Smoke & Mirrors For IATSE & AMPTP, Too

2ND UPDATE: I’m told IATSE’s Local 695 representing Sound Technicians, Video Engineers, Television Broadcast Engineers and Studio Projectionists involved in movie and TV production are also being (mis)educated.

UPDATE: IATSE’s Motion Picture Editors Guild Local 700 is (mis)educating members, too. From the FAQ for the new IA Contract pdf document prepared by executive direcor Ron Kutak comes this outright lie:

Q. Is a “no” vote a strike vote?
A. Yes. If you elect to vote “no”, you will be electing to authorize a strike.

There’s a clear pattern of (mis)education developing that’s been engineered by the AMPTP and carried out by the compliant National Boards of certain Guilds — first, AFTRA, soon the SAG National Majority, and now IATSE as well. I told you back in June how AFTRA underhandedly tried to convince its members that a “Yes” vote ratified its proposed contract with the AMPTP and a “No” vote would supposedly authorize the board to call a strike. Blatant bullshit because a “No” vote in reality would have just sent the pact back to the negotiators for a try at better terms. And, last night, I warned you that the SAG National Majority was likely to try the same maneuver to manipulate its actors with strike scare tactics. Well, today I have evidence that IATSE is trying to pull the same trick on its below-the-liners. (Hey, the AMPTP isn’t stupid: since it worked with AFTRA, then why wouldn’t it work with the newly compliant SAG and the always compliant IATSE?)

Remember that IATSE leaders are in a panic about growing numbers of their angry members voting “No” on the proposed AMPTP contract calling for a 300- to 400-hour qualifying rollback that will rob as many as 15% of their health benefits. Typical is ICG Local 600 National President Steven Poster who had the nerve just recently to spew nonsense to members on the Cinematographers Guild website:

I would also like to take a minute to talk about the proposed IATSE/AMPTP deal… One of the most troubling misrepresentations I have heard regarding negotiations is that by just voting ‘no’ we would send the producers back to the bargaining table to re-examine the issue of the increase in hours for qualification of health care benefits in the third year of the contract, along with issues regarding new media. I cannot stress how erroneous this position is. It is absolutely false and naive to think that the producers would return to the table on only two subjects of our choosing.

Let me be clear: the producers won’t return to the table without the threat of a strike and a ‘no’ vote on this agreement means that you will be authorizing a strike. If they decided to return to bargaining, they would be free to start from scratch, in an economic environment that is by far the worst any of us has seen in our lifetimes, and promises to grow worse before we see any relief. Make no mistake about it. A far more likely scenario is that the producers would see returning to the table as an opportunity to “adjust” the deal to the worsening economic situation.

As an angry member of Local 600 emailed me, “Wanted you to read this so that you can see that, like your article with regard to SAG (mentioning what AFTRA pulled), the IATSE are pulling the same shit and are in bed with the producers. I know that you are doing the most important job in this town… telling the truth!”

UPDATE: • Is a no vote a strike vote?
o Yes. If you elect to vote no, you will be electing to authorize a strike.

  1. Why The Smoke & Mirrors, SAG & AMPTP?
  2. Remember IATSE/AMPTP Tentative Pact? There Looks Like Lotsa Trouble Ahead…
  3. IATSE/AMPTP: Controversial Health Plan Eligibility Rollback Causing Complaints
  4. Details Of AMPTP-IATSE Tentative Deal

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