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August 1996, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 12 Aug 1996 23:10:21 EDT
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On Mon, 12 Aug 1996 16:32:16 -0600 Joel Snyder said:
>I only meant to indicate that the job was defined into existence
>by a union (nobody but the greensman could touch the greenery and
>the greensman was not allowed to touch anything else).
The category of greensman was not defined into existence by union
contract.  There are about 150 different crafts contributing to the
production of a film.  Greensman is one of them.  I have no special
knowledge of when the first person was employed in that specialty,
though I suspect it was a couple of decades before the first
union contract in the film industry.
The history of union organizing in the industry is complicated by
competing unions, one groups under the AFL organizing along craft
lines.  The competing organization was supported by the CIO in an
attempt to organize the industry along industrial union lines,
such as characterizes the steel and auto union, where all workers
in a plant belong to a single union.
>OK?  Or do I have to sing the "Internationale"?
Only if you want to honor the people who attempted to organize an
industrial union.  When unions did come, the studios signed with
craft unions, since they were easier to manipulate.  Not counting
the additional benefit to the studios of "sweetheart contracts"
signed with organized crime racketeers, such as Browne and Bioff
who served time for their malfeasances.  As you might expect, the
studio bosses, who bought these contracts did not serve time.
Cal Pryluck, Radio-Television-Film, Temple University, Philadelphia
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