Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Top Cel Vol 2, #5 4/13/1945 - Not Much About Animation


Negotiations at Famous do not seem to be going very well.  The company's counter proposes not to change the present contract but instead to give only merit increases to about 15 people, and to establish quotas or a bonus plan when ever possible.  Unable to make any head way, you Negotiation Committee has decided to call in the lawyers.

At Famous a misunderstanding about an Assistant that was being paid like a Breakdowner, was settled by the company and our Business Agent by making the adjustment retroactive to March 13 to whatever salary we agree upon in our new contract.

Service Ribbin went like hot cakes, so Pepe has ordered already 50 more copies from the West Coast.

Some members have asked for a break down if Top Cel circulation.  We mailed our last issue to 77 service men overseas and 71 to men stationed with the US (not including Signal Corp Unit here)  Also to 162 civilians, including workers in the West Coast.  Appr. 300 copies were distributed among the studios and the Signal Corp.

The War Labor Board approved the $10 raise for Don Figlozzi, however, Vincinguerra's and Creazzos' were denied.

As reported officially in the Brotherhood's bulletin, the proposed amendment to lower the per capita tax from .80 to .60 was defeated.
Number of votes in favor 10,994
Number of votes against   57,224
Majority against               46,340

In order to start the ground work for our coming Terry contract, the Unit elected to following members for the Contract Committee: Animation: Larry Silverman, Carlo Vincinguerra; Breakdown: Muriel Gushe, Steve Gattoni; Inbetweeners: Kay Feriola, Tony Creazzo; Camera: Lester Schudde, Joe Rasinski: Story; Tommy Morrison; Inking: Helen Brombeck, Cecile Niewenhous; Opaquing: Patricia Stockford, Margaret Adrian: Special Effects; Irene Rowland; Checking: Elsa Fumaro; Paint Technician: Frank Crampton.  The Committe will be meeting next Wednesday April 18th at 7:00 PM.

At the last General Membership Meeting the members, realizing that the Bioff-type unionism is a menace to the labor movement and knowing that the action taken by the Screen Set Designers, Illustrators and Decorators, Local 1421 and the Conference of Studio Unions is part of a struggle for honest and democratic unionism against IATSE-Boss Bioff-type unionism in Hollywood, and knowing how the fellows in uniform feel about it, resolved "that we support and sympathize with the action taken by the Screen Set Designers, Illustrators and Decorators, Local 142 and the Conference of Studio Unions in its dispute with the Association of Motion Picture Producers, Inc.  and the leadership of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees."


If there is wisdom in the old saying, "In Time of peace prepare for war", there is far more wisdom today in its reverse.

The problems of peace are here NOW, even if peace itself is still many months in the future, specially in the Pacific.  In less than four weeks, representatives of the United Nations will meet in San Francisco to construct a world organization.  Before Congress are bills to approve the Brenton Woods monetary agreements, essential to achieve full world production and employment in the postwar.

That is why CIO Pres. Murray has asked every one of his Locals to hold meetings during April to discues: "What the Dumbarton Oaks plan means to the people of the world and specially to American workers, the connection of the Brenton Woods monetary agreements with international security and its relation to jobs here in the United States through an expansion of foreign trade."

The American people must exercise their mighty political power to see that the peace is built solidly.  To exercise that power, they must know the issues.  the workers should take the lead in seeing that the issues are understood.


At Terrytoons last week we had a little incident when he Local requested the payment of dues from

three members who were in arrears.  It was unfortunate and in the future, the stewards are being instructed the get everyone paid up each month, and not to let the dues pile up.  We hope to save the situation that way.

At Famous, from now on, the stewards will give a receipt when the member pay his dues, and will keep the membership card to be stamped at the office.  At the first Friday after the 15th of each month, the Business Agent will give the cards to the company for their checking.  Especially in the Paint Dept. it is hoped that the girls will cooperate with the stewards in making the paying only during recess (and not at the last minute) as the collectors don't get any extra time from the company and they have to keep their averages up.  So please give the steward your money with the membership card, and make sure you get your receipt.


