Tom O’Donnell, the current president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 817 in New York, has been named director of the Teamsters Motion Picture and Theatrical Trades Division, replacing the venerable Leo Reed, who left the post in January after 25 years at the helm. The union, founded in 1903, represents 1.4M workers throughout North America and Puerto Rico — of that number, 10,000 work in the motion picture/theatrical trades division. O’Donnell will be the representative on the national level for coordinating bargaining and will address any safety standards, work rules, and other issues on the nation’s movie sets. O’Donnell was first elected Secretary-Treasurer of Local 817 in 1990 and was elected president in 2012. He began his career, however, as a driver on the motion picture production of Stepford Wives in 1974. The announcement was made today by Teamsters general president Jim Hoffa, who said in a statement that “no one understands the industry better than Tom. He’s a tremendous leader who will continue to help Teamster locals navigate the ever changing industry landscape.” He added that O’Donnell has been “a strong partner … from coast to coast.”
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