Sunday, November 18, 2007

Screens will be fed. Writers, not so much.

Let them eat pencils. No, not the writers, the CEOs of Big Media. Sounds like an inexpensive and fun way to support the striking writers, if you were looking for one.

If you scroll down the list at United Hollywood, you see TimeWarner is listed. No surprise of course, but I found this interesting item at Left in Alabama:
Cinram manufactures and distributes DVDs at their plant in a Huntsville industrial park. The shifts are long (12 hours) and the pay is low ($ 8/hr.) The company says they are unable to find willing workers locally and are importing about 1350 workers from Jamaica, Bolivia, Nepal, Ukraine and the Dominican Republic under H-2B visas.
From Cinram's webiste, buried in the Investor Relations section:

In 2003, we completed the largest strategic acquisition in our history. We acquired Time Warner Inc.'s DVD and CD manufacturing and physical distribution businesses, together with certain related businesses, in the United States and Europe, for $1,150.5 million in cash.

As part of the transaction, we also entered into exclusive, long-term agreements to manufacture, print, package and physically distribute DVDs and CDs for Warner Home Video and Warner Music Group in North America and Europe, and for New Line Home Entertainment, Inc. in North America. The transaction closed in October 2003 and increased Cinram's DVD and CD manufacturing capacity to over one billion discs per year. The purchase price was funded from banking facilities comprised of term loans totalling $1,025.0 million and revolving credit facility of $150.0 million. Accordingly, Cinram's revenue, earnings and earnings per share all reached record levels in 2003.

And they want to pay people $8/hour, in 12-hour shifts, and apparently with no benefits, in a city where the median household income was $44,000 back in 2005.

Also, according to the blog post, Cinram is getting some tax breaks for locating their DVD-making business in Huntsville. I suppose expecting them to hire local workers at decent living wages and providing benefits in exchange for a lower tax bill is too much to ask.


Anonymous said...

This same sort of scam has been enacted so often in the South, it isn't even news anymore. Big tax breaks from which the local community gets nothing.

The politicians all say that if they don't offer the breaks, someone else will.

Just another corporate scam, like building stadiums for sports teams.

hipparchia said...

this same sort of scam has been enacted so often in the south, it's the only way we do business anymore.

don't get me started on sports teams.