LT. DICK ALEXANDER, after finishing 50 missions in the Pacific came home and got married.  Congratulations!  A hint to all available males... PATRICIA STOCKFORD caught the bride's bouquet at a recent wedding.  MOREY REDEN visiting in California.  Sgt. JACK ZANDER a new Father of a baby boy.  NESTA THOMAS in Miami, a new subscriber to "Top Cel".  WILBUR STREECH promoted to Captain a few days ago.  Sgt. GEORGE BAKER returned from a West Coast visit.  PEGGY ADRIAN back after having her tonsils taken out.  EDNA MAY REGAL getting married Saturday at 10:00 AM in the Holy Family Church in New Rochelle.  HONARE SHARRER new worker at Fletcher Smith.  Pvt. IRVING DRESSLER visiting Famous.  Tricycle wanted, old or new: please get in touch with LESTER SCHUDDE at Terry.  JACK MENDELSOHN, S 2/C, now at Bainbridge, MD.  DOROTHY KNEITEL came back from Florida looking like a million.  SAM COBEAN, BEN LEVITOW and AL EUGSTER back after finishing basic at SCPC in Long Island.   VIRGINIA WHITNEY, now at Lt. (j.g.) stationed in San Francisco.  April 17th blood donors include: RUTH ADRIAN, JOAN O'CONNOR, JOYCE DRUCKER, PATRICIA STOCKFORD, PHYLIIS SAGRIN, IRENE ROWLAND.  All are invited.  Are you men going to let the gals get all the credit?


"Wounded veterans in Washington's Walter Reed Hospital" said the latest Time Magazine, "have twisted restlessly under the quips and songs of entertainers.  What they really wanted to hear were plans which the US industry has for their future -after they are discharged."

Last week Eugene Holman, president of Standard Oil Co. told them his company's plans for them.  Any discharged veteran who wants to go into the filling-station business should apply to Standard.  It is ready to spend $3000 per veteran to build him a filling station.  The cash will be a loan: a man's character will be his collateral.  Holman assured them that there are no strings attached to the offer; they need not sell Standard's products.  "There is nothing charitable about the plan..." said Holman.  "It's good business."

In May, Bulova Watch Company, Inc. will open a school in Queens to train severely wounded veterans as expert watch and clock repairs.  The school expects to graduate 500 men a year, will cost Bulova $500,000.

Ford Motor Company has set aside all jobs in once of its rural plants for disabled veterans.

Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co. has 6,362 veterans with medical discharges on its payrolls.

The Society of American Florists and Ornamental Horticulists believes that its members can employ 16,000 disable veterans for light, quiet work in green houses and showrooms.

The Leatherneck, the Marine magazine published in their January issue a story on the "Veterans' Benefits", a detailed and carefully arranged report of the service men benefits and opportunities under the GI Bill of Rights.  The response was terrific with requests for reprints.  The article has been reprinted in a handy pamphlet form.  The pamphlet is 16 pages, measure 10 x 13 inches and is printed in two colors. "Top Cel" believing all the cartoonists in uniform here or the West Coast would be vitally interested in the same has ordered over 400 to be mailed to all service men here or overseas.  If there are any copies left, we will sell them for five cents to our members here.  Place your order with your steward.

Governor Dewey signed bills doubling the number of State scholarships for war veterans, providing for the bestowal of State citations and emblems upon returning NY State veterans.  The Veterans' Scholarship Bill creates an additional 1,200 for the benefit of veterans who served either in this war or in World War I, each granting $350 a year to the recipient.


In spite of the present Hollywood strike, the motion picture industry contributed to the Red Cross fund $705,537.35. approximately $50,000 more than ever was given in such a campaign.

