I’m happy to state that we are receiving a lot of calls. The last time we had innumerable calls from the members, and most were anonymously as they prefer, were in the 1980’s. For years we have been preaching and exhorting the members to call us when there were violations and most did not respond.

I guess for fear of possible reprisals from their bosses. Today is a different day. The members are calling. They are fed up. They have responded when our Business Agents have called and had visited the sets. Among the many productions that we are currently looking at are “Group Hug” (“Avengers”) and “Artemus.” Believe me. We will take care of business.

As a result, listed below are the Business Agents’ Reports. Keep em coming! As we are shaking the bush, more quails are running out everywhere. We got em on the run!

Business Agent Shanda Laurent is happy to report the following settled grievances:

“Flash Forward” in the amount $15,000.00 to the members; “Secretariat” in the amount of $15,000.00 to the members; and my biggest thus far, “Hawaii Five-O” for $180,000.00. One Member will be receiving $51,000.00 and another is receiving $33,000.00, and so on.

I would like to say that calling your Union works. Keep calling and we will do our job.

The following is a list of grievances filed on behalf of our 399 Members:

Marvel’s “Frostbite” and “Group Hug” for laying off Group One’s while keeping Group Two’s, Dispatcher working on both productions, no housing or Per Diem for 399 Drivers in New Mexico;

Sony’s “21 Jump Street” for Common Carriers;

Sony’s “Men in Black 3” for no Captain, no Forced Call Pay, no Idle Day Pay, Common Carriers, no 399 Mechanic, and illegally deducting 3% of gross wages from 399 Drivers’ weekly paychecks;

Ludus Productions, Inc.’s “Artemis” for no Captain and Common Carriers;

SC Pictures Unit, Inc.’s “Bling Ring” has Drivers working 14 plus hours but paying only 10-12 hours. I personally caught a Group Two and a Group Three working on the weekend for $200.00 cash; Medic driving and doing Move Crews; and the Cook Driver paid $175.00 for 16 plus hours a day;

Warner Bros. “Journey 2 Mystery Island” for no Forced Calls; Meal Penalties; and not enough Drivers to cover all equipment;

SC Pictures Unit 24, Inc.’s “We Have Your Husband” for Cook Drivers not being paid correct wages and not receiving Pension, Health and Welfare;

Sony’s “Community” for a Group Two Star Driver assigned to a Fuel Truck;

Touchstone’s “Protector” for Drivers being paid M.O.W. Rate and it should be 1st Season Episodic Rate.

On another note, please be advised there is no classification for a Driver Mechanic. Drivers that are doing Mechanic work on productions are stealing your fellow 399 Mechanic Brothers’ work. We have become aware of this problem and are putting a stop to it.

HBO’s “Luck” hires Animal Wranglers that are Non-Rostered Non-399 members while our Rostered Group One Wranglers are registered as available with the Callboard;

If you have Animals on your productions, Transportation Coordinators and Captains please verify that the Wranglers/Trainers are 399 and are in proper Grouping. It could prevent your shows from these types of Grievances. The Wranglers are your Brothers and Sisters, they are our original Members and started this great Union, let’s show appreciation and take care of them.

Business Agent George Nadian reports that he and fellow Business Agent Leo T. Reed Jr. may have initiated one of the biggest grievances ever against Marvel Film Productions, on the show “Group Hug,” aka “The Avengers.” This grievance is all about non-rostered drivers doing our work in New Mexico. There is definitely a problem when there are over 50 pieces of equipment with only 12 Local 399 drivers. This will cost the Producers big time. We expect that more rostered drivers will be hired to man those pieces of equipment. After New Mexico, George and Leo Jr. went to Cleveland, Ohio where they discovered 7 pieces of LA equipment with only 1 captain and 1 driver. 300 miles away, they discovered even more violations. The battle continues.

Business Agent Leo T. Reed Jr. reports the following grievances have been settled:

“Untitled Western” – $20,000.00 to be paid to the members of Local 399 for San Francisco drivers on 399 equipment, Drivers laid off early to avoid forced calls, meal penalties, incorrect per diem rates, and a Driver doing Dispatch work.

Technicolor – Drivers paid $30.13 per hour for driving 5-ton crew cabs and forklifts after the company tried to pay them $26.06 per hour. One Driver was paid $642.00 in a retro check and $112.00 in meal penalties on 1 day.

