Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Before heading into the weekend I wanted to provide another update to clarify some additional questions we have received in regards to the possible IATSE Strike. We have seen reports that they are making progress with the AMPTP in negotiations, however we will still need to wait to see if a deal is reached prior to their October 18th deadline. We expect to hear more information over the weekend and will share any updates as we receive it. As you all know, many of their issues are our same issues, especially in the fight for fair wages and protection of our pension and health benefits. We are in support of the IATSE reaching a fair deal that addresses their core concerns and lays a foundation for our negotiations which will commence once the IATSE has concluded.
Please review some of the additional questions and answers below and please reach out to your Business Agent should you have more questions.
IF THE IATSE GOES ON STRIKE, DOES THAT MEAN WE ARE ON STRIKE?
No. I want to be very clear. If the IATSE goes on Strike, that does NOT put our members on strike. We have yet to even begin bargaining and our contracts are still in effect. Members should report to work as scheduled and instructed even if the IATSE calls a Strike.
SHOULD I GO TO WORK ON MONDAY IF THE IATSE IS ON STRIKE?
Again, Laborers Local 724 members are NOT on strike should the IATSE call a strike. Members should report to work as scheduled and instructed even if the IATSE calls a Strike.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE IATSE GOES ON STRIKE AND I ENCOUNTER A PICKET LINE?
Please see your contract language for ARTICLE titled ‘No Strike – No Lock Out’ again below. “The Producer will not discipline any employee covered by this Agreement because of his refusal as an individual to cross a picket line, providing that such picket line has been sanctioned by the Southern California District Council of Laborers (or the other International Unions).
No employee covered by this Agreement shall be required by the Producer to go through any picket line when there is actual and imminent danger of bodily harm to the employee.”
Simply put, we encourage the Laborers to not cross picket lines, however ultimately that decision is up to you as an individual. Please keep in mind that SHOULD the IATSE call a strike, that while you have the right to honor the picket line where bargaining unit work is being performed, you do not have the right to strike.
If you are headed to work and you DO NOT see an actual physical picket line you are expected to report to work. If you do encounter a picket line, please make your first call to your department head to make them aware of what to do next if you are choosing to not cross. If you have any questions, please contact the Union for assistance. If the IATSE calls a strike on Monday, we understand there will be a lot of confusion at the onset so please utilize the support of the Union to make sure you are aware of your rights and work obligations.
IF THE IATSE GOES ON STRIKE AND I GET LAID OFF CAN I APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT
Yes. For our members that are laid off due to an IATSE strike you are eligible to file for unemployment benefits from the State.
To be clear, it will be the position of the producers that IATSE workers out on strike are not eligible for these same benefits.
WILL OUR CONTRACTS BE EXTENDED AGAIN?
We have just received confirmation of our request from the AMPTP to extend our Local 724 Master Agreement until October 22nd. As you know, our major agreements are set to expire today. The decision to extend is in protection of retroactivity for our members when we are finally able to bargain. We will seek another extension once we have a better idea what the IATSE is doing. Even with a contract in place, I want to remind members that the ‘No Strike – No Lock Out’ language that is shared above protects our members should they choose not to cross a physical picket line.
WHY ARE WE WAITING ON THE IATSE TO CONCLUDE NEGOTIATIONS BEFORE WE NEGOTIATE OUR AGREEMENTS?
We want to be certain of the deal the IATSE was able to make prior to embarking on our negotiations. As you know, IATSE and the Hollywood Basic Crafts are all under the MPIPHP. The health and success of our plans is of utmost concern and we want to be aware of what they were able to achieve so that we too can fight for similar benefits to protect and support our members.
HOW CAN I CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE IATSE AT THIS TIME?
Again, the visibility of their fight for a fair contract is beneficial to continue to pressure the Studios to reach a fair deal. Should the IATSE call a strike, we will share more information and ways for members to get involved.Please plan to attend our next General Membership Meeting on October 28th at 7 PM. This will be a great place to hear the most recent update we have at that time, as well as get your questions answered.
I appreciate the support of our Membership at this time. Please know we will continue to update you as we receive information. We encourage you to get connected with all of our channels of Communications and please make your Business Agent your first call with any questions or concerns. We will continue to wait and hear the progress of the IATSE negotiations. We remain hopeful in the IATSE members will get a fair deal with the AMPTP prior to the Strike deadline that has been set by the IATSE for 12:01 AM on October 18th.
In solidarity we stand!
Alex Aguilar Jr.
LiUNA! Local 724