Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Top Cel - Vol 2, #14 - 10/12/45 - New York Rates Below Standard

Dick McDermott worked at Disney's, Screen Gems and the U. S. Marine Corps in the latter as a "combat artist" which consisted at times of "combat" but practically never "artist".


TOP CEL is most happy to welcome into the publishing field Famous Studios.  We certainly don't mind the competition.  As a matter of fact in some ways we are indeed happy about the appearance of "Bottom Cel".  Since we have gone on record many times in the past through TOP CEL with statements concerning policy, these same being available to any and all interested parties, we feel that from this new competition we may expect some reciprocal statements.

Inasmuch as our union is against any speed up system, no matter what fancy name is given, (bonus, incentive plans or other compensation), Famous decided to give one of the three aforementioned plans to several girls in their respective departments for the best performance that week.  Nothing is official.  You simply find a couple extra bucks in your check at the end of the week.  Of course, no one is supposed to know anything about it, specially the union.

The Executive Board has passed a recommendation to the General Membership that any extra money received should be reported to the union and returned to the employer.

The same employer has decided at this time, during negotiations, to give raises, which, as his own attorney pointed out, is considered unfair labor practice under the Wagner Act.

The Executive Board has informed Famous Studios that giving raises or bonuses during negotiations is considered unfair labor practice by the union.

Our Business Agent informed Fletcher Smith last week that one of his employees was not in good standing in the union.  For the first time in our history an employer had to take drastic steps and drop this employee from his payroll.  It is painful having to enforce our contract, however, it is not fair for all those members that pay their monthly dues and assessments to allow others to ride along without contributing.  This employee will not be able to work anywhere in our industry as we wrote to the Hollywood Local already.


Cartoonists in Hollywood have signed a new contract with Disney and Lantz which will up earnings of workers approximately $150,000 annually.  Biggest group to benefit is some 300 inkers and painters, who will cash in to the tune of $75,000.  Artists also will receive around $100,000 in retroactive pay.  Minimum follow [omitted from typed list, click image for details]


A union is a device to enable individual employees to organize their strength and combat evils that beset us all and to handle necessary problems that individuals cannot handle alone.  Sometimes problems arise that are bigger than mere employer-union collective bargaining, problems that are universal in scope, though vital to each of us individually.  Such are problems of unemployment, international unity, war, etc. These problems can only be handled by a union of unions.  Every employee  and every union have a stake in their outcome and all must work together.  So too with the problem of employer-union coalitions and union racketeers.  The Hollywood strike against these evils affects every one of us.  The success of gangsterism and company unionism in the movie industry will mean the same thing everywhere.  One union cannot fight the coalition of producers plus a racketeer union alone any more than one employee can fight an employer.  Unless all unions unite now against this high powered test attempt at union-busting in Hollywood, each union will have to face the same attack alone.  All employees understand this.  Your union is the device to help you make yourself felt in the fight.  Make your union take its stand now.


Promoted to S/Sgt, Dick McDermott is now in Washington, DC.

The exodus at Famous continues.  Leaving: Frank Little, Graham Place, Rube Grossman, Otto Feuer, Joe Goteri and Bob Little.  Good luck to you all!

Opaquer Joan Bassi was married Sept. 16 in New Rochelle.  The best of everything to Joan!

Woody Gelman returned recently from a short pleasure to Quebec.  Quoting Woody: "Those French girls, whow!"

Reg Massie now a civilian.

Connie Quirk, Dolly Knickerbocker and Gloria Feriola returned once again from their inbetweens.

Norma Spalding  expects her boy friend home any day now.  And so is Fay Nadel.

Barbara Angel has joined the group of glamour girls who are opaquing for Terry.

Ann Gardner left for greener pastures.

MT Sgt Art Babbit giving us his own home as his address.

Additions to the Famous payroll: Therese Varela, Nine Irwin, Mary Vassilio and Ruriko Hatakeda.

Dotty Weber's fiance home from overseas.

Dottie Romer is to be a Navy wife about the first of this year.

Bob Little's son visited Famous a few weeks ago.

Phyllis Shagrin is to be married in  Oct.

Grandpa Pat Carbone tells us that 1st Lt. Frank and Mrs. Betty Lee Carbone announced the arrival of a 7 lb. baby boy, Ronald Francis.

Johnny Wulp visited Terry's before returning to school.

T/5 Carl R. Anderson returning from the army is going to start working at Screen Gems.

