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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Does the MEAA have legitimate complaints?

Gandalf'sMother
Rohan

Oct 24 2010, 6:16am


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Does the MEAA have legitimate complaints? Can't Post

For most of us who followed it, the Lord of the Rings team seemed to be quite a happy one. However, the labor dispute over "The Hobbit" led me to do some research on whether or not there had been complaints about sub-par working conditions during LOTR. It seems there were - mainly from extras, and members of the New Zealand defense forces.

There's some very interesting material on "employment protection" and seemingly substandard working conditions for employees in this 2002 article: http://www.wsws.org/...r2002/lor2-m21.shtml

The question for this thread is, therefore: Are there actions PJ and co. could have taken to address the issues brought forward by the MEAA? I think this is an important question to ask, particularly given that this website has clearly gotten behind the campaign to keep the production in New Zealand. I also think it should stay in New Zealand, but not at the expense of humane working conditions. IMO, if PJ and co\ can strike a deal with MEAA, and draw up an MOU between the parties wherein the MEAA agrees to refrain from disrupting filming once it starts, provided that some of the basic MEAA demands are met, there may be no reason whatsoever for Warner to take this offshore.

Some excerpts from the article:

- "Barrie M. Osborne, the US producer of The Lord of the Rings, also told the Wellington press conference that local labour laws should be more “flexible” so that film producers could instantly fire employees they were not satisfied with. New Zealand employment laws, he complained, did not sufficiently define the difference between independent contractors and employed staff. Film producers, Osborne said, need to be able to terminate contractors who weren’t “working out” with minimum notice. This was “difficult” if they were regarded as employees."

- "According to Osborne: “You may have a great assistant director but that assistant director might not have the personality to work with Peter Jackson. You might have a great editor but that editor might not have the personality. You don’t discover that until you start working.” The solution, he said, was to give film employers “the right to terminate employment or contract with minimal notice, i.e., a week’s notice”."

- "...Anna Wilding, a Hollywood-based actor, producer and film consultant, who visited New Zealand during production of The Lord of the Rings, complained publicly that locals hired to supply and ride horses in the film were treated like “slave labour”."

- " The riders, who received daily rates of $NZ200 and meals, would have been paid at least $500 plus allowances in the US. Moreover, the extras were left to sleep in tents and horse floats in the bitterly cold South Island climate, without being paid float fees or allowances for working away from home."

- "...One officer, an army weapons technician who was second-in-command of 140 soldiers on the set recently complained to the Sunday Star Times about exploitation of the soldiers. He said they worked long hours, were not given scheduled days off and had no choice about being involved. Soldiers from Waiouru and Linton army camps had received only “a T-shirt and a few pints of beer.”"


(This post was edited by Silverlode on Oct 24 2010, 4:02pm)

