IndieWire: IATSE Leaders Face Scrutiny and a Campaign to Stop the Agreement

Labor News, Industry News, Guild News

Reprinted from Indie Wire by Chris O’Falt on July 31, 2018.

“When news came July 26 that the producers (AMPTP) and West Coast crew (IATSE) reached a tentative labor agreement, Hollywood breathed a sigh of relief,” writes Chris O’Falt in IndieWire. “By the weekend, of the 13 locals represented in the IATSE-AMPTP negotiations, 12 informed their memberships that they would recommend ratification. IATSE locals traditionally vote in accordance with leadership recommendations, but something else happened this weekend: Union members began a grassroots Get Out the Vote campaign, with an eye toward killing the deal.

“This effort traces back to the lone standout, Local 700 (the Motion Picture Editor’s Guild). Under Cathy Repola, the union’s executive national director, the leadership did something unheard of in modern labor negotiations of below-the-line crew: They organized and engaged its members, walked them through the negotiations, and framed the differences over work hours and benefits funding as being worthy of a labor stoppage. …

“And herein lies the nightmare scenario for leaders of the other 12 locals: Members are turning to Facebook, not to them, for information. The private 2018 IATSE Contract Facebook group has grown from approximately 3,000 members to about 13,000 members in a matter of weeks, with well over 500 members joining daily. To manage the growth, moderators from each of the 13 locals have been charged with approving entry. …

Indie Wire 7/31

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About Jeffrey Burman 5301 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at

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