Lt. Freeman Silva still waiting for his discharge.

We all express our deepest sympathy to Connie Rasinski upon the death of his wife.


We can still hear the applause Pete Burniss received at a Hollywood meeting when he severely criticized the American Federation of Labor.  But we all had to weigh his words carefully when he went on to ask who we could turn to if not that organization... the Producers?

Perhaps this is a good time to remind ourselves of the reasons for our affiliation and to take stock of what we have gained from it.

When the cartoonists first began to organize at Schlesinger's, the well knit group that was formed decided to remain independent because there didn't seem to be any central organization worth joining.  This group was strangled in NLRB red tape.  A year and one half later, when MGM began to organize all over, the same question of affiliation came up.  At the moment there again seemed to be no one to affiliate with.  Most of the professional and white collar workers, such as Set Designers, Office Workers, Cartoonists, etc. were having little success in organizing.  Although many of us like the liberalism, democracy and militancy of the CIO, it was a comparatively weak organization in Hollywood where almost the entire movie industry was AFL.  And it didn't seem as though we could join that organization which in Hollywood was saturated with graft, corruption and terrorism by the Bioff coalition with the Producers.

Fortunately for us, in the midst of all this AFL's darkness, there shone one ray of light and hope, a man and a group who vigorously and unceasingly fought the graft, corruption and terrorism of the Bioff-producer coalition.  That man was Herb Sorrell.  The organization was the Brotherhood of Painters.  And, as we all know, that man and that organization are sill fighting the same forces.

The cartoonists were the first group to make the unique arrangement of affiliation with the Brotherhood of Painters and today we are proud of what we have accomplished with the help of Herb and the Brotherhood.  We have grown from a struggling one studio group to a nationwide organization that won greatly improved working and financial conditions not only in Californian but in New York as well.

There has been a rumor going the rounds that some people now want to make some changes in this affiliation.  We in New York feel that such a step should first be discussed and planned by ALL the groups concerned not just by a few animators or publicists or white collar workers and that if a decision is made, all should move as one.

None of us dispute the fact that many of the leaders of the AFL lack the courage and honesty so sorely needed today.  Everyone knows that the Hollywood strike could have been settled long ago.  But we feel that this is  no time to be thinking about affiliations.  We have a very vital stake to win first.  And as Pete Burness pointed out, if we can't depend on the AFL, who can we depend on...the Producers?


At a recent meeting, one of our officials delivered an oration almost entirely lacking in "forensic eloquence".  That lack, however, was more than overbalanced by the sincerity of belief we all felt and know must exist in that speaker's heart.

The subject was "RESPECT".

We hope that the large number of members who heard that speech were impressed.  It set us to thinking.  After turning the thought over several times we couldn't help but feel that even had the speaker not said what he did in relation to union, the thought on any other subject would have been equally worthwhile.

All of the things that little seven-lettered word implies and represents and all of the forces that can be set in motion through it could probably put an end to wars, make for a better understanding between nations themselves and lastly, but by no means least, cause people to pass through their three score and ten in a much happier and contented frame of mind.

Most of us have always had a goodly amount of respect for our employers.  Whether the reverse was true has always been to us an unanswered question.  We, of course, would like to feel that there is a certain amount of respect felt towards us by our employers.  We cannot however, be confident in that opinion so long as a man to man attitude does not exist but instead, what we might laughingly refer to as a father and son relationship.  We do not imply that no respect can exist between a father and his son. What we do hope to point out is that fact that we are not children.

The old adage that has it about "Familiarity breeding contempt" is not true.  That only happens whe the parties had a good start of not liking each other before.  We want to go right on being friendly.  But we also would like to be respected.

We are not entirely certain who should be credited with the following but we certainly think it makes a nice ending to this.  "Sir, I disagree  entirely with what you have to say, but I will defend unto death your right to say it."

There gentleman, is a pretty swell example of "RESPECT" in action.


You have the right to quit your present job and take a better one.

You have the right to demand that your union find out what jobs are available, and represent you in getting them.

A properly functioning union is a clearinghouse for jobs.  Employers call the union to get artists.  Artists come to the union to find out what jobs are available.  In the past month or two, for instance, several employees have left Famous Studios and many others have inquired about jobs on the west coast and elsewhere because New York rates are BELOW STANDARD in the industry.  At present your union has made contact with a New York studio in of artists.  YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE YOUR UNION AS A CLEARING HOUSE FOR JOBS. DON'T HESITATE TO USE IT.

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