Writers Told, You Must Name Names:

Here's an e-mail that was just forwarded to me by someone I know; I have no reason to doubt its authenticity, though if there is any mistake, please let me know. Rule #9 appears to be quoted accurately.

November 9, 2007

Dear fellow WGAW members,

I'm ..., Chair of the newly-formed WGA West Strike Rules Compliance Committee ("SRCC") and a member of the WGA West's Board of Directors as well as an alternate member of the 2007 MBA Negotiating Committee.

The other members of the SRCC are: ....

The mission of the SRCC is to ensure that the Strike Rules are strictly enforced. The SRCC will primarily concentrate its efforts on unearthing and discouraging scab writing.

There is no more fundamental working rule than the prohibition against a WGA member performing struck work. Strike Rule #9 states: "You must inform the Guild of the name of any writer you have reason to believe is engaged in strike breaking activity or other scab writing." If you have suspicions about a particular writer or project, the best way to report them will be to call our hotline or click on the red icon on the WGA.org homepage and simply fill out the on-line form. We'll handle your call discreetly.

Our purpose is not to punish people; it is to head off scab work before it can undermine the strike.

The STRIKE TIP HOTLINE number is: ...

When you call, it will help if you flesh out your information as much as possible.

For general inquiries regarding strike rules please call: ...

Please know that the leadership of your Guild is just as eager as you to keep this strike short. Unfettered scab writing will only lengthen it. The simplest and most effective thing you can do to speed things up is to share information with the SRCC.

I've never been prouder of this union than out on this week's picket lines. I believe a good contract is within reach. We just have to hold together.

Thank you all very much.



On behalf of the Strike Rules Compliance Committee

Note also that "Article X gives the Guild the authority to impose discipline for violations of the Strike Rules by Guild members. Discipline may include, but is not limited to, any or all of the following: expulsion or suspension from Guild membership, imposition of monetary fines, or censure. Discipline imposed is enforceable through the courts."

Note, of course, that union rules, like many blacklisting mechanisms, are the actions of private entities -- albeit ones whose actions are supported (or sometimes hindered) by various labor laws -- and not of the government acting as sovereign.