Subject User Time
Does the MEAA have legitimate complaints? Gandalf'sMother Oct 24 2010, 6:16am
    Hard to tell from that article. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Oct 24 2010, 8:27am
    Well SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Oct 24 2010, 8:34am
        I dont see anything wrong in macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Oct 24 2010, 10:06am
    but did they care about the conditions they faced? miss_jj Send a private message to miss_jj Oct 24 2010, 10:03am
        Well, it is a job .... Huan71 Send a private message to Huan71 Oct 24 2010, 1:22pm
    Well..... dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Oct 24 2010, 10:07am
        Well said SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Oct 24 2010, 10:19am
            Agreed ... Hellmistress Send a private message to Hellmistress Oct 24 2010, 10:47am
                well said... Gildor Send a private message to Gildor Oct 24 2010, 1:33pm
                    It might depend though on the actors... Nesse Send a private message to Nesse Oct 24 2010, 1:38pm
                    The value of propaganda squire Send a private message to squire Oct 24 2010, 3:01pm
                        It's true of anything, isn't it dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Oct 24 2010, 3:37pm
                        It's always interesting to me how differently other people view things than I do Tim Send a private message to Tim Oct 24 2010, 4:01pm
                            the best way I can relate... Gildor Send a private message to Gildor Oct 24 2010, 4:24pm
                                a few thoughts Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Oct 24 2010, 8:17pm
                                    They went after THE HOBBIT ... Hellmistress Send a private message to Hellmistress Oct 24 2010, 8:49pm
                                        I think you've hit reply to the wrong post Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Oct 24 2010, 8:55pm
                                            OOPS ... Hellmistress Send a private message to Hellmistress Oct 24 2010, 9:53pm
                                        Amen Hellmistress Gandalf'sMother Oct 24 2010, 9:05pm
                                            I don't think it can afford to be put on hold any longer. // Flagg Send a private message to Flagg Oct 24 2010, 9:07pm
                                        One major difference here I think farmer maggot Send a private message to farmer maggot Oct 24 2010, 9:48pm
                                            Peter Jackson dispute with New Line. bookgirl13 Send a private message to bookgirl13 Oct 25 2010, 1:00am
                                    good points all of them Gildor Send a private message to Gildor Oct 24 2010, 9:44pm
                            something else I'm remembering Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Oct 24 2010, 7:54pm
                                I remember that.. Huan71 Send a private message to Huan71 Oct 24 2010, 11:27pm
                                    If participation in the making of a film can end someone's marriage Flagg Send a private message to Flagg Oct 24 2010, 11:30pm
                                        I think these people were working extremely long hours for long stretches at a time. Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Oct 24 2010, 11:43pm
                                            That is not what I meant Flagg Send a private message to Flagg Oct 25 2010, 12:08am
                                            This is true shadowdog Send a private message to shadowdog Oct 25 2010, 6:22pm
                                        Seemed a fair trade at the time ;-) SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Oct 25 2010, 12:02am
                                        Was this just any film? squire Send a private message to squire Oct 25 2010, 12:40am
                                Demands of film making: Pixar bookgirl13 Send a private message to bookgirl13 Oct 25 2010, 8:50am
    Is there a way to edit one's posts? Gandalf'sMother Oct 24 2010, 1:31pm
        I think you can only do it within ten minutes of posting. // Flagg Send a private message to Flagg Oct 24 2010, 1:44pm
        Either you can do it yourself Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Oct 24 2010, 1:50pm
    Well Peredhil lover Send a private message to Peredhil lover Oct 24 2010, 1:45pm
        my thoughts exactly Nesse Send a private message to Nesse Oct 24 2010, 1:52pm
        However ... Hellmistress Send a private message to Hellmistress Oct 24 2010, 2:39pm
            What about Avatar, Narnia, King Kong LoremIpsum Send a private message to LoremIpsum Oct 24 2010, 2:43pm
                Well ... Hellmistress Send a private message to Hellmistress Oct 24 2010, 2:51pm
    Why don't they name it then? AngryDwarf Send a private message to AngryDwarf Oct 24 2010, 5:15pm
        I don't think ... Hellmistress Send a private message to Hellmistress Oct 24 2010, 5:58pm
            They Walk Amongst Us, Unseen Finrod Send a private message to Finrod Oct 24 2010, 10:41pm
        Relax, AngryDwarf Gandalf'sMother Oct 24 2010, 7:26pm
            Grinding the production of The Hobbit to a halt ... AngryDwarf Send a private message to AngryDwarf Oct 25 2010, 7:17pm
        Angry Dwarf, I think I'm inclined to agree with you. Patty Send a private message to Patty Oct 24 2010, 8:44pm
    There are some bad employers cameragod Send a private message to cameragod Oct 24 2010, 7:27pm
        Is it correct that the unions are messing with NZ livelihoods? Gandalf'sMother Oct 24 2010, 7:56pm
            Well yes and no Richie Rich Send a private message to Richie Rich Oct 24 2010, 8:08pm
                Then NZ must change Gandalf'sMother Oct 24 2010, 8:11pm
                    I take it you mean our labour laws in regards to films Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Oct 24 2010, 9:06pm
                        Well said, Ataahua Altaira Send a private message to Altaira Oct 24 2010, 10:05pm
                        I'm sure ... Hellmistress Send a private message to Hellmistress Oct 24 2010, 10:18pm
                            Well, Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Oct 24 2010, 10:59pm
                        NZs labour laws. Moahunter Send a private message to Moahunter Oct 25 2010, 5:09am
                    Another way to 'ensure stability' Flagg Send a private message to Flagg Oct 24 2010, 9:24pm
                        It cannot be expected that people will continue to altruistically treat employees well into the future Gandalf'sMother Oct 24 2010, 10:40pm
                            What you seem to be missing Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Oct 24 2010, 11:15pm
                                Must say SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Oct 24 2010, 11:38pm
                                A better product? Flagg Send a private message to Flagg Oct 24 2010, 11:56pm
                                    For one thing ... Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Oct 25 2010, 12:26am
                            I'd be interested to hear you debate the greater good farmer maggot Send a private message to farmer maggot Oct 25 2010, 12:00am
                                "Have already been Damaged" how? Moahunter Send a private message to Moahunter Oct 25 2010, 8:55am
                                    By the general damage to the NZ production industry farmer maggot Send a private message to farmer maggot Oct 25 2010, 10:31am
                            At least in one point sador Send a private message to sador Oct 25 2010, 7:10am
                                Not a minor interest for me // macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Oct 25 2010, 8:34am
                            Just a thought (or maybe two) dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Oct 25 2010, 11:29am
            It was a threat from Warner Bros, not Phillipa Ainu Laire Send a private message to Ainu Laire Oct 24 2010, 9:11pm
            I'm sorry, but as no one else picked this up.... dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Oct 24 2010, 10:13pm
                I picked up on it, and I'm glad you pointed it out // Voronwë_the_Faithful Send a private message to Voronwë_the_Faithful Oct 25 2010, 12:07am
                I'm glad you picked this up as well// bookgirl13 Send a private message to bookgirl13 Oct 25 2010, 1:02am
    MEAA had no buisness doing what it did. Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Oct 25 2010, 12:47am
    The real definition of blacklisting SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Oct 25 2010, 2:16am
        I just discovered that this Robyn Malcolm was also in LOTR Ainu Laire Send a private message to Ainu Laire Oct 25 2010, 2:42am
            Oh yeah! SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Oct 25 2010, 3:08am
                No shame at all macfalk Send a private message to macfalk Oct 25 2010, 8:32am
            I don't think it did dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Oct 25 2010, 11:17am
                The bit about Sir Peter offering Malcolm a part... SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Oct 26 2010, 1:57am
    yes they do nenyacaster Send a private message to nenyacaster Oct 25 2010, 2:23am
        Would you mind expanding on this point? Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Oct 25 2010, 2:26am
            Yes, interested too SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Oct 25 2010, 2:35am
            Since someone brought up environmental effects Gandalf'sMother Oct 25 2010, 4:06am

 
 
 

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