REPORT ON LAST MEETING
The Famous Unit of Local 1461 met at the Commodore Hotel last Wednesday to accept or reject the current proposed contract in part or total.
the votes were taken after separating the two main issues into:
a) the minimum salary acceptable in individual departments, and
b) the acceptance of the incentive bonus system.
the vote was so taken for convenience, it being understood that one issue influenced the other.
(Ed. Note: Several large and influential unions have favored the incentive bonus plan as a fair plan which will benefit employer getting increased production and increased profits with the same overhead and the employee an increase in money he takes home though his base salary (this in itself should be fair) remains the same. This would be the happy result of productive interdepartment teamwork. To be frowned upon would be "dog eat dog" competition whereby an impossible quota might be set a future date. Standards for production in the cartoon field, such as an individual quota, whether by footage or drawings, can be more harmful than helpful. It is well known that footage count and drawing count can easily lie about the individual's ability. As an example, the "Animator" currently discusses quotas as follows:
As long ago as September, 1942 when the Guild was negotiating the Disney contract with Mr. O'Rourke, we discussed footage, which is the heart of this issue. At that time, Mr. O'Rourke stated that the method followed by certain employers of computing production by animators and their assistants on a straight footage basis was senseless. He compared this situation to the Garment Industry, with which he is very familiar, where, according to Mr. O'Rourke, the problem was met by setting different prices for each different garment, depending on the complexity of the operations required to make that garment. He said that if workers were called upon to perform more arduous and more involved specific tasks, their piece rates were evaluated upwards and settled accordingly: and that the union and the employers participated jointly in each such settlement. It was then agreed by the Guild and Mr. O'Rourke that computing production in this industry on a straight time footage basis was incorrect because it overlooked the many qualitative differences between the content of each scene, and made no greater allowance for the complex than for the simple scene. At the Disney Studio this situation had long been recognized, and there, at one time in computing an animator's work credit was given at the rate of anywhere from 1/2 to 2 1/2 time screen credit, and this was done by a committee which reviewed the particular animator's specific contribution; he
was accordingly credited on the basis of the content, the complexity and the the involved character of each scene, and not on any simple footage theory. As a result, greater credit was given for example, for the creation the "Seven Dwarfs Dance with Snow White" scene than for the depiction of puffs of smoke coming from some toy engine.
It would be inadvisable to experiment here on something that has been rejected by the majority of the industry.)
Acceptable salaries were voted upon. Various departments wished additional conditions re: the bonus plan, such as correction effects, grouping of apprentices and experienced workers. Strong sentiment was expressed for a union shop and also for a security clause being included in the contract. This would give the union the right to dispute questionable firings.
Entries for "Oscar"
SCREEN GEMS: "Imagination"
METRO: "Yankee Doodle Mouse"
GEORGE PAL: "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins"
DISNEY: "Reason and Emotion"
LANTZ: "The Dizzy Acrobat"
SCHLESINGER: "Greetings, Bait"
The only two studios that did not make entries were Famous and Terry. (For-r-r shame!)
The new permanent voice for "Andy Panda" as signed by Walt Lantz will be Walter Tetley. You know Tetley as Leroy in the "Great Gildersleeve" on WFAF Sunday night.
Mexico will be the first to try out the visual education project which is designed to reduce illiteracy in the Western Hemisphere. Disney's cartoons will be used to teach reading, writing, biology, physiology, etc. These plans are being working on by representatives of the U. S. Government, Mexico and the Disney Studios.
JOE DENEROFF has completed the cycle......back at Famous after four years....last stop was the 1st Motion Picture Unit of Culver City making pictures for the Army Air Force.....GORDON SHEEHAN now directing at a commercial studio....HOWARD POST is making his debut at in-betweening.....GEORGETTE SORENSON, one of Famous' new inbetweeners to be is now Mrs. Johnny Clark.....seems that RUTH GORMAN and RHODA GRAPEK have been secretly depositing at the Blood Bank.....DENNY CUNNINGHAM is doing all right at MGM....with sunshine too.....SAMMY TIMBERG is awaiting the arrival of a b-a-b-y......HERBIE FRANKEL now with the Publicity Dep't at MGM. Also seen at the Blood Bank were ELI LEVITAN, OTTO FEUER and RUBE GROSSMAN.....wall sockets scare NORMA KORN who's afraid of "Transfusions".....who could say "Fresh from Schless"? (last issue of TOP CEL).
TOP CEL hopes to have flippings from the Terry Unit in the next issue.
KNOWING OUR UNION
The Executive Board
A total of 14 people form the membership of the Executive Board.
The President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Financial Secretary (collects money), Treasurer (gives out money), Conductor (administers oaths) and Warder (Sgt. at Arms) plus three Trustees (check finances) and
two delegates from each unit.
(The Business Agent is not a member although he attends, makes reports and carries out instructions given him.)
The Board meets twice a month, the first and third Monday. It brings reports and general recommendations to the Membership, administers small matters like paying bills, sending letters, etc., and also acts in the capacity of an advisory body. For example, in the latter instance, the negotiations committee of the Famous Unit which is composed of three members, cannot very easily call a general membership meeting for each problem. Here the Board represents the Membership.
Any union member is invited to be present at any executive meeting, although he does not possess a vote.
The General Membership acts as the last word in any union matter and has the power accept or reject any idea put forth by the board.
A well informed General Manager in a check and balance system with the Executive Board is vital to form a responsible and progressive union.