Arrangements were made by the Hollywood

 strike strategy committee for the 8000 to 9000 men on strike, who have not being able to donate blood through the mobile blood banks in the studios to march in a body to the blood bank at the Western Ave. branch of the American Red Cross and give blood.

The new Local 852 "The Animator" is quite a little paper.  We want to congratulate their editorial committee and we wish this ambitious and striking paper a long life.

Number of film industry people who have donned the uniforms of the Armed Services now has passed 40,000 Hollywood alone has sent more than one third.  From Actors and Extras, 1501 (including 49 stars).  Producers and Exhibitors who have gone into uniform total 48.  The Screen Directors Guild has 132 members and the Screen Writers 230 more.  The cartoonists on both coasts have over 400 and considering that near  half of our artists were girls (now the percentage is higher), the number is probably highest in the industry.

Paramount has extended its releasing deal with George Pal for his "Puppetoons" for another year.

The 30th anniversary of 20th Century Fox was also a double anniversary for Paul Terry, 30 years producing cartoons and 10 years with Fox.

Rumors: That Walt Disney plans to make a "Currier and Ives" feature.

The War Production Board has announced that Producers of educational training and factual films draw a 50% increase in direct allotment of 35mm raw stock for the second quarter of 1945.

Morey and Sutherland have scheduled a series of 16mm films titled "What Do You Want To Be?" depicting in live action and in color, various vocational pursuits for young people.

We read in Variety: "Metro's cartoon Dept. with a special crew of technicians designed and utilized their own original equipment in combining human and cartoon figures in action in "Anchors Aweigh".  Highlight of the human action sequence was Gene Kelly's dance fantasy."

Herb Sorrell, prexy of the Conference of Studio Unions and other strike leaders are off salary  for duration of the studio emergency.  Sorrell adopted the same attitude in 1937 when studio painters were on strike for two months.


Millions of people in the Allied nations -in Europe and in Asia -are in distress.  Governments will feed these victims of disaster until there is employment for them again; but it is from our closets that they must find their clothing.  These are people who have fought side by side with our men on world battlefronts.  The United National Clothing Collection is a joint effort of all voluntary war relief agencies.  Enemy countries will not receive any of the clothing collected in this drive.

Why not bring your spare clothing to the studio -everything wearable, shoes (tied together by pairs) and bedding, and the Local will take care of the rest.

What can you spare that they can wear?


Wage adjustments ordered by the WLB for employees of the the Traffic Div. of the NY Telephone Co. and Long Lines Dept of the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. are to be retroactive to Jan. 10, 1944, the Board just ruled.  The raises are $2 and $3 and involves 20,000 workers.

Holding that foreman in modern mass-production industry are little more than "traffic cops" who have no voice in policy making, a majority of the NLRB has just ruled that supervisory employees are entitled to collective bargaining under the Wagner Act.  Leaders of the automobile industry said the would do "everything in their power" to oppose the unionization of foremen and other supervisory employees.

After being certified by the NLRB as representing extras, stunts, bit part and singing players and after having won an election by a big majority, the new Screen Players Union finds that the NLRB, under terrific pressure from the Actors Guild and the Producers has modified its certification, limiting the bargaining rights of the SPU exclusively to extra work.

After reading PM article on the Hollywood strike we wrote John P. Lewis its Managing Editor, and this is what he answered: "...I confess, it now seems to me that the story was rather superficial --and I wish we'd had one of our labor experts out there to do it.  It is unfortunate that our budget doesn't permit us to have specialists all over the country.  But this case teaches me that in future we ought not to expect staff members to go out the their field unless we give them time enough to dig."

CIO Pres. Philip Murray, AFL Pres. William Green and US Chamber of Commerce Pres. Eric Johnson signed  a "New Charter for Labor and Management" last week, pledging

postwar co-operation for full production and full employment.  The program is designed to: Prevent postwar anti-union activity by some sections of management.  Prevent a drive to the left by some sector of labor.  Remove wartime restriction from labor-industry relations.  Maintain private enterprise.

