Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top Cel Vol 1, #22: 11/22/44: Turns Blue


The following motion was passed at the last General Membership on November 14th at New Rochelle:

"Moved, seconded and carried; to establish a rule that members must attend at least one out of three consecutive meetings and that offenders be fined equivalent to a month dues and that they shall be fined additionally for each meeting consecutively missed thereafter. This ruling to be effective as of December 1945."

It shall be noticed that the members themselves desired this ruling in preference to one suggested by the Executive Board calling for a $2 fine for a similar offense.


This issue of "Top Cel" is given over almost entirely to a reprint of THE ANIMATOR of Nov. 13, 1944 sent to us by airmail. It deals with the recommendation of the War Labor Board panel on the Disney negotiations. We feel that this information is of primary interest, so we are dispensing with our usual features for this issue.

Once more this proves the importance of close relationship with our sister union on the West Coast. What affects Hollywood affects us and vice versa. "Top Cel" shall always endeavor to maintain this close relationship and good will.

The following material is self explanatory:

The Highlights of the recommendation of the War Labor Board Panel, consisting of a labor member, a representative of industry and a public member, are outlined below. The Company and the Union have ten days in which to make comment on the Panel's recommendation. The recommendation, along with these comments, will then go to the Tenth Regional War Labor Board in San Francisco. On the basis of the recommendation they will then set down an order. We will then have a decision. The decision of the Tenth Regional War Labor Board can then be appealed to the National War Labor Board in Washington, this is the final step.

Story Director and Storyman (The Union withdrew the wages as a dispute from the WLB as this matter probably will have to be decided in the Treasury Dept. Hearings are now being held with the Treasury concerning writers in the industry.)

Storyman Specialist, (Story Sketch, Continuity Artist, Narration writer, etc.)
minimum $85.00
Apprentice First 4 months........,,,...$65.00
Apprentice Second 4 months..........$70.00
Apprentice Third 4 months.......,,....$75.00
     The Panel recommends the elimination of Class II except as a tryout  for one year with the possibility that where agreement is reached between the Union and the Company this time can be extended.

     The Penel recommended an increase of $2.50, from $35 to $37.50.

     Scene Technician
     The Panel recommended the elimination of tryout for one year leaving the minimum at $85.00

     Animation Checker
     The Panel recommended the minimum be raised from $55 to $60.

     The Panel recommended a $5.00 increase, from $32.50 to $37.50.

     Recommendation for a $5.00 increase, from $30.00 to $35.00

     Assistant Supervisors Ink and Paint
     Recommendation for an increase of $2.50, from $50 to $52.50.

     Checkers Ink and Paint
     Panel recommended a $2.50 increase, from $35.00 to $37.50/

     Paint Laboratory - mix and match
     The recommendation was for a $2.50 increase, from $35 to $37.50.

     An increase of $5.00 recommended, from $25 to $30.00.

The Panel further recommended that the WLB proceed to establish brackets for industry based on actual rather than contract rates and to use those brackets to decide the issue of wages.

We have listed above only those recommendations of the Panel which were changes over the old contract.  The Local will no doubt protest the wages in the low end they are still not as high as wages paid common laborers in the motion picture industry, (laborers are paid $1.05 an hour, $42.00 per week).

On the sixth and seventh days - the Panel recommended 1 1/2 time for the sixth day, and double time for the seventh day.  Days off because of holidays, illness or accident on the job, lack of work, or a leave of absence to conduct union business, are to be counted in computing the sixth and seventh days for the purpose of paying overtime.

Dinner money -The Panel denied our request for dinner money after two hours of overtime for those earning $50.00 or less per week.

The Panel recommended the payment of straight time for holidays that fall on Saturday.

Vacations - The Panel recommended one week vacation after six months, and 2 weeks after 1 year; and further recommended: "All employees who are laid off or discharged without cause after six months service shall receive payment in cash for all accumulated but unused vacation credit at the rate of 5/6 of a  day per month."

The Panel denied the Union's proposal for accumulated sick leave, but, in denying it, made the following statement:

"The Panel, in considering this issue, feels that there is merit in part of the Union's proposal, particularly with respect to the accumulation of unused sick leave.  However, recent National War Labor Board decisions on sick leave make it pretty clear that its present policy is not to order the institution on the liberalization of sick leave plans even though stronger grounds exist than are present in this case.  For this reason, we recommend denial of the Union demand."

Military Service Provision -Our demand was denied although the Panel stated, "As for military severance pa, it has been the firm policy of the National War Labor Board to refuse to order such provisions in union contracts, even where they practice, in fact, already existed.  Under the circumstances, without considering the reasonableness of the Union's demand, we must recommend denial also on this point."

