still remained 'status quo'.

As a result, the membership voted to reject those concessions already made and directed the Committee to notify Mr. Buckwald of that decision along with our intention of applying to the Mediation Board.  The Negotiation Committee consists of Tom Golden, Woody Gelman and Jury Weiner with the Attorney Mervin Cristenfeld and Pepe Ruiz.

On Terry Unit At a conference before the New York State Mediation Board on November 24, the company agreed to sign a contract on all points but wages and a few minor items that were to be certified to the War Labor Board.  However, the company reneged on its agreement and refused to sign unless we accepted their wage proposals.  After having the Local's attorney clear up a number of inaccurate statements that the company had made on War Labor Board policies and procedure, the members again voted to stand by our original demands and let the WLB decide what we were entitled to.  The case was certified to the War Labor Board on Dec. 14.

A vote of thanks was given to the negotiating committee of the Terrytoon Unit for the splendid job they had done in the face the most trying of circumstances.

The Membership voted to instruct the Terrytoon Negotiating Committee not to meet with the company for purposes of collective bargaining unless they were accompanied by their legal adviser.

Initiation Fees and Dues: As the Local is now well organized, it was decided that after Jan. 1st., the initiation fee will be increased.  Since most of our members are paid up in dues for the months of Nov and Dec. the members decided that all new members must be paid up for those two months to be considered in good standing.  Beginning with January 1944, all dues must be paid on the first of each month.  It is of utmost importance that dues are kept up to date.  This is the very least we can do to show our solidarity.

It was voted, subject to the approval of the Famous Unit to accept the system of initiation fees now being followed on the West Coast:

When earning up to $35.00 per week................$25.00
When earning $35.01 to $64.00 p.w..................$50.00

Flippings: The Bill Hudsons off for Miami for a three week holida.... Lou Zukor from the Coast, with Famous again......Lest we forget: Steve Muffatti (Deep in the heart of Texas) PFC/1297th. M. P. Co. Camp Barkley, Texas.. Howard Smith (enjoying his Lil Almer shoes) Fort Dix, NJ.  Geo. Germanetti (Just moving along), Fort Lewis, WA.......Gordon Whittier back at Famous after serving 60 days ....Joe Oriolo and family heading sunshine way (Florida)..... Phyllis, our Financial Secretary in bed with grippe.... Lee Donahue came to work Monday with his scotty dog.  It was a study in black and white......Vinci Guerra a proud Father..... Last general membership meeting place was a new one.  Unfortunately the janitor was sick and unable to heat the place, so we furnish heat with our arguements.....

From the Motion Picture Daily. Dec. 8/43: "31% Increase in Paramount Deals: Agnew. Sales of first two groups of Paramount 1843-44 features are running 31 per cent ahead of similar numerical groups last year, Neil Agnew, Vice President and General Sales Manager revealed here yesterday.  This is a record increase since the start of decree selling by Paramount, Agnew added.  He stated ....that sales of short subject are running 33 per cent ahead of last year......Sales of short subjects are placed at 6,108 independent contracts, compared to 4,592 for a similar period last year, Agnew revealed, representing an increase of 33 per cent over last year."

In journalistic circles, 'putting a paper to bed' is the vernacular for the final collecting and editing of the various items before the presses begin rolling.  We use that expression in the instance with our tongue in our cheek.
We set about the task in this, the first issue of 'Top Cel' with the entirely optimisitic feeling that it shall be the first of many to follow.  It shall be our trust and our endeavor to present all of the news concerning the mighty masters of the pen, pencil and brush not only accurately and efficiently, but  also as regularly as possible.
 We go to our first 'press' with the sincerest hoe that it will be our please to bring you nothing but good news.


1 comment:

Jerry Beck said...

Thank you for posting these!