I know for a fact that several actors from LOTR have complained openly about not making much money off the films. In contrast, the films made Peter Jackson rich (plus set him up to other blockbuster films, which made him even richer). I'm not saying that he didn't deserve this money- I'm saying it's fairly obvious that some actors got a raw deal out of filming LOTR.
So basically this whole conflict arose, trying to get the best possible deal for non-union NZ actors, and I have no problem with this. But of course that may not the the unions intention, and if that is the case then I am pretty annoyed at the whole thing.