How has it come to this?  One of the best known and respected unions in American history gets taken down in public by a mayor?  And by a mayor who owes much of his success in life to the labor movement?  This is not the kind of publicity the S.A.G. should be getting at this point in contract negotiations.  If the Guild is forced to play the strike card – and at this late stage they have very few other cards to play – they will need public support.  And if political actors like Villaraigosa can’t be counted on for much by the labor movement they once were a part of, they can certainly be counted on to know which way the political winds are blowing.  It looks like Mayor V. stuck his finger in the wind and feels it blowing hard in the face of the Guild and AFTRA.  When one adds to this the news that IATSE intends to sign a new deal with the AMPTP 16 months early – in order to lock in the modest but important new media gains made by the WGA and DGA – it is clear that whatever strategy the Guild thought they had in place for the 08 negotiations is now in pretty sorry shape.

L.A. mayor joins actors unions fracas