Leaders of two Hollywood IATSE locals have been shown the door. Leslie Simon’s contract as business rep of Local 871 was not renewed, and Ed Brown, longtime business agent of Prop Local 44, was defeated in his bid for re-election. Local 44 president Michael Diersing also lost his re-election race.
Simon’s departure was not unexpected, having been on the wrong side of an officer and board election in December. The incumbents, who supported her, were swept out of office by a slate of challengers who did not endorse her, led by the local’s new president, Crystal Hopkins.
Simon, who served at the pleasure of the board, has been the local’s business rep since 2013 and played a key role in its Pay Equity movement, which seeks to raise the salaries of those employed in Hollywood’s historically female crafts — a movement to which the new leaders also are committed. An interim replacement has not yet been named. The local represents more than 2,300 script supervisors, production, script and art department coordinators, accountants, and writers’ assistants.
Prop Local 44, with more than 7,000 members, is one of Hollywood’s largest IA locals. Its newly elected business agent is Tobey Bayes, a former Local 44 assistant business agent. The local’s new president is Dutch Merrick, a member of its executive board.
Brown, an IATSE stalwart, had been chosen to nominate IATSE president Matt Loeb for re-election at the union’s last convention in 2017. Loeb won, running unopposed.
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