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What? Unions acting like thugs? What a surprise!

On the set of The Hobbit.

Jackson said he was ?incredibly angry? at the NZ Equity actors? union for launching industrial action which threatened his 500 million US dollar project without properly consulting its members.

The Oscar-winning director also disputed NZ Equity?s assertion that it called for an international boycott of ?The Hobbit? last month after he refused to negotiate with it on minimum conditions for actors on the set.

Jackson said the union called the ban, which has since been lifted, before contacting him about its concerns.

?They are attempting to characterise their actions as an innocent request for a meeting, but the truth is they kept a loaded gun to our heads the entire time,? he said in a statement.

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Sometimes when people don't want to talk to you

you have to do something to get their attention.

Did you read the entire article?

the studios have enormous power , although the unions have made important and reasonable gains over the years. The studios, however, ultimately have the leverage.

Warners has the money to move the production.

Takes a thug to deal with a thug?

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He's offering them work and a paycheck

and the actors union says he needs to meet their conditions or they will do harm to his project. He rejects their conditions and he's the thug? That's not how it works. So I walk into a store to buy a TV and the salesman won't sell one without my buying a service contract with it. I don't like the deal and I tell him I'll buy one from his competitor down the street who doesn't require the contract. That makes me a thug I suppose. Happy

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Welcome to Middle Earth

do harm to his project?

It's THEIR country, not his....He plays by their rules...IF he tries to make them play by his rules...HE'S THE THUG.

actors union says he needs to meet their conditions or they will do harm to his project.

and He says

work under my conditions or I'll film in Scotland, Canada, Ireland, Australia, eastern Europe or the Leavesden Studios near London.

AND don't forget the Taxpayers of New Zealand (citizens/actors) are giving the film company a 60-80 million New Zealand dollars taxbreak for filming in NZ.

He said government legal advisers would work overnight on possible changes to industrial laws to reassure the studio that "The Hobbit" could meet production deadlines without the threat of union action.

But he reiterated his stance that New Zealand would not be drawn into a bidding war for the movies, reportedly the most expensive film project ever undertaken.

"This is where Middle Earth was born and this is where it should stay,"

Now that everything is fine on the surface of the planet we can fix Middle Earth.

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So when negotiations break down

there is always thuggery involved? Not at all, IMO. He wants to make a movie and is offering NZ and its people work and money. He has no way to pressure force them to accept his offer. Unions pressure him to only hire their members or get out of town. If that works for the unions and they still find plenty of work under those conditions, so be it. The man has made an investment of time and money by going to NZ to work out a deal. He will lose that time and money if no deal can be struck. It's his money and his project. I don't see where walking away is thuggery at all. He holds no sharpened sword. Now, if he were to threaten to ally with other producers and filmmakers to boycott NZ, that would be different.

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Unions pressure him to only hire their members...
or get out of town. That's a good description of thuggery, IMO. Classic mafia behavior.
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here's another example of thuggery

are giving the film company a 60-80 million New Zealand dollars taxbreak for filming in NZ.

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How is that thuggery?

Giving a subsidy to the film company is thuggery???
I'm not sure it's a legitimate government role, but thuggery? Get real.

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gives us some money

or we'll go Scotland, Canada, Europe.

as good an example of thuggery as Eds.

And you agree with me Eds example is not thuggery.

So I agree with you on my example.

NOW IF we can convince Ed, that neither is thuggery.

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Well, in fairness,

The union threat (IF it was indeed just a boycott) is not thuggery even if I did use the word in one of my posts. Some of the reading I did suggested that more than just a boycott was threatened - but I have not been able to find information to confirm other threats.

IF the only threat was a boycott then I have to agree it was just a question of high stakes negotiating that the union lost and not thuggery.

Unfortunately, some unions in the US have a history of resorting to tactics other than boycotts which CAN legitimately be described as thuggery. I don't know if that is true in NZ as well, but it certainly colors the way US businessmen look at unions.

