FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2002
Film and Television Action Committee
Announces Another IATSE Local Joins
FTAC Trade Remedy Campaign
HOLLYWOOD, CA. In a historic first, the membership of Hollywood Local 695, IATSE Production Sound Technicians, Television Engineers and Video Assist Technicians, voted unanimously today to officially endorse the Film and Television Action Committee (FTAC) campaign to pursue federal trade remedies to knock out foreign film production subsidies. Headquartered in North Hollywood, California, Local 695 represents 1500 film and television workers.
"I give the members of Local 695 a great deal of credit for having the courage to speak out and exercise their First Amendment rights in the face of adversity," said Brent Swift, chairman of FTAC. "We have found that most of the rank and file members of IATSE as well as many other organizations agree with our position on federal trade remedies. We hope that the courageous action of the members of Local 695 and Texas Studio Mechanics Local 484 will encourage others to take the same stand. Today's forum represents Union democracy at its finest."
Local 695 joins a group of dedicated supporters which includes IATSE Local 484, the Screen Actors Guild, Studio Utility Employees Local 724, IBEW Local 40, Plasterers Local 755, Maryland Production Alliance, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and Hollywood Teamsters Local 399. Our most ardent supporters, the Teamsters’ financial support has enabled FTAC to advance our trade remedy campaign for the past six months, for which we are very grateful.
Jim Osburn, the Business Agent for Local 695, wanting an open, democratic forum, invited members of all IATSE locals to attend. Local 695 also extended an invitation to representatives of the various proposals for the return of filming to the United States. While most of the approximately 325 attendees were Local 695 members, members of other IATSE locals accepted the invitation and made a strong showing. The speakers in attendance were: former State Assemblyman Scott Wildman; Center for Entertainment Industry Data and Research (CEIDR) founder Steve Katz; International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 399 Business Manager Steve Dayan; Cinematographer Haskell Wexler, A.S.C.; Area 51 Owner and Visual Effects Supervisor Tim McHugh; FTAC Chairman/Production Designer Brent Swift.
FTAC's federal trade remedy campaign includes a Section 301(a) petition filing with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) requesting that the Office investigate the Canadian subsidies. If the USTR accepts the petition as having merit, then it will move immediately to a dispute settlement proceeding under the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO will hand down the final decision. FTAC will file the Section 301(a) petition within the next four weeks.