Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top Cel Vol 2, #13 -09/28/45; War Is Over, Unrest On The Horizon

Photographic Science Lab, Art & Animation Div., USMAS. Anacostia

TOP ROW: G. Rufle, T. Byrne, C. Nett, H. Rich, B. Roberts, T. Tobin, R. Kennedy, F. Greene, J. Ulm, B. Morrison, G. Snowden, H. Binder

ROW TWO: E. Cook Jr., G. Martseqis, E. Parks, D. Major, N. Schwarz, M. Arens, N. Dulin, C. Perkins, A. Kneitel, G. Goepper, S. Popko, R. House.

ROW THREE:  C. Rayburn, E. Haworth, R. Gotto, A. Wells, C. Shankland, K. Miner, Z. Jablecki, M. Provensen, S. Spohn, A. Franc, H. Hutsin, E. Carey

ROW FOUR: V. Wise, A. Rosenberg, F. Randolph, P. Lacallaide, M. Schulteis, L. Parks, P. Krisl, B. Hansen, J. Ebensperger, K. Coyle, B. Oates, R. Minick, M. Coy, B. Reynolds, T. Hersch, L. Perrigo

ROW FIVE: Paul Fennel, Lee Blair, W. Tracy, W. Kennedy, C. Glenar, A. Wise, L. Schmitt, A. Lowy, R. Stokes

Those not in the picture are: V. Bank, C. Byrne, J. Carey, J. Jones, E. Loughlin, W. Pattengill, L. Rhodes, C. Shinn, E. Sharpe, S. Whittaker, D. O'Malley, B. Schibler, V. Darling, R. Avery


Union Shop Clause: "The Union Shop Clause contained in the 1944 contract between the parties shall be incorporated in their 1945 agreement."

Duration of the Contract: "The term of the contract shall be for two years.  The contract shall contain a provision permitting the question of wages to be reopened at the end of the first year."

"Most Favored Company" Clause:  "The Company request that the "most favored company" clause shall be retained in the 1945 contract shall be denied."

Wages: "The panel recommends that the rates approved by the Tenth Regional Board (Calif.) for the animated cartoon industry be approved as minimum rates in the instant case.  The panel recommends further that the parties through collective bargaining fix the rates for the positions not listed here, using as a basis for those rates the rates recommended in this report.  It is also recommended that the parties, through collective bargaining, fix the rates for apprentices, and reconsider the whole question of rate ranges."


"September 6, 1945 - Eugene Kline, Esq. 1501 Broadway, New York City -Dear Mr. Kline: I have been advised by the Business Agent of Screen Cartoonists Local 1461 that your client, Famous Studios, is hesitant about paying the bonus money dues to it employees because of an uncertainty about present War Labor Board policies.  The Union has suggested that I ask you to advise your client of the existence of WLB General Order 10, as amended, which reads as follows:

'(a) The payment to employees, whose wage or salary adjustments are subject to the jurisdiction of the National War Labor Board, of a bonus or gift may be made without the approval of the National War Labor Board'......
The Union has already called this new policy to the attention of Mr. Buchwald but he prefers to await your advice before acting.  Will you kindly provide him with a copy of this Order as soon as is conveniently possible so that this matter can be quickly cleared up.  Very truly yours, (s) Marvin D. Cristenfeld, Attorney for Screen Cartoonists."

In this issue of 'Top Cel' we would like to acquaint our members with the mechanics of collecting the weekly assessment.  The results of the first two weeks, in spite of its being a new experience for many of us, were very pleasing.  There were a few members however, who were "confused" by the new ruling of the membership. To them we would like to state that the regular dues will not be accepted until all the assessments have been paid.  You can pay these assessments either every week or once monthly IN ADVANCE if you so desire.  Another point the members should keep in mind is that the receipts given them by the stewards should be kept as that is the only proof they will have that payment has been made.

At our General Membership a Grievance Committee was appointed to discuss with Mr. Buchwald of Famous, six or eight grievances, including the payment of bonus money, that have been pending for some time.  Mr. Buchwald has absolutely refused to meet with this committee ("the issues are not important") to discuss the grievances.  at a luncheon meeting on Sept. 12, the committee decided to postpone direct action to correct our complaints until plans can be completed.


Where grievances are concerned your union is a sword and a shield.  It is a sword in that it carries your gripe to the employer and fights for you.  It is a shield in that it protects you from reprisals.  But your union cannot go around hunting for complaints.  For instance, your contract with Famous Studios provides that existing working conditions shall be changed.  Yet the company stopped the use of pay telephone and cut out coffee drinking at certain times.  Recently the head of the Painting Department has gone as far as to threaten to forbid incoming calls as well as outgoing calls.  Although your union might have had these conveniences restored under the contract, no one seemed to care about them, no one seriously complained, so nothing was done.  You union exists to represent you in such matters, and in all matter large and small.  MAKE YOUR UNION EARN YOUR DUES AND YOUR BUSINESS AGENT EARN HIS SALARY by filing your grievances promptly and seeing that they're attended to.


