Monday, September 25, 2006


Domino Pizza drivers in Pensacola, Florida formed a Union.

Not very Republican, I know, (see my profile) but I'm a proud member of SAG (Screen Actors Guild), AEA (Actors Equity Association) and AFTRA (American Federation of TV and Radio Artists). Without our unions we would probably be working 24 hour days for no pay. And yes, it can happen. I worked a 22 hour day on a commercial shoot once. However, thanks to SAG, we were well compensated when you factored in all the penalties and overtime payments. If it had been a non-union shoot the actors would have been paid a flat rate, no matter how many hours they worked.

The actor unions are there to make sure that we work in safe and sanitary conditions, and that we are compensated fairly for our time. The SAG website includes a section that explains the history of how actors became unionized.

That said, the idea of a Pizza Delivery person's Union seems downright crazy. Granted Jim Pohl, the guy who was instrumental in 'organizing' his fellow pizza delivery guys at this particular Domino's Pizza in Pensacola, Florida , was compelled to do so when the drivers were "declared as tipped employees" and were therefore not eligible, any longer, to be paid Florida's minimum wage of $6.40 an hour. I probably would have been angry, as well. $6.40 isn't much to begin with, although the 37 year old Pohl had obviously been happy working there for that amount of money for the 12 off and on years he was with the company. Who knows what they were offering as a base salary and how much do you tip a pizza delivery guy? But, a Pizza Delivery Union? What are they going to negotiate? Seems like overkill to me, but we now have... drum roll....
The American Union of Pizza Delivery Drivers! The first in the nation.

Some Unions are worthwhile, like ours, others are useless, like the Union for secretaries I was forced to join when I got a job at a Film Studio in Los Angeles when I lived there decades ago. They collected their dues from each paycheck and that was it.

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