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Motion Picture and Television Unions Agree to Mutual Assistance Pact
Teamsters and IATSE Join Together To Fight For Working Families
In an effort to further solidarity in the labor movement, two of the most powerful unions in the motion picture and television industry, the Teamsters and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), entered into a mutual assistance pact to work together toward common goals.
The agreement creates a framework that outlines how the unions will address organizing efforts, deal with jurisdictional issues and establishes new lines of communication aimed at strengthening the relationship. A joint committee was established to oversee the efforts to the two unions, which both service movies and television productions throughout the industry.
“We look forward to working more closely with IATSE to represent the interests of our members in the motion picture and television industry,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “There is strength in numbers and the combined power of the Teamsters and IATSE will help ensure all our members are treated fairly on the job and in contract negotiations.”
“The Teamsters are our natural allies,” said IATSE International President Matthew Loeb. “They work side by side with our members for the same employers, and they face the same challenges we do with respect to our standard of living, and health and retirement benefits.” In Hollywood, the unions both participate in the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans.
Recent meetings between the leadership of the two labor organizations have led to closer ties.
“Together our unions will work toward protecting the interests of our members,” said Leo Reed, Director of the Teamsters Motion Pictures and Theatrical Trade Division and Secretary-Treasurer of Local 399 in Hollywood. “Our members will only benefit from this new partnership.”
The executive boards of both unions ratified the agreement in a strong showing of unity and solidarity. News of the agreement was well received by rank-and-file Teamsters.
“Power in numbers, that’s what it’s all about,” said Manny Demello, a 17-year member of Local 399. “While our relationship with IATSE was rough at times in the past, it has improved. Unites with our IATSE brothers and sisters, we have more power collectively in bargaining with the producers. We can’t be played against each other.”
Building Alliances for the Future
Earlier in 2010, the Teamsters aligned their drivers’ contract expiration date with the IATSE’s agreement for the 15 locals that represent the below-the-line crew members on productions. This means on July 31, 2012, the AMPTP will face the combined bargaining power of both IATSE and the Teamsters Union.
Reed said that this was a direct result of the improved relationship between the two unions since Matthew Loeb took over as national president of IATSE.
“We have really come together in union solidarity since President Loeb took over,” Reed said. “He understands that we are stronger when we stand together and it shouldn’t matter what union we are members of – we are all brothers and sisters fighting the same battle.”
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