Ad workers on go slow
The Creative Recruitment And Producer’s (CRAP) union – which represents copywriters, graphic designers and recruitment agents across the country – has announced that its members are set to embark on a nation-wide strike in a bid to improve wages and working conditions.
‘We’re asking for a 25% salary increase, aside from specific issues that need to be addressed with respect to working conditions,’ says Errol Conradie, CRAP spokesperson.
The employers association is offering 5%, plus an across-the-board reduction in bar opening times.
‘We were hoping the employers would come to the table in better faith than that,’ said Conradie in repsonse to the latest offer. ‘While we appreciate the offer to open to agency bars at 8am instead of 9am, this single benefit in no way compensates for the tiny increase. It doesn’t come close to addressing other key issues, like the frequency of brochure assignments, either.’
A reduction in the number of brochures being produced across the industry is one of CRAP’s key ‘advertising working condition’ negotiation points. The union maintains brochures are personally demeaning for both copywriters and designers, and that to be forced to produce too many double sided A4’s constitutes a violation of a creative worker’s basic human rights.
‘Look, we all know how bad it can get,’ says Conradie. ‘The double sided A4 has broken many a worker over the years and we’re determined to address this issue. We believe employers and clients should be equally steadfast in seeking to wipe this scourge out of our working lives completely.’
Melanie Hardbottom, spokesperson for the Adverising Employers Association, was curt in her reaction to CRAP’s position.
‘They should be grateful that they get work at all, to say nothing of the free alcohol and cut price cocaine,’ she commented in a recently released statement.
‘The recession isn’t over yet and agency bosses have taken heavy hits. Stories abound about owners having sell off one or even two of their houses on the coast just to keep business going. And as far as brochures are concerned, it’s common knowledge that most agencies would go under if they didn’t have the print management mark-up to survive off, so workers need to be careful what they ask for.’
CRAP announced that its strike action would intensify dramatically over the following week, with workers protesting via a go slow that will see them wearing headphones and listening to bad dance music in the office, surfing the internet randomly, drinking and getting high from before lunch and playing foosball obsessively.
‘Employers will see exactly how tough it can get,’ added Conradie confrontationally ‘We’re in this for the long haul, and if that means sitting around doing absoluty bugger-all all day, then that’s what we’ll do.’
— Andrew Miller has been a media and corporate ghost writer for the last 13 years. He used to write marketing satire under the John Doe pseudonym for Brand Magazine and Media Toolbox. When not releasing communications bile, Andrew runs Newtown’s Unity Design, a socially orientated arts and media company. Catch up with Unity on Facebook and Twitter.