EXCLUSIVE: Any faint chance that the dispute over ratification of a proposed new film and TV contract and the near toxic atmosphere between IATSE’s International President and the Motion Picture Editors Guild was going to be cleared up looks to be total lost cause.
After exclusively revealing a hard-hitting letter that Local 700 sent to Matthew Loeb and cc’d to all 13 of the IATSE’s international vice presidents on Wednesday alleging “a number of unprofessional and potentially illegal acts” by the union boss, Deadline now has obtained the response – which certainly isn’t contrite, at all.
“We dispute the allegations in your letter,” IATSE General Counsel Samantha Dulaney wrote to the Editors Guild’s lead attorney Michael Feinberg yesterday afternoon with accusations of carelessness. “Your remarks overall appear hasty, ill-informed, and inaccurate,” the emailed and first class mail sent 1-pager adds, calling the initial correspondence “irresponsible.”
Seeking an apology and for Loeb to “withdraw your false statements,” the original letter from LA firm Schwartz Steinsapir, Dohrmann & on behalf of Local 700 detailed demeaning remarks allegedly made to and about Editors Guild National Executive Director Cathy Repola by the IATSE boss at a union exec meeting on August 6 in NYC.
“Accordingly, no further correspondence concerning this matter is warranted nor will any be forthcoming,” Dulaney concludes in essence in her response. (Read the entire letter below)
While this undoubtedly is not the end of this, representatives for the Editors Guild and their attorneys said they had no comment on the response letter from IATSE.
This increasingly pitched and likely far from over exchange comes as Repola and her Guild are standing in lone opposition to a new three-year contract for IATSE and the producers. Having publicly call out the the new pact as “a totally unnecessary” and “unacceptable agreement,” Repola has been a thorn in Loeb’s side in urging her members to vote no on the contract.
To that end, the Editors Guild’s board of directors unanimously voted on July 28 to recommend that their members reject the proposed contract. The stance has put Local 700 not only in conflict with Loeb but the leaders of all the other 12 West Coast studio locals, who are recommending that their members vote yes on the deal.
Read the full letter from IATSE’s General Counsel here:
Dear Mr. Feinberg:
As you should know, I am General Counsel to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Your correspondence of today on behalf of your cl ient, Motion Picture Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700 appears to have been carelessly addressed directly to IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb with copies to other International officers. Obviously, your client is well aware of my position and I take seriously your irresponsible correspondence, which was directed to my client and its officers.
We dispute the allegations in your letter. Your remarks overall appear hasty, ill-informed , and inaccurate. Accordingly, no further correspondence concerning this matter is warranted nor will any be forthcoming. Nonetheless, direct any further communications concerning the matters raised in your letter to me and refrain from any further direct communications to any officers or employees of the IATSE International.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.