simpsongrandpa.jpg“This is not our grandfathers’ economy,” says Andy Stern, president the Service Employees International Union, today in response to the end of the Hollywood writer’s strike.

“Today‚Äôs global marketplace asks creativity and forward-thinking from us all,” he adds. “As new technologies continue to change our country and the world around us, we need to ensure that all working people are justly rewarded for their work.”

Stern, who head up one of the biggest unions in the country with nearly 2 million members, is referring to the concessions the writers got regarding Internet royalties. Basically, they wanted a cut of the money made by studios when shows, that the writers wrote, end up streaming on the Web or on cell phones, or other techno gadgets. This type of repackaging of shows and movies on the Web is fairly new and no one is quite sure how much money it will translate into down the line, but the writers believed they were owed a piece.

After three months on strike, workers are ready to go back to work and unfortunately, it seems, they didn’t get that much. But that’s the way negotiations go, especially when new technology is involved and there’s little incentive by businesses to share the wealth.

So, back to Stern’s comment about it not being “our grandfathers’ economy.” He is not kidding.

We are going through a monumental change in the economic structure of this country. We all know about the fall of manufacturing.

Just yesterday General Motors announced it’s offering buyouts to 74,000 employees.

With reductions in a host of industries, what will be left and who will have the leverage? You would have thought writers, who are not easily outsourced, would have carried a lot of weight. But even they spent 3 months on a picket line and then felt compelled to take less than they wanted.

Tell me all you employees out there. Do you have power in the workplace? Are you treated fairly and paid a fair wage? I’d love to know the industries/professions that even our grandfathers would be proud of.

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