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Unionizing 101

Unions today have their share of problems. Among other things, many replicate the same corporations they're trying to fight—they're enormous, top heavy, and not responsive enough to workers or the changing political and economic climate. But they still remain one of the best forms of workplace democracy in this country, and they play a critical role in protecting our remaining labor laws.

And if you need ammunition to fight the fools who characterize striking writers as greedy, read Lost's Damon Lindelof's explanation:

I am angry because I am accused of being greedy by studios that are being greedy. I am angry because my greed is fair and reasonable: if money is made off of my product through the Internet, then I am entitled to a small piece. The studios' greed, on the other hand, is hidden behind cynical, disingenuous claims that they make nothing on the Web — that the streaming and downloading of our shows is purely "promotional." Seriously?

Most of all, I'm angry that I'm not working. Not working means not getting paid. My weekly salary is considerably more than the small percentage of Internet gains we are hoping to make in this negotiation and if I'm on the picket line for just three months, I will never recoup those losses, no matter what deal gets made. But I am willing to hold firm for considerably longer than three months because this is a fight for the livelihoods of a future generation of writers, whose work will never "air," but instead be streamed, beamed or zapped onto a tiny chip.

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