Home Entertainment Universal hit with measly $250 fine for trimming trees striking writers and actors used for shade

Universal hit with measly $250 fine for trimming trees striking writers and actors used for shade

by TodayDigitNews@gmail.com
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Jul 22, 2023 | 11:07 PM

City officials said Universal Pictures was fined $250 for cutting down trees that provided shade for WGA employees who were on strike in the Southern California heat.

Los Angeles Mayor Kenneth Mejia revealed Wednesday that the city did not grant the necessary permits to cut down a fig tree outside Universal’s Gate 8. On Friday, he confirmed to the studio that he had issued a $250 bond, the maximum the city could demand in this situation.

“StreetsLA will fine all first-time offenders $250 regardless of the number of trees in question. If violations continue, the fine could increase to $1,000,” it said. Posted in a long thread on Twitter. “If a tree is found to be significantly damaged, StreetsLA may require the violator to plant two trees for each damaged tree.”

Trees provided shade for workers who were stuck in negotiations with the studio.
Writers Guild Foundation/Twitter

“In this case, StreetsLA determined that the trees were not significantly damaged and would likely recover within six to 12 months,” continued Mejia. “Through our investigation, StreetsLA found that he actively protects more than 700,000 city trees and is unable to investigate abuses.There are only 12 inspectors in the city.”

WGA and SAG-AFTRA workers were furious when they returned to the picket line to find that trees were being cut during the ongoing strike. Online posts of bare trees quickly went viral.

In Los Angeles, trees were cut down while workers went on strike in 90-degree heat.
LA Mayor Kenneth Mejia/Twitter
Universal Pictures was fined $250, but city officials said it was the best they could do.
LA Mayor Kenneth Mejia/Twitter

“A quick thank you to the good people.” @universalpics You cut down the trees that shaded the picket line just before the week when temperatures hit 90 degrees,” comedian Chris Stevens quipped. tweeted.

In a statement to the Post, a spokesperson for NBCUniversal acknowledged the pruning “created unforeseen difficulties for demonstrators,” but added that “it was not our intention.”

“Working with a licensed arborist, we have been pruning these trees at this time of year each year to allow the crowns to lighten ahead of the high wind season,” the studio said.

Universal Pictures did not respond to a request for comment.

The WGA has been on strike since May 2, and the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA joined the picket line on July 14.

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