Local 706 - The Artisan

Spring 2019

Issue link: http://digital.copcomm.com/i/1123465

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Page 5 of 55

6 • THE ARTISAN SPRING 2019 Brothers and Sisters: Growth = Strength. Strength: "The capacity to withstand great force or pressure." We are going to hear this a lot in the coming years: Growth equals Strength. Growth is Good. We need to remain strong and vibrant as a union, and as a Local within our union. Otherwise, we become outmoded, unnecessary, redundant. Look up 'redundant' in the dictionary. It's antonym (the British opposite meaning) is 'employed.' We all want to be necessary, indispensable, essential within our industry. We all want to remain educated and employed. No one wants to be redundant. I was once asked by one of our mem- bers: What are you going to do when the unions here become just like the ones in the UK, when you are all redundant?" Our member was allud- ing to our closest union cousin in England—BECTU—which is not as strong, not as vibrant as our IATSE is here in the United States. In Great Britain, artists like us are just as likely to work on a big-budget nonunion blockbuster (for lower rates and no benefits) as they are to work on low- budget union productions. Even on a BECTU job, they have "recommended rates," and much of their prep work at the beginning of each day—or cleanup work at the end of the workday—is done "off the clock"; gratis, for free. Our member knew that complacency and lack of union solidarity in the UK has driven the unions to the brink of extinction. My answer: "All the more reason for us to take an active role in our union now while we are in a state of growth, when we are far from redundant…" I told her, "Participate and build now while we are a vital part of our industry. I know that I will continue to do my part—right up until someone puts me in an urn." I have no plans to depart anytime soon. However, this is not just "my job"; this is OUR JOB. Everyone can participate in our union, become active in our Local. Give to the IATSE Political Action Committee "PAC" Fund. I do, as do many of this Local's Officers and Board members. What do we know that you don't know…? We know that our union cannot give directly to these causes, and we know that our $5 or $10 con- tributions each week go a long way in allowing our union to LOCAL PERSPECTIVE support candidates and legislation that promote workers and workers' rights. We know that we see the results on our pay- checks—and in safer workplaces and better contracts. This union—and our Local—directly support several orga- nizations that support our members: Despite its name, The Actors Fund provides much-needed help for us too: social services and financial assistance, career counseling and employ- ment training, as well as referrals to health insurance programs for those of us who have not worked enough hours to main- tain our MPIPHP benefits. The Motion Picture & Television Fund offers a wide array of services, especially for our senior members (or parents of our members), including behavioral health, residential care and palliative care services. The Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation is there for us when we are experiencing hardship due to illness, a life-changing event or underemploy- ment. Why should a good portion of our hard-earned dues go to support these organizations…? Because they provide the social and financial 'safety net' that our not-for-profit labor organization cannot. Local 706 gives to these pro- grams because these programs help us when times are tough and work is not plentiful. They can assist with bills, provide drug and alcohol counseling, and help us care for our aging parents while we are still working. We give to them because they give back to us 10 times more… The IATSE and Local 706 support these philanthropic orga- nizations. I give to each of these organizations personally as well. You can too. It's what good union members do, and it all makes good dollars and sense. In the meantime, please enjoy your issue of The Artisan. Sincerely and fraternally, Randy Sayer by Randy SayeR Business Representative, I.A.T.S.E. Local 706 Support these philanthropic organizations. It's what good union members do. " "

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