At our last General Membership meeting on Sept 11, our members voted unanimously for a motion requiring every member of our Local to join the picket lines that will soon be formed around NY theaters to back the Hollywood strike.  A card will be sent to each member to determine what time of the day or night will be most convenient for him or her to picket.  Watch for the notice of a meeting to be held soon to arrange the details of the picket lines.


In a letter addressed to "Dear Mr. & Mrs. America" 'Roundup' (that Ralph Sommervile so kindly send us each week) speaks to the nation:

"For weeks, our paper has been publishing stories picked up from the nation's press quoting public figures who have been lamenting the plight of returning veterans.  At first those stories tickled our GI sense of humor, and we gave them the facetious treatment they deserved.  But it has reached at point today where there is too much of what was never a good thing.

We -your husbands, sons and friends, separated by 14,000 miles from all we know and hold dear -are fed up with this constant attempt to magnify servicemen's readjustment problems which, in the majority do not exist.  We feel that such ill-advised and unwarranted overemphasis on the readjustment bogeyman will result only in creating a war-neurosis among civilians.  It will make what should be happy and long awaited return home by the soldier a nightmare interlude of trying to convince his wife and parents and friends he is not a first-rate problem child.

What we really want you to know Mr. and Mrs. America, is that we aren't coming home a mass of jibbering idiots, expecting a life of luxury through the courtesy of overpadded bonuses nor are we going to be carrying the torch for a picture of a semi-nude wench whose only purpose was to brighten up drab living quarters.

There will be no need to lock the windows and doors or hide the children.  No need to self-consciously attempt to steer the conversation into channels designed not to upset us or flinch everytime we sneeze or raise a hand to scratch our backs.  We're not bloodthirsty, nor has our long exile in far-off lands made us subject to sudden fits.

No, Mr. and Mrs. America, we're just a bunch of damned lonesome Joes, and the only readjustment we're worried about is getting ourselves back across 14,000 miles to the USA.  And to us, all the crackpot dissertations about problems of the returning war veteran and all grandiose "welfare" schemes are strictly for laughs.  Don't let them mean any more to you."


Again we would like to remind the members who leave the Studio that they must write a letter requesting a Withdrawal Card if they don't want to keep on paying dues.  Unless a written request is received and the .10 fee paid, the members face an automatic suspension at the end of three months.  So please make sure you make your request in writing.


You don't have to:
Pay more than your maximum rent.

Sign a lease that is different in terms and conditions than your expiring one.

Accept an "escape" pr "escalator" clause (to the effect that rent will be increased if OPA regulations are modified or dropped) if your expiring lease didn't have one.

Be evicted solely because the landlord refuses to renew your lease, as long as you are paying the maximum rent.


No longer with Famous: Sara Tsurugka, Dorothy Kneitel, Lynn Cataldo, Lillian Chiodo, Bella Weinberg, Sylvia Alevy, Kamma Phelps, Hazel Heit, Otto Messmer, Brenda Reiner, Gloria de Gregoriis, Evelyn Gay, Norma Korn.

Recent baseball poll winner include: Peggy Breese, Dolly Knickerbocker, Connie Renze and Don Figlozzi.

Iris Tomberg taking over Kamma Phelps job, while Doris Zverin is promoted to Effects Dept.

More vacation news: Jean Maier, Nancy Lee Jones and Mrs. Bishop found themselves in Conn.  Elsa Fumaro spent her vacation at Lake George.

Gloria Wilson, Edythe Barnell, Patricia Ward, Eileen Saracino, Mae Goldstein, Kathrine Simonian, Jack Ehret and Frances Scribnik are new employees at Famous.  Why such a turnover?

Freddy Benz back at Terry's as an opaquer instead of an office boy.

Iris Tomberg will formally announce her engagement next month.

Jose Corral, just discharged from the Signal Corp, now working at Fletcher Smith.

Pat S. Barker is in Texas with her husband.

Edith Fiorino back at Famous.

Lou Zukor is the proud father of 6 lbs. 4 oz. baby girl. Joan Carrol. Congratulations.

Joan Bassi who is soon to be married, was given a surprise shower at the home of Mary Ann Marvin.  Almost all the girl from Terry attended.

Lillian Grossman out with pneumonia.  Get well!

Johnny Wulp left Terry's for a short rest and then...back to school.

More new employees at Famous: Edith Fiorino, Lew Ladsman, Nina Irwin, Rosemarie Rossi, Elaine Ryder, Therese Varela, Mary Vassilo, Pete Burness in New York.


In a recent public opinion poll one of our best known poll-takers pretended to find out for a second time how America stands on the closed shop issue by asking the usual cross-section an oh so unbiased and unslanted a question as "Would you be in favor of FORCING EVERY WORKER to join a union AGAINST HIS WILL in order to keep his job."  The answer to such a question, as would be expected, was a large percentage of nos.  We wonder if the response would have been any different if the famous unbiased poll-taker had asked "Are you in favor of protecting those who sacrifice their money, time and often their jobs to form a union and fight for a contract against the selfish free rider who will take the hard won increased wages and working conditions and even refuse to pay dues to support the organization that won the better conditions and continues to fight for them?


