Q3 2018

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6 CINEMONTAGE / Q3 2018 GET TING ORGANIZED by Rob Callahan T his issue of CineMontage, for all its many virtues, isn't the most important piece of mail you'll receive this month. Local 700 members, as well as members of our 12 sister IATSE locals who share the Basic Agreement, will soon receive ballots in their mailboxes. The election will determine whether we ratify the tentative contract deal IATSE negotiators reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) in late July. Union membership means that you have the right to a voice and a vote on the job. Most employees in this country don't have any mechanism to participate democratically in the decisions that shape their working lives. When non-union employees are unhappy with the terms their employers offer, often their only recourse is to vote with their feet. As a Guild member, though, you're going to get a ballot. You need to use it. You have likely heard by now that the Editors Guild's Board of Directors unanimously decided to recommend members vote against ratifying the tentative agreement. Our Guild's leadership deems the proposed deal inadequate. (To learn why our Guild opposes the tentative agreement, see the ad on page 11.) If you have been following the news in the trades or the buzz (and bumptiousness) on social media, you know that our leadership's objections to the deal have occasioned debate within our IATSE family. Other IATSE locals' leaders have endorsed the tentative agreement, believing that it's a satisfactory compromise even if it falls short of many of our collective ambitions. The ensuing discussions amongst rank-and-file members — in workplaces, at gathering places and, largely, online — have been lively. That's a good thing. Spirited debate is the engine that propels union democracy, provided that partisans on all sides of an argument recognize our shared commitment to solidarity. The current contention stems from honest differences in judgment about what we're able to win, and about what matters merit our taking a resolute stand. A union that's strong and accountable to its membership depends upon allies being able to argue without becoming enemies. (Sadly, a few angry individuals on social media have resorted to shamefully ad hominem attacks, but the overwhelming majority of sisters and brothers has been civil and respectful of union members with differing views.) Given all that you've probably been reading of late about the contract debate in your e-mail, in the trades, on Facebook and on Twitter, what remains to be said here? The format of a quarterly magazine doesn't lend itself to tracking the mercurial movement of news. When fights like these play out with the quicksilver speed of tweets, a journal stamped on dead trees will necessarily prove inadequate to the task of keeping its readers informed up-to-the-minute. I won't, therefore, use this space to delve into the details of this rapidly unspooling fracas. Let's look instead to the long game. We don't know how the upcoming ratification election will play out. It is possible that the members of the 13 IATSE locals concerned, in the aggregate, will approve the deal. It's conceivable that they'll vote it down. There is even the potential that, should enough IATSE members vote against the deal and should the AMPTP refuse to budge on the issues that are of chief concern, that this contract fight will lead to the IATSE's first-ever industry-wide work stoppage. What we can predict, though, is that your Guild will be stronger for the struggles we are going through this summer. The fight for a fair Basic Agreement has catalyzed The Never-Ending Effort to Forge Solidarity CONTINUED ON PAGE 10 The Editors Guild Board of Directors voted unanimously on July 28 to recommend members VOTE NO on the tentative IATSE contract. Photo by Fred Arteaga

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