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 Raven suing the WWE

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Bischy
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PostSubject: Raven suing the WWE   Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:58 pm

On July 24th, 2008 Scott Levy initiated a lawsuit against the WWE challenging one of the most controversial aspects of the promotion-wrestler relationship between major companies in recent years such as WCW and WWE...the issue of whether or not wrestlers are truly employees or independent contractors.

I haven't been able to find much more info about it yet, but I've been up most of the night working on polishing up some homework. Will add more info as I'm able to find it, as well as sharing my thoughts on this after I go grab a few hours of sleep and am able to give this my full consideration.

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PostSubject: Re: Raven suing the WWE   Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:39 pm

lookin forward to that

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White Lightning
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PostSubject: Re: Raven suing the WWE   Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:10 pm

Hmm... this is certainly debatable.
But this will end up coming down to one simple thing... a binding contract.
Theres many ways to look at this. Will make an interesting podcast discussion. Whats everyone's thoughts? Are wrestler's indpendent contractors or employees?

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PostSubject: Re: Raven suing the WWE   Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:57 pm

the big names can be considered contractors, but the no-names are employees i reckon

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PostSubject: Re: Raven suing the WWE   Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:55 pm

My thoughts on this one so far...

Trying to either get wrestlers officially declared 'independent contractors' giving the talent more legal rights when it comes to creative control over their gimmicks, allowing talent more freedom to take bookings on the 'indy circut' as their work for the 'E permits, or forcing the big companies to recognize wrestlers as traditional employees and give them full legal benefits just like any contracted and salaried employee would get, including unemployment benefits for wrongful/early termination of their contracts and forcing the company to pay full medical care for any injuries received as part of their job.

WWE has done the idiotic thing and taken too much creative control away from their talent. Many of their current talent has had great success on the indy circuit with gimmicks/looks they developed themselves with years of hard work and trial and error to back them up. But once they make it to WWE they either gotta sign over their gimmick so McMahon can copyright it and proceed to screw it up, or to abandon their gimmick for a new one given to them that's fucked up from the start. I don't blame the peeps who refuse to give Vinnie Mac copyrighted control of their own personal gimmicks.

Another facet that could potentially come into play here is the question of talent unionizing, something that many of the bigger companies over the years have done everything they could to prevent. Since I'm working on entering the entertainment industry right now, and living in So-Cal, dealing with the unions has become a way of life for me. I've actually joined up with AFTRA, the union that deals with Radio and TV performers, so I have seen what things are like working under a proper union contract for my summer internships.

While being a member of AFTRA, alibiet one of the low tire people, did enable me to negotiate to receive some benefits and a small salarie during my internship. Granted I wasn't even making minimum wage, but getting paid something is better than nothing. Was enough to keep me in beer and pizzas during the summer.

But I also got to see the political side of unions during the battle between SAG and AFTRA over contract renewal deals this summer. Making a long story short, AFTRA negotiated a fair new contract with the producers guild and took it instead of caving into the wishes of SAG and holding out for more money just because it's what SAG wanted, and as a matter of fact SAG is still holding out for a better deal from the producers guild.

Needless to say many actors who are members of both unions have suffered the worst since this summer in Hollywood.

I cite those examples as a way of showing both the good and potentially bad points of any talent pool becoming unionized. Will some wrestling promotions become 'union only' places where you'd be forced to join just to work for them? What of those who are 'union optional' sorts of places? What's a promoter to do when the union calls a strike or walk off and half his talent have no choice but to go with the wishes of the union?

Independent Contractors are less likely to unionize because if given the freedom to take outside bookings as time permits and more creative control over their in-ring persona they really wouldn't have any need to unionize. But this also raises the question of health insurance and such for a performer. Most indy contractors in other fields are expected to carry their own insurance. If a talent has their own medical insurance, does this further make the drug-testing/wellness program of a company obsolete? In a business constantly hounded by illegal and prescription drug abuse controversy, wouldn't it be in the best interests of a larger promotion to have their own testing of their talent?

Sheeyt, I could keep rambling on and on about diffrent points here. Think I'll stop for now as I've prolly covered more than enough to spark some good debate and provide decent podcast fodder.

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PostSubject: Re: Raven suing the WWE   Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:27 pm

this will make a good podcast discussion Whitelightning

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