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The Writers’ Strike is really a lesson for all union members and working people - divide and conquer. I am sure each of us is missing current jokes from our favorite late night host; however, hearing that Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and other late night shows are returning next week gave me pause.  

Each of these hosts began their careers as stand-up comics but their TV shows are made entertaining by the craft of professional writers. Union members value what they do and collective bargaining agreements allow each side to bargain about what is important.

In my experience as a union member, only bargaining allows for this process. Management, in any industry, never just gives for the sake of giving. Solidarity consists of people being united on principles that are important to them. The financial pressure of being out of work is a great sacrifice. However, the needs of a collective group are stronger when there is no splintering of the members.

Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, etc. have the clout with their viewer ratings to put pressure on the Writers Guild and management to get back to the table and hammer out an agreement. Cutting private deals, even with good intentions, really undercuts the larger group of union writers who do not have the clout of the Lenos of the world who were in the trenches before they hit the big time.

Let’s show our solidarity to all writers by boycotting the late night shows until all writers are back to work. This is an easy "ask." Just turn off the TV or watch anything else.

Vote with your TV remote by not watching any union-busting entertainment.

Originally posted to PaulVA on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:24 PM PST.

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