Dear Editor – Local Concerns on Strike Statement


On Monday, the City Council has, on its agenda, an item regarding a resolution in support of labor in the WGA strike. Let me first state that my work does not involve either studios or screenwriters. My interest in this matter is solely as a resident of Culver City.

I would strongly encourage the City Council to issue a statement encouraging both sides of this dispute to come to the table, begin, and continue good-faith negotiations, but discourage the council from picking one side or another.

The interest of Culver City is the interest of its residents and businesses, many of whom are being harmed by this strike. The victims of this strike include industry workers, supporting businesses, local shops, and eateries, and yes, even the studios. As it continues, the harm inflicted on our community will only get more severe. This harm should be our city council’s focus.

As in most labor disputes, both sides have interests that they are trying to zealously advance and/or protect. That is fine and is the way our system works (for better or worse). But it really isn’t the city council’s job to pick one side or another. Instead, its job is to encourage both sides to come to a working resolution of this issue. Only then will the victims of the strike–from all sides–those who live and/or work in Culver City and our city itself–be able to emerge from its shadow.

As such, I encourage the city council to make a strong statement encouraging the sides to come together and continue to work to resolve this matter, and to offer both sides assistance in facilitating this discussion–without taking sides.

Note that making a statement “supporting labor” is an easy thing to do, but frankly, such a statement rings hollow when we look at our ourselves, and particulaly CCUSD, with its simmering labor issues between classroom teachers and the pet projects of administrators. Put simply, we cannot with integrity be “pro-labor” with regard to the interests of others while being “anti-labor” in our own backyard.

Responsible governments do not choose sides in these kind of disputes, they encourage and facilitate settlement. That is what our city should do–for the good of all of our stakeholders.

Gary M. Zeiss, Esq.

The Actors' Gang