Q4 2018

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12 CINEMONTAGE / Q4 2018 FROM THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR by Cathy Repola T wo thousand eighteen has been a year of great awakening for our Guild — an awakening as to who and what we really are as a labor union. We stood with our principles, refusing to abandon them in order to be socially accepted. We witnessed an unprecedented coming together of our membership fueled by the Basic Agreement negotiations and ratification process. When we held our special membership meetings in late July to discuss the ongoing negotiations, you showed up en masse. After hearing the details, you sent me away from those meetings with a clear and resounding mandate to return to the table and continue to fight for a 10-hour turnaround for everyone, as well as long-term security for your pensions. Those meetings were incredibly inspiring, and our shared enthusiasm to make some meaningful changes in these negotiations was reinforced as our mission. You wanted the IA leadership to know that not only were these the priorities for the Local 700 membership, but also that the vast majority of our membership was prepared to fight to achieve these goals. The abundance of unified energy in those rooms made me excited about our potential achievements, and I took steps to relay our message to the IA leadership. Unfortunately, that excitement soon vanished when, at my request, I met with our chief negotiator, IATSE President Matt Loeb. He was not interested in what I had to say and was completely unwilling to have a conversation with me about the negotiation issues that were so deeply important to the livelihoods of our members. This level of membership activism was not appreciated in the way it should have been. In my opinion, he had made his mind up already about what the final deal would look like and he was not happy we were not going along with the program. When negotiations resumed the next day, it was clear that he had no interest in any input from me. He had marginalized Local 700, as evidenced by his allowing the producers to give Local 700 a shorter turnaround than all of the other locals. That was wrong and should never have happened. And the other locals — all 12 of them — went along with it. Also unwarranted and inappropriate were his continuing efforts to discredit me and retaliate against me, as demonstrated by his unjustified removal of me from the Board of Directors of the Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plans. Two years ago, when I stepped into the head leadership role of our Guild, I brought the same principles with me that have always been important to me: to never compromise my integrity, to always work to my full potential, to lift up others around me, to not be afraid to speak up when things are not right, and to stand up and fight to improve the working lives of our members. Interestingly, those are the same principles that brought me recognition within the IA. I was appointed by IA President Loeb to serve as the chair of the first- ever IATSE Women's Committee in 2015, and was the recipient of his "Outstanding Woman Leader Award" at the IA Convention in 2017. As I stand firm in my commitment to fully represent the members of Local 700, that will always be my absolute No. 1 priority. My actions throughout were unequivocally guided by the will of our Board of Directors and the membership. When our values and goals mesh with the IA's, that is of course most ideal. But there should not be a penalty when they do not. The IA has done a great deal of good for the members, and the IA I have known seeks to collectively unify, regardless of our differences. That unfortunately was not at all what we experienced. And all of this is why we must continue to build upon our foundation of unified activism and to stand firm in our courage to not be silenced. We still have much to do to build upon the groundwork we have laid and to assure that our most pressing issues are addressed in the next Basic Agreement negotiations. We must remain vigilant in our commitment and our enthusiasm. I certainly will. The recent interaction among the rank-and- A Year of Engagement and Activism CONTINUED ON PAGE 15

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