UPDATE: AMPTP Suddenly Feeling Teamsters’ Heat

teamsters.JPGURGENT: The “Hollywood Teamsters” — aka the Motion Picture and Theatrical Trade Teamsters (Teamsters Local 399) which reps over 4,800 studio drivers, casting directors and location managers — today urged members to honor the WGA’s picket lines. I’m told this follows a meeting they held on Sunday morning where Secretary-Treasurer Leo T, Reed, who has held the key leadership slot at the local since 1988, reminded them that Teamsters don’t cross picket lines. This will have an immediate impact on many film and television shoots once a strike starts “by creating more problems and headaches for production,” a Teamsters official told me this afternoon. strikelogo.JPGBut the insider wanted to make clear that honoring the picket lines is a choice to be made by individual teamsters members, and not a directive from Teamsters Local 399. “The union makes that distinction because the studios could sue our asses,” the source said to me. “This is going to be a difficult decision for individual teamsters to make. But, even though it puts them in peril, I think most teamsters strongly believe they dont cross picket lines.” Here’s the announcement:

Re: Writers Strike Information – Monday, October 29, 2007

399’s position regarding a possible strike by the Writers Guild of America is that during the term of the Black Book Agreement, pursuant to Article 8(B), unless the producer fails to comply with an Arbitration Award, not to strike against, picket against, or boycott the Producer for any reason whatsoever, and use its best efforts to get the employees to perform such obligations. Done!

As for me as an individual, I will not cross any picket line whether it is sanctioned or not because I firmly believe that Teamsters do not cross picket lines. Now, if the strike is sanctioned by Joint Council 42, the Producers have agreed that they will not discipline any employee who refuses to cross. Federal law protects you if you choose otherwise. Remember, I believe that Teamsters do not cross picket lines!

Leo T. Reed
Teamsters Local 399

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