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IWW General Defense Committee Statement against AFTRA members in Target's anti-union Video

The news website recently released for public viewing a copy of Target's antiunion propaganda video. Filled with scary tales of those terrifying union organizers and how they're out for your money, it was a typically low-budget production and we frankly give it two thumbs down.

What we do take incredible exception to is that this anti-union propaganda video was a union job,starring two members of AFTRA, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Ric Reitz and Nicky Buggs.

We find it simply abhorent that anyone at all would, under the jurisdiction of their union, portray such capitalist, anti-worker swill and be fine collecting a paycheck. Ric Reitz offered an explanation typical of that drilled into too many workers by the pro-boss business unions under the AFL-CIO: "If someone hires me to play a rapist, does it make me a rapist?

You take the job, and you're an actor," says Reitz, a longtime member of AFTRA and the Screen Actors Guild. "Am I pro-union? Absolutely." To which we ask, "Would you take a job playing a rapist in a video intended to promote rape?"

If someone portrays a rapist, it's typically as part of a movie meant, in some way or another to entertain; what you have done is indeed portray a rapist: a rapist of class consciousness and class solidarity. Sure, you're pro-union. Do you know what that actually means, Ric? That means not taking part in efforts to undermine the struggles of your fellow workers.

AFTRA stood up for the anti-union Union-made film, saying it loved the First Amendment ever-so-very much. So does the IWW (see San Diego, Spokane, Seattle, Fresno, and other Free Speech Fights) and our members have been tarred and feathered, beaten, jailed, deported, and murdered for standing up in defense of workers being allowed to say what they want, where they want. But to invoke the First Amendment here, to justify allowing well-paid union workers enjoying a contract and basic levels of pay and respect to make a film to be shown to tens of thousands of lowwage workers is deplorable.

We hope you enjoyed your union scale paychecks for this job, Ric Reitz and Nicky Buggs; it was likely more than the Target workers forced to watch your swill made in a week.

An injury to one is an injury to ALL!

Solidarity Forever!


Central Secretary-Treasurer:
Steven Ayers

Steering Committee:
Chuck Bailey
Eric Zenke
Marie Mason

Demand AFTRA Apologize!