On the Re-release of Motion Picture Cartoons and the Re-release of Motion Picture Cartoons in Television Form -"The Panel has concluded from the information and arguments adduced at the hearing and in the briefs that this matter is a is a proper  subject of collective bargaining and therefore recommends that the Board order the parties to negotiate thereon either until a settlement is reached or until a reasonable length of time has expired without agreement."

The Panel recommended if no agreement was reached after a reasonable time the WLB would then take a hand in the decision.  As you recall we requested the funds from re-release to go to the men in service and television funds to go to the unemployed fund.  There has been no end of name calling on this issue, and we are particularly amused at the red baiting.  We would like to hear the same people, who are red baiting us for this demand, talk to Mr. Petrillo of the Musicians who has just received not only a similar decision from the Board but agreement with RCA and Columbia has been reached granting them 1/4 cent for 35 cent discs, 1/2 cent for 50 cent discs, 3/4 cent for 75 cent discs and 1 cent on $1.00 discs.  This will bring the Musicians Union about $4,000,000 a year for unemployment purposes.  Aren't Cartoonists entitled to the same protection as Musicians?

The rest of the industry particularly actors, writers, directors and cameramen have shown tremendous interest in our arguments in relation to the proposal.  Don't let anybody fool you in talking about the size of our demand -20% of the gross.  That is not the issue since the Company has refused so far to make an offer of 1/10 of 1%.

We are also amused at O'Rourke's usual ranting in the trades wherein he threatens and talks in terms of the possibility of attacking the legality of the War Labor Board itself form "several sides".  When the WLB refuses to grant us increases he not only goes along but he even refuses to join us in asking for increases for people earning $30 a week and then there is no problem raised of fighting the leaglity of the Board's position.

Severance Pay - The Panel denied the Union's demand for Severance Pay.

Maternity Leave - The Panel recommended, "Each female employee shall be granted a maternity leave of absence for two months prior to the expected date of birth and two months thereafter.  Seniority rights shall accrue to such worker during the period of maternity leave of absence, but that period shall not be counted in computing vacation and sick leave.  Female employees on maternity leave shall be paid for all their accumulated sick leave."  We were not given all we asked for but we recognize this as a step in the right direction.

As a result of the discussion at the last Executive Board meeting your attorney and Business Agent are preparing a letter of comment for the Board.

The industry representative on the Panel dissented from the majority on every single issue where it was recommended

that the members of the Union receive a benefit.  He only concurred in those things where the Panel denied our demand.


From Hollywood: "...the boys always enjoy reading your "Top Cel".  Every once in a while I hear some nice remark about it like -you have to read "Top Cel" to know what is happening out here... The situation out here is more or less in a jumble.  Ray Patin may resign as President as he has left Warners and is now working for a small outfit headed by Jim Davis.  Al Amatuzio our Vice-President is resigning as he now has a management job at Disney.  The boys all seem to be unhappy and want to move from studio to  studio.  Several fellows are trying to get availability slips to leave for Davis's and Industrial Films and a number are trying to do the same to got to Harmans.  Apparently the I&P departments in all the studios are having a terrible large turnover... Now for the other side of the picture.  -Disney is trying to tie up all his to men with seven year contracts for sceneing a very busy post war period.  Our Assistant to the Business Agent through in some figures at us the other night  (he is on the television comm.) that is is estimated that after the war when television get rolling they will be showing eleven thousand television hours per year.  He compared that with 600 moving picture hours produced per year.  Of that it is estimated from 75 to 90 per cent will be films -and that the cartoon will be getting a good hunk of that.  So that postwar picture should be a very busy one for the cartoonists... Let's hear from you and be sure the "Top Cel"....


On Friday evening Nov. 17, the Coloring Department at Famous held a party at the Capitol Hotel.  It was, by all odds, the most successful social event held that Studio since it was relocated in New York.  Most of the credit goes to Edna May Regal and Bernice Steinberg, both of whom put in many long hours of preparation for the show.

The Madalyn Laghezza, Lilian Chiodo, Rosalie Socolov, Carrie Richardson, and Maurice Alevy in particular, and to the Opaquing Dept. goes the rest of the credit.

The party entertained over 300 people, including a good number of service men.

Since the expenses, unavoidably ran quite high, it has been suggested that a voluntary contribution be made to help repay the girls in part for their swell gesture.


Yowp said...

What was Ray Patin doing at Warners?

roconnor said...

I think he worked on a few propaganda/training films for Schlesinger.

To my knowledge, he isn't credited on any Looney Tunes or Merrie Melodies.

These newsletters generate interesting questions like that.