Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Hobbit Wars

542 Responses

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  • BenWilson,

    I'm not sure if "my petition is bigger than your petition" is particularly useful. When did principles become a popularity contest?

    I'm interested for informational purposes. Who, how many, why, where are they? Helps to inform whether this alleged union is actually representing who they say they are.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    but that should not negate Sir Jackson being called on to earn his knighthood and treat the serfs (not just the headliners) fairly.

    No-one has actually been able to point to any specific 'unfairness' on Sir Peter of Jackson's part yet. That's a big part of the problem that's causing rising frustration.

    Since Sep 2010 • 185 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Life need not be predicated on the ‘tyranny’ of the majority, the ‘sharp end of the spear’ is often vindcated and embraced down the track.

    I don't think the tyranny of the minority is an improvement.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Add up the participants in any film crew, and chances are, unless it's something with a cast of thousands (but remember, many of them will be doing it just for the hell of it, and going back to their day job), actors will always be totally outnumbered.

    Isn't that exactly the point Jacqui? The actors' actions don't just affect themselves, they affects thousands of other NZers

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    "I hope the ankle management course works,
    get well soon..."

    Ha ha, and thank you :))

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I'm interested for informational purposes. Who, how many, why, where are they? Helps to inform whether this alleged union is actually representing who they say they are.

    But of limited value.

    For every actor in the movie there's probably 10 crew who are getting nothing out of this dispute, except the possibility that work might not be there for them.

    That's like saying the people that use the buses would like the bus drivers to get back to work.

    If it was limited to actors it might be of more value for assessing the performance of the union - they obviously had a different reaction between Auckland and Wellington where the work would largely be.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    "Isn't that exactly the point Jacqui? The actors' actions don't just affect themselves, they affects thousands of other NZers"

    Yes, I am not arguing about that, but I was answering a post that asked how many actors vs. how many other parties - a sort-of demonstration of might being right? Any one section of any one industry will most often be outnumbered by the rest of the industry. Should individual areas not fight for recognition/conditions of employment/fair recompense? Or be bullied into not fighting?

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The actors' actions don't just affect themselves, they affects thousands of other NZers

    I think the assumption is that actors supporting their union aren't fully aware and concerned about this.

    It's always a prime concern of industrial action - how others are affected.

    If "impacts upon others" stopped unions taking industrial action then industrial action would never happen. If it didn't adversely affect someone then it would just be ignored.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    I see Kyle has more than adequately argued my point. Sorry - don't seem to have quite mastered the post-posting edit

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    If "impacts upon others" stopped unions taking industrial action then industrial action would never happen. If it didn't adversely affect someone then it would just be ignored.

    There's an aspect of proportionality to all of this. If industrial action causes catastrophic damage to huge numbers of people, far in excess of the interested parties, it's not justified. That's why I want to know the numbers. It's not irrelevant just because "principles" are involved. That's a cop out, a way of hiding self-interest behind words. Sure, we want to hear the principles, because even hearing what they are might shine a light on how reasonable they are. Preferably from the people these principles are supposed to be representing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Actually I disagree with this

    If industrial action causes catastrophic damage to huge numbers of people, far in excess of the interested parties, it's not justified.

    I' d say that if industrial action causes catastrophic damage to huge numbers of people, far in excess of the interested parties, it means you have a potentially very strong bargaining position. But to use it, you need to have the support of the people having the harm caused to them. But to get that you need to be crystal clear about what you are trying to achieve and why, and to be seen to be using it as a matter of last resort once people who can actually do something about your demands have not done so.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It's not irrelevant just because "principles" are involved. That's a cop out, a way of hiding self-interest behind words.

    Well you called it principled first. I think it's self-interest, but as long as it's self-interest at a reasonable level, I think 'who gets impacted' is a secondary concern.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Well you called it principled first.

    Actually that was Alec, and I was mocking it, comparing the principled stand to Custer at Little Bighorn.

    I think it's self-interest, but as long as it's self-interest at a reasonable level, I think 'who gets impacted' is a secondary concern.

    So long as you use the phrase "at a reasonable level" without qualification, I can't argue. But I don't think the impact on others is ever a secondary concern.

    David

    But to use it, you need to have the support of the people having the harm caused to them.

    OK, fair enough, I should have said " unwanted catastrophic damage", to account for those who buy into having catastrophe visited upon them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    If "impacts upon others" stopped unions taking industrial action then industrial action would never happen. If it didn't adversely affect someone then it would just be ignored.

    It's meant to mainly adversely affect the employer. In this case it'll have very little effect on the employer, in fact they may well be able to save money by making the movie elsewhere. Obviously industrial action has collateral damage. A strike by dockworkers adversely affects people waiting to import or export goods and that can have a flow on economic effect. But it's rarely as directly affecting as this case, IMHO.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Yes, I'll still be able to watch The Hobbit regardless of where it's made. In this case, pretty much the only people who will be hurt will be the other workers, and any other businesses that might have benefited from the money flowing around, and perhaps tourism.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    So long as you use the phrase "at a reasonable level" without qualification, I can't argue. But I don't think the impact on others is ever a secondary concern.

