We are very excited to share our most recent Newsreel with you! If you are a Member on an active status, you should have received a copy of the most recent Newsreel in your mailbox last week.  To read or share a digital copy of our recent publication, click here or on the image above. 

2019 February Newsreel Articles Include:

  • Omega/Cinema Props: End of an Era or Evolving Company?
  • Casting Professionals Ratify 3-Year Agreement
  • Local 399 Contract Updates
  • 2018 California On Location Awards
  • Member Spotlight: Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus Leo T. Reed; Celebrating a Legacy 
  • 2018 Year In Review
  • Questions & Answers with Secretary-Treasurer Steve Dayan
  • James R. Hoffa Scholarship – Now Open! (Click here to apply)
  • Events, Announcements, Retirees & Obituaries 

Have an idea for an article for the next Newsreel or for our website? Email amy@ht399.org with any suggestions. 

Introduction Article By Secretary-Treasurer Steve Dayan: 

“Greetings Sisters and Brothers.

I hope you all had a great Holiday Season! As we begin the New Year, I’d like to touch on the accomplishments and gains we made in 2018 for our Membership. The entire staff of Local 399 worked diligently along with our partners in the Entertainment Union Coalition to extend our Tax Incentive program for another five years. We are currently beginning year four of our first incentive, giving us a total of seven more years of tax incentives! That’s great news for every one of our Members as we were almost at full employment for the entire year.

This year we have been on an organizing drive to organize more of the vendors in our industry. We are proud of our new Members at Quixote Grip & Lighting in Pacoima. We successfully negotiated and ratified the Quixote agreement with a first-ever, three-year contract. We’re also currently in negotiations to cover Drivers at PRG. We also filed a petition at the NLRB to cover DOT Administrators at Universal Studios and Warner Brothers. Both groups unanimously voted to have 399 represent them. The Companies’ have appealed the decision to the Board in Washington D.C., and we’ll be bargaining with both Studios while we await the NLRB decision. We have also undertaken a campaign to cover the Drivers of Catering support vehicles and have other targets that we’ll be focusing on in 2019.

All of our major contracts were negotiated in 2018 except for the Commercial Contract, which expires on January 22, 2022. In total, we successfully negotiated approximately 18 contracts for our Members this year! Most importantly, Local 399 did it all without taking any roll-backs or take-aways to our contracts. The Employers wanted to take away many of the gains we’ve achieved over the years, such as the elimination of Grouping and the Chef Driver classification but we held strong. None of these negotiations were easy. They rarely are. So we are proud to say that every agreement that we negotiated included gains in wages, working conditions, pension and health improvements. Every contract was overwhelmingly ratified by the Membership, ensuring stability and certainty for all of our Members. (Please refer to the article on Contract Negotiations in this Newsreel for more information).

We also chose to ratify our “Black Book” and Location Manager Agreements with an online ratification process for the very first time. By doing so, we increased voter turnout significantly for both ratifications. We were also able to update our Members’ personal information to better communicate with all of our Members going forward. We have improved voter participation and will continue to work diligently to improve voter participation going forward.

In December, we concluded negotiations for our Casting Director Agreement. I’d like to thank the staffs of Teamsters Local 817 in New York and Local 399 in Hollywood, as well as both the Los Angeles and New York based Casting Committees for their diligence and hard work! (Please refer to the article on our Casting Negotiations in this Newsreel for more information).

We had a major mid-term election in November of 2018. We interviewed every major and minor candidate for office in California and achieved many gains for working families. What were the Media and political parties talking about? Voter participation. We all had an opportunity in this election cycle to vote for candidates who will fight for organized labor and, thanks to all of you who took the time to vote in this important election cycle, we won! We couldn’t have made these gains without your participation. The strength and power of this Local comes from each and every one of you.

We also got the news of the Supreme Court’s decision on Janus, affecting every public sector worker in this country. In spite of that decision, Union membership in California and across the country has remained intact, with fewer Members choosing to opt out of Membership. This could also happen to the private sector, so we must continue to be vigilant.

We are honoring Leo T. Reed with an article in this Newsreel to celebrate Leo’s 80th birthday and his rich history in the labor movement as the head of Local 399 for 24 years, the longest serving Secretary-Treasurer in the history of 399. Congratulations to Leo on the occasion of his birthday. We wish him and his family a very healthy and prosperous New Year!

Scholarship applications are now open for the James R. Hoffa Scholarship Fund and will be open shortly for the Leo T. Reed Scholarship Fund and the JC42 Scholarship fund. If you have kids going off to college or trade school, make sure to check them out.

We hosted many events for our Members this year, including our 4th Annual Car Show, which was well attended and a retiree reunion in Las Vegas. Thanks to all of you who attended these events. We will also continue to put on classes for our Members – Classes that support our Drivers, Location Managers and Casting Directors, including a Coordinator Class that we hope to put on in late spring.

Sadly, we also received news that Omega Cinema Props may be closing its’ doors after decades serving our industry. We are saddened to hear the news but are hopeful Omega may find someone to buy the company. We have approximately 32 Members at Omega, many of whom have worked there for 30 years or more. We will do everything we can to place those Members in other jobs so they may continue under MPI. I told them what I tell all of our Members: We are a family and we support our Members to the best of our ability in order to provide a secure future for themselves and their families.

We have much more work to do in 2019! We’ll be rolling out our 399 Mobile App at the January Membership meeting. We’re also researching a software solution in order to digitize our grievances, contracts and historical documents in order to better assist future administrations in easily looking up grievance and arbitration awards, and our contract history.

On behalf of the staff of Local 399, I’d like to wish you all a very prosperous New Year!

In Solidarity, 

Steve Dayan


Teamsters Local 399″