Some people view the entertainment industry as a place filled with fame and glamour, but beyond all the dazzling lights lies the same structure every other industry has. Behind the camera, some employees and employers sometimes find themselves in disagreement.
What exactly does this prove? It proves that whatever industry your staffing firm specializes in, you still need to learn skills in navigating labor disputes and resolving internal issues.
Understanding the Hollywood Strikes
For the second time in Hollywood history, both the guilds for writers and actors conducted a strike simultaneously. This has put many movies and television shows to a standstill, beginning with late-night talk shows on different channels.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) represents 11,500 writers as they recently negotiated a successful deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Their strike began on the second of May after 97.85 percent of their members authorized it to happen. It ended just this month and writers are starting to get back to work after 148 days of fighting for proper compensation.¹
On the other hand, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) joined the dispute after no new contracts were made with AMPTP after a set deadline. 98 percent of the 160,000 members of the union voted in favor of authorizing the strike, So on July 14, actors joined WGA members on the picket lines.²
Just like the writers, SAG-AFTRA is also fighting for compensation. Many actors present their residual pay displaying negative numbers even though their previously starred films and series are topping streaming websites. They’re also trying to negotiate acceptable guidelines regarding generative AI usage in Hollywood.
Why This Matters
The implications of these strikes extend beyond the entertainment industry, offering valuable lessons for staffing firms and other sectors. Analyzing the outcomes of the strikes can shed light on dispute resolution strategies.
For example, you can learn about dispute resolution by analyzing the two strikes. Why did one strike finish earlier than the others? The answer lies in each party’s unique demands.
Are there unique demands in your industry that require tailored approaches to resolving disputes? How do you anticipate resolving conflicts specific to your clients and experts?
Experts in entertainment media management propose that the SAG-AFTRA strike might conclude sooner due to the success of WGA’s negotiations. This concept, known as “pattern bargaining,” suggests that agreements with one union often pave the way for successful agreements with other organizations presenting similar demands. However, the SAG-AFTRA strike’s duration remains uncertain.
But according to the strike captain of SAG-AFTRA, there’s no assurance that their strike would end so soon.³ Although Hollywood actors and writers are both negotiating for better compensation and creative freedom, SAG-AFTRA represents more diverse individuals. All dancers, actors, and performers have unique needs that should be met.
In staffing, how well do you understand your clients and experts’ distinct requirements? How does tailoring your services to individual needs contribute to conflict resolution?
Aside from industry-specific considerations, the Hollywood strikes underscore the significance of productive labor negotiations and avoiding unfair labor practices in any sector.
As the middleman between your professionals and your clients, you always need to be ready to mediate any issues and disputes that could happen. This can be overwhelming for some company leaders, so here are steps you can take to solve arguments between essential company stakeholders and employees.
1. Establish Strong Communication Channels
Effective labor negotiations are the foundation of successful labor negotiations. For this to happen, you must establish a solid communication channel with your clients and professionals. By creating open lines of communication, you’re making it easier for labor relations to succeed.
2. Regularly Update Related Parties
The negotiation process shouldn’t be a secret to any parties involved. Communication channels are there for a reason. Update parties regularly, especially when significant changes happen during collective bargaining. This promotes transparency and can maintain trust throughout the entire negotiation process.
3. Understand Labor Laws and Regulations
You can’t mediate correctly when you don’t understand the labor laws and regulations that affect your stakeholders. You need to have a solid grasp of employment laws to comply with all legal implications during negotiations.
4. Protect All Parties Interests via Contracts
Remember that you’re an advocate for both your people and your clients. Any labor relations and disputes must end with both receiving favorable outcomes despite compromises. It’s best to consider drafting contracts that should be honored by all parties to do this quickly. An official contract would also make it easier for employees and clients to hold each other accountable.
5. Identify and Solve Potential Issues
One of the skills of a union organizing strikes and negotiations is that they’re forward-thinking. This helps them identify potential issues and negotiate ways to solve them. As a staffing firm, you also need to have this ability to have an easier time avoiding even more significant disputes.
6. Develop Contingency Plans for Different Scenarios
Things change, and not all labor relations and negotiations go as planned. That’s why you need to have a contingency plan in place. For instance, you’re in talks with your client who has a sudden surge of employee demand, but you realize you can’t provide any more full-time workers as they want.
Following employment laws and considering the situation, you can negotiate sending temporary or contract workers to help them out.
7. Create a Relationship with Employee Advocates
Whether it’s individuals advocating for your team or organizations and unions that your employees are a part of, creating a good relationship with them is crucial. This way, you can learn more about what your people are going through. Remember that there is power in advocacy.
By listening to advocates, you can gain a better understanding of your experts’ concerns and address these concerns even before they cause a bigger dispute. Just like what people often say, prevention is better than cure!
8. Invest in Ongoing Training for Negotiation Skills
No one is perfect at negotiations, and that’s a truth you need to accept. Negotiation, like every other skill, needs to be practiced. It’s a talent that should be improved with continuous learning and application. So, invest in training yourself or a negotiation team to manage disputes that could arise successfully. This results in learning best practices and updated strategies for negotiation.
9. Analyze Feedback and Past Mediations
Another way to improve your mediation process is to analyze previous feedback and past outcomes. Look to the past, as they say. What were the things you did right? What could you have improved? This step could help you gather essential insights for refining your negotiation skills and strategies.
10. Maintain Adaptability to Change
Work is consistently changing. Add technological innovations, and labor relations become trickier to navigate. A staffing firm like yours should always maintain adaptability and flexibility. You need to always stay on top of recent trends and issues so you’re ready to prevent or manage possible disputes between your clients and employees.
HIGHLIGHT YOUR CONFLICT RESOLUTION SKILLS WITH THE TARGETED MARKETING SOLUTIONS
At Allied Insight, we recognize the significance of effective conflict resolution in fostering solid client-expert relationships. We’re here to assist you in forging exceptional partnerships and attracting ideal candidates through strategic marketing.
Integrate your values and vision through your marketing content. Let us help you improve your firm’s overall branding. Contact us now to begin!
1 Faguy, Ana, and Siladutya Ray. “Hollywood Writers Strike Ends: Deal Finalized After 148 Days Of Work Stoppage.” Forbes, 27 Sept. 2023, www.forbes.com/sites/anafaguy/2023/09/27/hollywood-writers-strike-ends-deal-finalized-after-148-day-work-stoppage/?sh=42d28be58cbf.
2 Los Angeles Times Staff. “What to Know about the SAG-AFTRA Actors’ Strike Now That WGA Has a Deal.” Los Angeles Times, 2 Oct. 2023, www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2023-06-29/what-to-know-sag-aftra-strike-actors-hollywood.
3 Veltman, Chloe. “The Hollywood Writers Strike Is over, but the Actors Strike Could Drag on. Here’s Why.” NPR, 2 Oct. 2023, www.npr.org/2023/10/02/1202858838/the-hollywood-writers-strike-is-over-but-the-actors-strike-could-drag-on-heres-w.