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Intimidation is not negotiation...

"Do as we want or get out" is thuggery by definition. IMO, unions are basically cartels.

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That works both ways ...

I don't know about Mr. Jackson and the Hobbit project, but it is not at all unusual for large corporations to say 'give us a subsidy or we will move/build our facility elsewhere'.

Using your definition that is thuggery too.

I guess there are a lot of thugs in the world.

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There's a big difference...

Jackson has the right to make his movie in NZ, or NOT make it there if he so chooses. The union is trying to determine by intimidation how he makes his film. That infringes his rights. That is thuggery.

I am not currently doing any business in New Zealand. Am I therefore a thug? I don't see how that infringes anyone's rights, nor do I see how Jackson "threatening" to leave infringes anyone's rights.

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nor do I see how Jackson "threatening" to leave

THUGS "threaten"...that's what they do.


If he ain't a thug....just leave.

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I believe thuggery does imply violence

or, at least, threats of it. "Do as we want or get out" isn't thuggery, IMO. "Do as we want or we will throw you out." better fits the definition. We also use the term "assault and battery". One can be assaulted but never physically touched or harmed. I would think that an act of thuggery would at least require an assault.

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I disagree...

Intimidation qualifies for me. The savvy mafioso doesn't have to threaten bodily harm.

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Ah...but we know what the mafioso threat really is

It's not that you won't get service in this's that you'll have trouble eating with both of your arms broken. Wink

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Steve, often that's what it means by non-mafioso.

And there's a lot of overlap between the mod and unions.

But there can also be intimidation that does not involve bodily harm. Threats to harm you financially or otherwise, and I believe that is thuggery as well.

So we'll just have to disagree.

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Would it matter if the real truth was
that the money was offered and not demanded?

It looks to me as though the NZ government wants this to happen and their own actor's union might be the barrier. Nothing says New Zealander won't get work. Shouldn't it be ok to refuse to deal with the union and just make their own "cattle call"?
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just make their own "cattle call"?

and they would make it in America?

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(NT) Yes it should.
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the wheels were already in motion

to film it on the Harry Potter set in the UK

then someone in NZ "saw the light"


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RE: Unions pressure him to only hire their members....

That's right...New Zealanders.....what a novel idea.

Give a film company a $60 million dollar taxbreak and then they bring in actors from America.

SO what does NZ gain by doing that...Profit off of selling hot dogs to the cast?

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What did NZ expect to gain from the movie?

I'm not sure that spending government money to lure filmmakers is a legitimate use of my tax dollars, though it is certainly a common enough practice. I suspect that the NZ subsidy came with strings attached.

So I guess the questions are: Is the film company living up to its agreement with the government? and Did the film company break any laws?

If the film company is living up to its agreement and the unions happen to not like the terms of the agreement then it seems to me that they should be taking the problem up with the government. If the film company is not under a legal obligation to hire union members then what the unions are doing is a mix of political theater and thuggery.

Sure, the film makers have economic power and they can choose to move the production if they wish. What of it? That's the way things work.

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Interesting that someone NOW thinks...

it's okay to insist only citizens of a country work in that country.

But of course, that's a distortion. They are insisting only members of their union get the work.

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But of course, that's a distortion.

Exactly WHAT is a distortion?

A statement YOU just made?

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They are insisting only members of their union get the work.

What's wrong with that....

They are citizens , pay taxes in New Zealand, they work in the film industry and that's what the tax break is being used for.

They go to work, if the producer needs more cast, the Union will find more people (fellow New Zealanders) for the parts. I think they call it a Cattle Call.

Whats' wrong with that?

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in the mean time

the NZ government will subsidise the movie to the tune of 7.5 million dollars,
just to keep the unions quiet and the production in NZ


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Just to keep the unions quiet...

How does THAT work?

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Ahhhhh, Smart move.

Now the Union knows they can extort money from them anytime they want. Citizens of NZ should be proud.

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