Not signers of the Charter were the Manufacturers Association or the Railroad Brotherhoods.


Lt. George Giroux quite lonely for a while after certain nasty accident over Leipzig.
Tom Goodson promoted to 1st Lt.
Bernice Bernstein and Sylvia Palansky celebrated their birthday last week.
Gordon Whittier a father again.
Phyllis Prosk in charge of the WAC Medical Dept. at Fort Meade, made a 1st Lt.
Sgt. Cy Young at the animation unit here.
Pfc Harry Arpadi is drawing his own cartoon strips for The Pine Post, an Army paper.  Congratulations, Harry!
New background artist at Famous from Miami, Frank Backer.
Gif Hise met by accident in Chicago Art Institute Henry Syverson who is going to Culver City.
Dan Noonan in New York for a few days.
Pvt. Concetto Auditore is now at the Italian Front.  Good luck Connie!
Sgt. Ralph Somerville sent us their paper "Roundup" with his cartoons and a very nice write up about Sgt Wendell Ehret.
Johnny Gentle took his physical last Wednesday.  He is still with us.
1st Lt. Keith Darling writing us from Paris where he is stationed.
Sgt. Jimmie Clabby ordering some paint brushes from us.
Yvette Schayes transferred to Paint Lab.
Bob (Zeke) de Grasse finally hit the tropics!  He is having a grand time in the Philippines as we expected.
Rose Schoenberg leaving Famous.
Phyllis Shagrin glowing over her recently acquired engagement ring.


In our last issue we reported to you on the background of the Decorators strike in Hollywood.  Whe the Producers and the IATSE refused to recognize the fact that 99% of the Decorators Union wanted to affiliate with the Brotherhood of Painters; when the Producers and IATSE refused to abide by a decision of a WLB mediator; and when the WLB did not enforce its decision, the Decorators had no alternative.  They went out in strike.

Since then those who value the honest unionism that Herb Sorrell and the Decorators represent and feel the urgent need to fight for it, even in war time, have declared themselves, as have those who, for diversal reasons, are against such action.  The Decorators picket lines are now being respected among others by the Painters, Carpenters, Electricians, Machinists, Janitors, Set Designers, etc.

Pres. Walsh (Bioff heir) rushed to New York to get Pres. Hutchinson of the Carpenters to order his men back to work.  Hutchinson refused to interfere in the affairs of the Hollywood Local.  Members of Local 40, IATSE, the one involved in the dispute, now say that they can easily settle their jurisdictional differences if Walsh would let them do their own negotiating.  The "democratic" response of Walsh was to take over Local 40 entirely. (That is Walsh-Bioff unionism the Producers want in Hollywood and the condition Herb Sorrell and the Decorators are on strike against).

The reaction of our members in the service to the strike has been very gratifying.  Even though they are far from Hollywood and busy with more vital tasks, they understand the issues better than some people here seem to.  They remember their long hard struggle to build a union in Hollywood and they remember too, that they had to lick Bioff as well as the Producers.  We have contracted service men overseas, in New York and in Washington, and far they are behind Herb Sorrell 100%.

They want to make sure that when they return from war they will have a voice in their union affairs and not be dictated to by gangster leaders.  The force they want to see ruling in Hollywood is not Herb Sorrell, or the Conference of Studio Unions or the IATSE, but the workers themselves, the General Membership and anyone they democratically choose.


Talking about the conference The New Yorker in its current issue says: "One thing we can be glad of is that the conference is to be held in this country.  The United States is regarded by people everywhere as a dream come true, a sort of world state in miniature.  Here dwell the world's emigrants under one law, and the law is: 'Thou shalt not push thy neighbor around'.  By some curious divinity which in him lies, Man, has turned out more good than bad, more right than wrong, more kind than cruel, more sinned against than sinning.  This is the world's hope and its chance.  The Senator is right -when you have fluidity and justice, the people get on all right."

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