The war just ended, among many other things, has given us many new phrases to bandy about.  One of these is 'protective custody', for instance.  Those who understand what that means will laugh at its camouflage.

At Famous Studios too, we have our own cute little ways of putting things. Here, for instance, no one is ever fired.  They are merely 'forced to resign.'

A few weeks ago, we said good-bye to two girls who has formerly been members of the Inbetweening Department, and who also has been 'forced to resign'.

Who they were is not almost as important as several other thoughts and implications that enter our minds.  We believe it could have been and other two inbetweeners.  Or inkers, opaquers and lest they forget, animators and head animators.  It already happened in the Cutting Room.  You read about it in earlier issues of this paper.

To us, it appears to be only a small part of a larger pattern.  We might possibly be wrong.  We, most certainly, hope we are.

Whichever way that is, however, it raises the question of efficiency in our minds.  We don't believe it is possible to maintain the high standards of accuracy and efficiency required in the production of animated cartoons when the minds and hands that turn them out, are weighted down with doubts and questions involving such primary and essential things as security.

So far, the people affected have not been with the studio for as long as a period as have most of the animators, background men and those in a few other departments who can boast of long periods of service.  How long before these latter people are affected is an important questions the answer to which lies in the graces of either one person or us.

We don't mean to raise doubts in the minds the employees of the studio.  We do intend to raise doubts and questions in the mind of the employer whenever he feels like pulling some strings or pushing buttons on any 'statistic' at the studio.


We are happy to inform our readers that according to our information Vonda Bronsom, Henry Binder, Bernadine Schibler, and Charles Byrne were honorably discharged from the Anacostia Unit to be followed by Virginia Bank, George Goepper and Kathleen Coyle.

Abner Kneitel was in town.

After two years, Connie Auditore returned to the states from Italy.

Sgt Jim Logan, Pfc Wm A Perez, Cpl Nat Elliot, Ted Bonnickson, Leo H Buckner, and Cpl James H. Baldwin have sent in change of address.  Thanks!

Sgt. Stan Green back in New York wearing the Purple Heart.

At the Animation Unit in New York, those leaving include Myron Waldman, George Germanetti, Earl James, Al Eugster,  Dave Hoffman, Dick Blundell, John Harbaugh and Jack Zander.


"By staying the job the 4th of July US Labor made up in one day all the time lost by strikers since Pearl Harbor.  This magnificent fact knocks out every lie against labor told the past four years by 99% of the US press  by all the reactionary columnists of the Pegler type, all the radio liars, all the plain and fancy liars who poison the information of the American people.

Guild Reporter (July 13) has obtained documentary evidence on how the Associated Press first told the foregoing fact, then got cold feet and faked the news.

First AP story read: 'Time lost in all the strikes since Pearl Harbor was virtually offset yesterday by the millions of workers who observed Independence Day by laboring...'  Later the AP sent out a 'sub intro night lead' or substitute story story saying: 'Millions of workers observed Independence Day by Laboring... Theoretically offsetting to some extend the time lost in strikes since Pearl Harbor.

This 'to some extend' story, however, was further changed.  A 'second night lead' began: 'Millions of workers observed Independence Day by laboring but there still were some 50,000 strikers idle...'  The 'offsetting all time lost since Pearl Harbor' was this killed, and a fraud again perpetuated on readers."


The most important development of the last two weeks in the fight in Hollywood to liberate the democratic forces in labor of the IATSE-Producer coalition, was the entry of the CIO into the picture.  No sooner had the CIO Executive Board recommended to support the strikers than the General Council voted unanimously to comply with that recommendation.  Approximately 5,000 workers are participating in picketing the movie houses in Hollywood.  That collective picketing was the first that AFL and CIO units have done in cooperative basis.  Since the theater managers are beginning to scream to the producers and the producers magnates are finding that the box office "take" around town has been considerable lessened, this new tactic in the strike procedure has been considered as urgent in bringing an early settlement.

By now our members are familiar with the "small but mighty, bursting with the HOLLYWOOD ATOM" that the Publicists Guild is sending us daily by air mail, and where we see the daily development of the strike.  The members are also or should be, acquainted with "The Picket Line" sent to us by Herb Sorrell's office.  We want to thank them, because that is the only way we can keep our members informed of the facts.

A notable development was the arrival in New York of Roger McDonald of the Set Designers.  The Strike Strategy Committee have instructed him to carry out negotiations for theater picket lines here.  And to endeavor to consolidate activities here and in general keeping the people notified at the same time of the strike issues.

We wish to heartily welcome Mr. McDonald and to assure him that everything in our power will be done to facilitate him in his work.  With a committee established here in New York we should have closer cooperation in our efforts to keep the democratic forces in our unions.

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