Friday, March 31, 2017

The Ten-Hour Day

Professor Tom Sito reminds us:

March 31, 1840 - Congress lowered the minimum workday for federal workers from 11.4 hours a day to 10 hours a day. At this time in mines and factories people worked an average 12-16 hour day. The 8 hour day wasn’t achieved until 1913, not until 1941 in Hollywood and it’s still a dream in most digital studios today.

It never ends. Movie editors work extra hours for free. Animation artists work extra hours without additional compensation, often a total of ten or twelve in a given day. Often there's a low-key, ever-present pressure to hit delivery dates and refrain from pestering the production manager about extra compensation for the extra hours. The song-and-dance is often: "We need the work by next Thursday and there's no money in the budget for overtime! Do what you need to do."

The no-money-in-the-budget threat is a non-sequitor, because the company, assuming it's under a collective bargaining agreement, has already promised to pay overtime whether they've allocated cash for it or not. Somebody should production send the memo.

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