    They're all judgements. Yes the people who need to catch the bus are really inconvenienced by the bus not turning up. You have to make up your mind as a person considering industrial action which is the greater 'evil' - your long term position which you obviously feel is wrong vs the short/medium/long term damage your action will have. As well as the likely chance of the action leading to positive change.

    But if you always put other people ahead of yourself when considering industrial action, you're almost never going to take it. If it's not inconveniencing or hurting someone financially, it's not done right.

    It's meant to mainly adversely affect the employer.

    Well that's a limited view of it. Some employees can't directly adversely affect the employer. The most likely people adversely affected are customers, and them being affected hurts the employer.

    In the current dispute, the union has a hard line to walk. The employer they're trying to get to is Warners, and the possible consequence is the films going elsewhere which probably doesn't hurt Warners much at all, but it does hurt other colleagues and friends in the industry.

    I think I'd like to hear more from actors involved in the dispute and their reasoning. What we've heard from that side so far seems to have made little sense, it's not helping them at all.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    Minister Chris Finlayson met husband and wife filmmakers Sir Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh at the Beehive this morning over the issue

    They've been listening to you Craig!

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10678126

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Cox,

    Actually I disagree with this:

    "If industrial action causes catastrophic damage to huge numbers of people, far in excess of the interested parties, it's not justified."

    So do I, this is not a reason not to strike. It is however, a reason to make pretty damn sure that your strike is well managed in terms of legality, public perception, and membership approval.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    But if you always put other people ahead of yourself when considering industrial action, you're almost never going to take it.

    And I don't hear anyone suggesting that. This is a question of numbers and that explains my point that a counter petition might be illuminating. It matters how many people you hurt, and how hard you hurt them. I think the people being hurt at least have a right to hear why they're being hurt and who is doing it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    "It matters how many people you hurt, and how hard you hurt them. I think the people being hurt at least have a right to hear why they're being hurt and who is doing it."

    They're not hurt yet. They may not get hurt. There's a lot of fear around, which is understandable, and that may hurt - I'd think the actors are also hurting too. Have they been used as a cat's paw?

    Any action which jeopardizes, or appears to jeopardize, people's livelihoods is something which deserves serious, calm, rational thought. My fear is that someone has pushed for action while either not knowing all the facts, or through some ulterior motive. It may be that anyone outside the industry will never know exactly what the truth is. Like - was there a ballot on what was the next and best move? Anyone outside the union would be guessing who was for and who was against, but those in the union should know. But as an outsider, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting to find out. It's private - it's family.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Any action which jeopardizes, or appears to jeopardize, people's livelihoods is something which deserves serious, calm, rational thought.

    Sure, and having been taken (and it has), it deserves to hear just how much it's hurting/scaring/threatening everyone concerned.

    Edit: Oh, and threatening to hurt someone is hurting them. It's not quite as bad as actually hurting them, but it's the difference between assault and battery.

    Edit 2: eg is it really better to say you're going to bash someone so you can take their wallet, or to actually bash them and take their wallet? Yes, of course, but it's still robbery.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan King,

    They're not hurt yet. They may not get hurt.

    There are people losing work already. Some have been working for some weeks (or months) already and were stood down last week and this week.

    Since Sep 2010 • 185 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    "There are people losing work already."

    I stand corrected on that point. And yes, that would hurt.
    However, on the idea that by taking certain action, you are threatening to hurt people, I'm not so sure.

    The bottom line for me is this: What or who started this? Did everyone involved have all the facts? What is happening at the moment?

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Way back at 8.11 this morning, Craig Ranapia proposed one of my comments as a 'reductio ad absurdum' - the falsity of a premise-

    Craig, I dont think you can take the Public Lending Right for Authors as *in any way* equivalent to the current stoush between unions. In fact, I am bloody sure you cant.The PLRA compensates authors (& photographers/illustrators) for books borrowed from public libraries. The rationale is - the library buys one (or more) copy/ies of a book, and pays the author (or combination of creators) -through their publishers- the 5/8/10% of published fee (VERY few authors in ANZ earn above that.) BUT - maybe hundreds of readers will read that copy...

    Our government redressed this unfair situation by setting up the Authors' Fund wherebye all ANZ authors who have copies of their books in over a certain percentage in public libraries are recompensensed for- well, basically sales-that-could've-been.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan,

    Don’t be pushed off your trail of enquiry Jacqui by “on message” producers and ‘scabbits’. People lose work and contracts and agreements every week in NZ. What about the hundreds of full time Fisher and Paykel whiteware workers from Dunedin and Orcland that got bounced as F&P moved to the notorious international alley in Mexico. That company was determined to move regardless of any patriotic offers of working for free etc. The EPMU and other unions did their best but the jobs were gone for all money.

    The lesson is you do the best you can in the here and now, not projections and maybes. Producers and funders are modern day Sam Goldwyns, it is still all about bums on seats.

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

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