Local 706 - The Artisan

Fall 2015

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/611826

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Page 7 of 55

8 LOCAL LOCAL PERSPECTIVE by Tommy Cole Business Representative, I.A.T.S.E. Local 706 I wish to thank our Local 706 membership for once again allowing me to be able to spend the next three years as their advocate in the workplace. I have thoroughly enjoyed the cama- raderie and friendships I have made as Business Representative. These friendships are not only with our Local 706 members, but with IA representatives and Vice Presidents; Trustees/ Directors, officers and working staff of the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans, and the leaders and supporters of the Motion Picture Television Fund. At the core of this mix are the nearly two thousand tal- ented make-up artists and hair stylists in our Local. They have brought me laughter and many interesting conver- sations and challenges to my life. When I first became Business Representative in 2004, the head of the IATSE West Coast office came up to me at my first "Business Rep" meet- ing at his office and shook my hand and said, "My condolences." I laughed and said thank you. This little bit of irony has stayed with me throughout my tenure at the Local because early on, I realized that he was sort of kidding on the square. For no matter how you try to help your fellow union members, you can't please everyone; I found that the only thing you can do to keep your sanity is to not take it personally and be the best you can be to all mem- bers; to do your utmost to negotiate contracts with good wages, benefits and working conditions, and to solve problems in the workplace for your members; and lastly, be truthful and don't make promises you can't keep. So far this philosophy has held me in good stead, for my career as a Business Representative has been a great ride, and I have no regrets. I would be remiss if I didn't thank some important people in my life, for without their support, their advice, their friend- ships, I would not have been able to enjoy the many adventures and achieve the accomplishments that our Local and I have been able to do. First of all, I have the best partners in the office I could ever wish for … Sue Cabral-Ebert and Randy Sayer have backed me up in all areas of my responsibilities. They are like family members … when I start a sentence, they can finish it, and visa versa. They are terrific. Kathy Sain, our office manager, Diane Burns, our accounting specialist, and Linda Flores, our dispatcher, keep all of us on point, on time, make sure all the bills are paid and all paperwork filed. Their input and collaboration are invaluable. Our two Boards, the Board of Trustees and the Executive Board, are the foundation of what unionism is about. Their knowledge, integrity and years of experience are what keeps our Local strong and viable. I thank them for their commitment. My working relationship with the IA and their representatives at the West Coast office has been a very positive collaboration for our Local, especially with our International President, Matt Loeb, and his right hand, Vice President and West Coast IA Representative- in-Charge Mike Miller. Our relation- ship is a partnership of trust, working together in helping our Local make so many positive gains, and keeping us out of harm's way by giving us support in union matters whenever needed. I also have thoroughly enjoyed the friendships with all the business representatives of the Hollywood IA locals along with those in San Francisco and San Diego. They are family and we work as one unit to support labor and keep work here in California. Lastly and most impor- tantly, I must thank my wife Aileen for our wonderful 47 years of marriage, and for putting up with my unpredict- able long hours. She is my rock and my best friend. In closing, my fondest wish for all our members is that you and yours stay healthy, and you find plenty of work in this crazy business for the next five years thanks to the new "incentives." May you be able to continue to work as a viable and integral part of this industry for years to come. You are not only part of the union … "YOU ARE THE UNION"! Now that I have won another term as Business Representative, what am I going to do? Why, I'm going to Disneyland!! Please enjoy this issue of The Artisan. Sincerely and Fraternally, Tommy Cole May you be able to continue to work as a viable and integral part of this industry for years to come. " "

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