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Write On

Fighting Silence and Protecting the Rights of Writers

by Marta Gibbons

Revolution begins with a wish for what’s right, an aspiration for justice. I’ve heard it said that abundance is dangerous to power, while deprivation, when carefully managed, is safe. High unemployment ensures a ready pool of strikebreakers and transforms the curse of a bad job into a blessing. Forcing a person to accept the role they are obliged to play allows a relaxation of vigilance. This could explain why low-paying employees remain silent, while relatively well-paid employees strike and demand better working conditions.

I seldom disputed my wages; I did stand up for better working conditions, for the perceived notion of equality and the opportunity to succeed. The guilt of challenging my employer did not prevent me from seeking justice, although my fear often caused me to come out fighting like a bull in a china shop.

The staff of the Writers Guild helped me to understand that employees have a right to fair wages, since their work allows companies to succeed. I want to thank the Guild for their support and for their guidance through the process of negotiation, because standing up for the rights of employees was one of the highlights of my career.

And thank you to this Council for allowing me to serve on this board. It has been an honor to be part of a group that maintains the organization of participation.

Thank you and best wishes on your continued efforts to fight silence while protecting the rights of writers.

Marta Gibbons served on the WGAE Council between 2010 and 2012.

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