Lindsay Dougherty will succeed Steve Dayan as leader of Hollywood’s Teamsters Local 399, making her the first woman to ever hold the local’s top post.
Dayan announced today that he is retiring on April 30, and the local’s executive board has voted unanimously for Dougherty to serve out the remainder of his three-year term. Dayan has been the local’s secretary-treasurer and principal officer since 2013.
Dougherty, who is currently the local’s recording secretary, is one of the fastest-rising stars in Hollywood labor circles. In November, she was elected as one of four Western Region vice presidents of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters on the slate of IBT president-elect Sean O’Brien. Last month, he appointed her director of the Teamsters Motion Picture and Theatrical Trades Division effective – the first woman to ever hold the post. That appointment is effective March 22.
She has also been Local 399’s chief negotiator in its recent round of contract talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, and again was the first woman to ever serve in that capacity.
“It’s an exciting time for the labor movement in this country,” Dougherty said. “There’s a resurgence of working people that understand the power they hold and the value of their labor. I am grateful for leaders like Steve Dayan, who understand that the labor movement is more than any one individual. It’s a collective, collaborative, and dynamic movement that must continue to grow and adapt to remain relevant and able to address the ever-changing and challenging issues working people face every day. Steve has not only been a boss, a mentor, and a friend, but his leadership style has been one that embraced new ideas, challenged the status quo, and found more value than threat in empowering a new generation. We have a strong foundation here at Teamsters Local 399 and I look forward to building a more militant and inclusive union that prioritizes our members and their best interest every step of the way.”
Dougherty is a second-generation Teamster whose career in the film industry has spanned nearly 20 years. She got her start as a dispatcher working on major feature films such as Transformers and Star Trek.
Dayan joined the local’s staff in 1999 as a business agent and organizer under then-secretary-treasurer Leo Reed, who died on 27. After becoming Local 399’s lead organizer, Dayan played a key role in organizing new groups like Hollywood-based commercial location scout managers, TV/feature location professionals across North America and the Los Angeles and New York casting directors and associate casting directors. Dayan also organized hundreds of non-union productions in Hollywood and around the country. In 2013, he defeated Reed in an election upset to become the local’s leader.
“When I took office, I came to realize my role was to pave the way for the next generation to take over and lead this great Local Union,” Dayan sad. “I prioritized modernizing the Local by enhancing our communication tools, updating our technology, creating education opportunities, tackling new organizing efforts, negotiating strong contracts, and supporting the membership both in and out of the workplace. The greatest legacy I can give to our membership now is the team I have put in place, and have had the honor to work alongside, to continue to transition this Local into the future. When union leaders talk about leaving a Union better than they found it, a key piece of that philosophy is knowing when to leave and knowing how and when to pass the reins to the next generation. For me, I couldn’t be more certain that that time has come, and that I am leaving the Local in the best of hands.”
“I can think of no better leader than Lindsay Dougherty to take this momentum and usher our members into the future to continue to build a stronger, more aggressive and inclusive Teamsters Union,” Dayan said. “Her role as lead negotiator over the past several months with the AMPTP has only proven what I have always known, Dougherty is a born leader, and I am proud to appoint her in my place. This Local is on a path to become one of the strongest Locals in our International and I can’t wait to see what is on the horizon for the Motion Picture Division and our Hollywood Teamsters.”
The local, he said, “is at an inflection point in its history. For the first time in Local 399 history, we have almost 6,000 active members in our ranks, we have an international vice-president at our Local, and the Motion Picture and Theatrical Division has returned to Hollywood.”
Dayan’s career in the film and TV industry has spanned over 46 years. He got his start in post-production as an IATSE Local 165 studio projectionist back in 1977. He later worked as an assistant editor until he made the leap to production working as a Local 399 location manager for 15 years where he worked on major productions such as: Moonlighting, City of Angels, ED TV and’ Volcano.
He was elected by the Local 399 Membership in 2013 to serve as the Principal Officer of the Local. He was overwhelmingly reelected by the membership in 2016, and again most recently in 2019.
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