For those of you who don’t know, one of the unions I belong to, the Writers Guild of America, is on strike right now. The immediate impact to you is that you aren’t seeing late night shows. You might recall that I wrote on a late-night show called Saturday Night Live for fifteen seasons.
During my career, we went on strike a number of times. It’s how we fought for better pay. When Tom Davis and I joined SNL in 1975, the Writers Guild allowed NBC to pay us an apprentice team, splitting the salary of one apprentice. We got $300 a week. For the two of us!
But over the years The Guild fought for higher pay — for teams and apprentices. We also fought for higher residuals when we went on strike. Now, when I get a residual check for 3 cents (I get them a lot), it isn’t necessarily a check for a single episode hosted by Louise Lasser in 1975, which aired once six months ago only in Romania.
It could just as likely be for an episode hosted by Steve Martin that played in over 100 countries under a crappy contract. That’s why we go on strike.
Now, when I get a $1,712 residual check for a compilation of SNL Christmas sketches, I go “Way to go WGA!” I remember striking for that!
But mainly, I thank God for WGA because it’s now my secondary medical insurance under Medicare. Holy Cow!
I’ve been lucky in so many ways in my writing career and am doing fine. And then, of course, there’s the killing I made in the Senate.
But I can tell you that there are a lot of writers who barely get by. I’ve already picketed for them.
As a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, I fought constantly against Republicans for Labor. And I’m still fighting for labor through MVP’s efforts to elect Democrats.
Fun Fact! The President appoints the members of the National Labor Relations Board and they are confirmed by the Senate.
And, you know, the 2024 election will decide who our next President is. And who controls the Senate.
Elections are incredibly important. For all of labor. Republicans basically hate unions. The Supreme Court hates, hates, hates unions.
Please support Midwest Values PAC. This is an existential election for so many reasons. This is just one of them.
P.P.S. We’ve come a long way!