By October 1945, a seven-month strike against the movie studios by one of the two principal unions representing behind-the-scenes studio worker - Conference of Studio Unions (CSU) – had been seeing increasing tension and physical altercations between strikers and strikebreakers. The strike had not actually been as much about wages and job security as about which of the two unions – the other being the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) – should represent the different trades of the studio workforce. At the time, IATSE leaders had proven to be undemocratic and corrupt (not the IATSE of today) and received pay-offs from studio producers in exchange for keeping their membership docile. CSU leaders, on the other hand, were seen to be more democratic, unwilling to accept pay-offs from studios and decidedly not docile. Because of this, producers sought to avoid bargining with CSU by simply ignoring decisions by labor arbitrators that favored CSU. Tired of seeing their labor rights being ignored, on March 12, 1945, more than 10,000 CSU workers went on strike, targeting all studios.
October 5, 1945, was an unusually hot day in Los Angeles. Just outside Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, CSU strikers started that morning as nearly every other morning of the strike. Strikers formed picket lines and barricades outside studio gates to keep strikebreakers away, most of whom were IATSE workers. Yet, on this day, pro-studio police departments, studio security and IATSE-hired goons took the push-back to a new level of violence by launching an attack on the picket lines, using clubs, gas, wrenches, six-inch bolts and fire hoses. Strikers fought back with bottles, rocks and fists. After a two-hour melee, 40 people ended up injured and a number had to be hospitalized. Cars were overturned and destroyed. Police eventually won control of the scene and cleared the area of strikers.
The strike continued afterward for another 24 days, after which CSU, IATSE and the studios finally came to an agreement. The 1945 strike was a significant turning point in the relationship between the film industry and its labor unions. This led to much improved wages and work conditions for film workers. All labor issues, however, were not forever resolved and labor strikes have periodically occurred to this day. As for CSU, by 1948, IATSE and the studios had managed to bring about its disintegration, burying it under the label of communism. CSU members saw the hand-writing on the wall and shifted over to IATSE.
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-- How The Bloody Hollywood Strike Of 1945 Forever Changed The Film Business