Some union members in the entertainment industry think that one union is safe from the actions of another because of the anti-raiding provisions of the AFL-CIO or because of the “option” of leaving the AFL-CIO and operating independently. They should pay close attention to the events underway in the health care industry these days. The AFL-CIO backed California Nurses Association is engaged in a heated battle across the country with the much larger SEIU over representation of nurses in healthcare. This past week the tensions became physical with thuggish tactics being used by the SEIU at an otherwise peaceful labor conference held in Detroit.
The only real solution for the entertainment industry is to work hard to find common solutions to common problems. Once the current final round of negotiations concludes – and the sooner the better given the divisions plaguing the remaining unions at this stage – let’s hope attention of union leaders in the industry turns to constructive long run planning.