US Representative Katie Porter showed her support for the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike by joining writers on the picket line at the Culver Studios in Los Angeles on Friday. Porter led the crowd in a familiar chant heard across the city during the past two weeks: “What do we want? Fair contracts. When do we want them? Now.” She addressed the crowd, saying that the movement is powerful and aims to stand up to corporate power. She added that the strike has put America on notice that corporations cannot treat workers as disposable.
Porter Criticizes Corporate Excuses for Union Busting
Porter described the strike as an example for all workers who are struggling to have labor rights. She criticized the use of industry transformation and technology as an excuse to bust unions and hurt workers to boost the bottom line. She said that the strike is not only about the entertainment industry but also about workers in other industries who are going to confront the changes that artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies will bring.
Porter Urges the AMPTP to Honor Workers
Porter had a message for the studio executives and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), urging them to do right by their workers. She said that the value that funds their salaries comes from the workers who do the work, who are creative, tireless, and professional. If the executives and the AMPTP do not honor their workers, they are not doing right by the business and the economy that they claim to be at the top of.
Porter’s Support is “Very Meaningful”
Porter’s support is “very meaningful,” said WGA West President David Goodman. Negotiating committee co-chair Chris Keyser added that Porter’s presence on the picket line is a reflection of the existential crisis in the entertainment community for those who work in it and across the country for the pressures that are being put on labor by big corporations. California Senator María Elena Durazo, who represents parts of central and east Los Angeles, also showed her support for the writers. She said that the writers are taking on big corporations who do nothing but abuse and refuse to share.
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