“Think Like a Man” – Drivers given $10.00 in addition to their $40.00 meal money every day and fed a hot breakfast after the company was grieved for not providing meals to Drivers.

“Sports Camp” – $376.00 in liquidated damages paid to the Union after the company was caught using a wardrobe PA to haul wardrobe in her personal vehicle.

Finally, “Parenthood” – The Captain was paid a retro check for Captain’s rate back to the date of hire after Universal was grieved for not paying the Captain the correct rate.

Grievances Pending: “Group Hug” – Drivers aren’t receiving meal money, Los Angeles equipment replated and driven by New Mexico Drivers, insufficient numbers of 399 Drivers to operate 399 equipment, common carriers taking electric packages, and a lunch box driver driving 2 lunch boxes and other production equipment. Disney Ranch Project – A group 2 Driver was secretly working on the project and retained while group 1s were laid off. “90210”- Grouping violations and a PA doing Dispatch work. “Dexter”- Grouping violations and meal penalties. “Fun Size” – Los Angeles equipment operated by an Ohio Teamster and meal penalties. “The Lot” – Drivers not paid on time, meal penalties, and 399 Drivers laid off before organized, non-union Drivers.

President Anthony Cousimano reports that the Hertz Negotiations have concluded and a tentative Agreement has been reached. It was a very difficult negotiation, and Local 399 would like to give special thanks to Shop Stewards Roscoe Molina and Dave Cohen for their participation.

A ratification meeting date to vote on the Employers last, best, and final offer has not yet been determined. Local 399 will keep you posted. Thanks for your patience.

“All My Children” looks like it will stay in production. However, there is speculation on what company will be producing this new internet venue. Stay tuned!

And in conclusion, Brother Cousimano reports the following Warner Bros. grievances pending: “Autumn Frost” for multiple violations; “Little In Common” for sending Drivers home early to avoid overtime; “Magnus Rex for a grouping violation; and “Rock of Ages” for a subcontracting violation.

Business Agent Steve Dayan reports that the grievance on “Underground Comedy Movie was settled. Although this company had a signed agreement with Local 399, they chose to do a re-shoot with non-union labor. The Drivers received $3,568.44 in wages and benefits while the Union received $21,641.89 in liquidated damages. Brother Dayan reports he settled a grievance for a Location Manager with IAC Productions. The company paid $4,680.00 in back wages plus contributed 2 weeks’ worth of benefits. Brother Dayan also has a grievance pending on the Pilot “Grimm”, which shot in Portland. The grievance is for not utilizing a rostered Coordinator; hiring Drivers before the Captain was hired; and for not having a hyphenate Driver operating the production van.

Brother Dayan reports the following productions signed for the months of June and July 2011 include:“He Loves Me,” “Teen Wolf,” “Parker,” “Louie,” “Playing The Field,” “No One Lives,” “Artcraft – Term Agreement,” “In Gayle We Trust,” “The Baby Makers,” “We Have Your Husband,” “Lady Killer,” “End of Watch,” “More As This Story Develops,” “Freaky Deaky,” “Gulliver Quinn,” “American Girl,” “KOS Productions, Inc. Casting Directors Agreement,” “Hayden Lake,” “Great Hope Springs,” “Headshot,” “Office Seekers,” “The Words,” “I Just Want My Pants Back – Series,” “Nurse Jackie – Season 4,” “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” “The To-Do List,” “Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous,” “Blaze You Out,” “Liberal Arts,” “Once Upon a Time – Season 1,” “Fear Factor 2.0,” “I, Alex Cross,” “Untitled Strasburg-Dudek Sci-Fi Thriller (AKA Spores),” “K-11,” “Us & Them,” “Mavericks,” “The Collection,” “Middle of Nowhere,” “Les Infideles,” “Noir,” “21 & Over,” and “Jayne Mansfield’s Car.”

Business Agent Tom Marchetti reports settled grievances on the following productions: MJZ; Hello & Co.; Park Pictures; Smuggler; and Tool of North America. Grievances pending include: Rock Hard Pictures; and Independent Media.

Brother Marchetti would like to inform all Drivers that grip and electric stake beds are not to be driven to or from the set by Production Assistants. Only a properly grouped Local 399 member may drive these stake beds. Please call the office and ask for Tom if you have any questions regarding this matter.