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IATSE District 2 Votes to Support SAG's Global Rule One,
and Defeats Measure Endorsing AFL-CIO Trade Remedies Resolution

MAY 12, LAKE TAHOE, NEVADA.  Runaway jobs activists scored one victory and one defeat at the IATSE District 2 convention which took place in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada May 11-12.  District 2 represents IATSE locals in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii.  In the winning column was a strong resolution of solidarity and support for the Screen Actor's Guild Global Rule One, which would extend SAG contract protections to SAG members working in English-language productions throughout the world.  The studios have argued that if the rule were enforced, it would tack on an extra 20% to the costs of producing runaway films in Canada.  The resolution was authored by FTAC steering committee member Michael Everett, and submitted by delegates of Studio Lighting Technicians Local 728.  The resolution (below) was passed by unanimous voice vote.

    Resolution submitted to IATSE District 2 Convention, May 11, 2002

    WHEREAS, film and television production workers of IATSE District 2 have suffered substantial economic harm from the flight of jobs from the United States; and

    WHEREAS, a significant factor in such job flight is the absence of arrangements to pay actor's residuals to American actors performing overseas in English language productions; and

    WHEREAS, the Screen Actors Guild, a sister union and affiliate of the AFL-CIO declared on May 1, 2002 its firm intention to enforce Global Rule One throughout the world whose goal is to insure that its members will receive residual payments in accordance with their U.S. contracts; and

    WHEREAS, the enforcement of Global Rule One by the Screen Actors Guild will substantially reduce the economic incentives driving film and television production from our shores, thereby benefiting all U.S. film and television workers including the members of locals affiliated with IATSE District 2,

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, IATSE District 2, declares its solidarity with the Screen Actors Guild in their just struggle to extend the fair and reasonable protections of Global Rule One to their members throughout the world.

Another resolution, also authored by Everett and submitted by Local 728 delegates, called on IATSE District 2 to reaffirm it's support for the AFL-CIO's Resolution Six, which calls on all affiliated unions to "initiate trade cases to stop the market-distorting importing of goods subsidized by our trading partners."  The resolution submitted to District 2 also called for the District to issue a written call to action to all District 2 locals to follow the mandate of AFL-CIO Resolution Six and support trade remedies to remove the Canadian film subsidies.  Resolution Six had been unanimously adopted at the AFL-CIO Biennial Convention held in Las Vegas in December 2001.

Proponents for the District 2 resolution argued that IATSE AFL-CIO delegates had already voted in favor of Resolution Six at the AFL-CIO convention, and the District 2 resolution was simply reaffirming the mandate of Resolution Six.

Opponents of the District 2 resolution chose to ignore the broader issue of trade remedies and the AFL-CIO mandate and focused their arguments exclusively on countervailing duties.  One delegate argued that countervailing duties stood to hurt the consumers by raising the price of movie admissions.  Another delegate compared countervailing duties to communism.  Yet another delegate argued that countervailing duties on Canadian subsidized films would provoke a ruinous global trade war that would result in a global blockade against the export of U.S. film product.  An IATSE Vice President rose to oppose the resolution by arguing that tariffs on the studios were just what the 'fatcats' and corporate stockholders secretly wanted and claimed that any tariffs collected would be turned over to the corporations.

The resolution (below) was defeated by a voice vote.

    Resolution submitted to IATSE District 2 convention, May 11, 2002

    WHEREAS, foreign film production subsidies have unfairly caused the removal of American film and television jobs from our shores and have caused substantial economic harm to members of the production locals of IATSE District 2, and

    WHEREAS, the 24th Biennial Convention of the AFL-CIO unanimously approved Resolution 6, which in order to preserve the fast eroding American manufacturing base calls on all it’s affiliates to “initiate trade cases to stop the market-distorting importing of goods subsidized by our trading partners,”

    BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, IATSE District 2 shall issue a written call to action to all affiliated film and production locals urging them to pursue all available trade remedies provided by federal law in order to insure a just and fair resolution to the crisis of runaway film and television jobs that our members now face.

 

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