Why are TV studios and sports teams allowed to colluded in labor negotiations?
December 28, 2007 11:20 AM Subscribe
Question about the Writer's Guild strike and comparable situations in other industries: why are the studios allowed to negotiate as a single entity, the AMPTP? How does this situation compare to the various US sports leagues and the auto and airline industries?
posted by mullacc to Law & Government (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm having trouble connecting the dots across the various things I've read.
Here's what I think I know:
1. The AMPTP represents the studios in their negotiations with the WGA. This will likely result in a CBA that determines royalty rates for the entire industry.
2. The various sports leagues have similar arrangements, e.g., the MLBPA negotiates with the MLB, a collective representing all the teams. The MLB has an anti-trust exemption, but that just allows it to fight off competitive leagues. Other US sports leagues have no such exemptions. But all the sports leagues allow things like player trades, which I can't imagine going over too well in other industries.
3. In the auto and airline industries, each individual company negotiates directly with the various unions.
Situations 1 & 2 seem like collusion to me. Just as obvious as if Pepsi and Coke formed a collective entity to negotiate aluminum prices. So why are the studio/sports collectives allowed to negotiate against the unions? Is there a legal principle that makes my analogy inappropriate? Of course, I'm glossing over the fact that unions are themselves a form of collusion among workers, but that's a collusion blessed by law.
And, finally, is there reason that the airline and auto industries couldn't adopt the same strategy as the studio/sports collectives?