By: Leo T. Reed
So far nothing has changed. Along with Productions going to foreign countries because of the cost, forty two States have offered incentives (subsidies). California is offering incentives too. Our Unions are rigorously trying to keep most of our traditional jobs home. California is not offering enough. Smaller States are offering a lot more. So we plan on taking 200 trucks to Sacramento, like we did in 1999, to wake up our legislators. This time we won’t be nice. The race is on! Wake up California!! For a number of productions it is no longer called “runaway productions;” someone already called it “ranaway productions.”
A number of States have even built Studios believing that Hollywood will resolve their economic dilemma. Some will continue to prosper, but for most, “Hollywood will be a tiny band-aid on a huge economic sore.” It won’t resolve most of their problems. However, the fat cats from Hollywood, the Producers, Directors, Actors, and the key people will continue to make the big bucks. In the meantime, I was told that the highways, infrastructures, education and welfare programs in those States have suffered. Right now a few States had dumped their incentives and others have cut theirs’ in half because people have complained, and as a result productions there have slowed down.
Los Angeles too have lost productions as we continue to tirelessly lobby Sacramento for more incentives. Still the Studios in LA continue to build new sound stages. For example, Paramount have already committed to renovate, update, and extend their sound stages. Disney has already built a new facility at Disney Ranch in Santa Clarita. The Thousand Oaks “Star” reported that multiple sound stages will be built in Moorpark, California.”
The question is why are they building those stages when it is somewhat slow in Hollywood? Are the chickens coming home to roost? Are the Producers, real carpet baggers, taking advantage of those desperate States then leave when the people wise up, or are the incentives for real and permanent? Is buying and taking away jobs from California with subsidies an example of free enterprise? Thus forcing California to do the same just to keep their jobs home. Is it bribery, enticement, or influencing? I believe that the latter two are correct because it is legal. Free enterprise! Hmmm. Strange.
In the meantime, a few Teamsters Locals are arguing over the jurisdictions. We must all stay together. We are the Teamsters! We can’t afford to be separated, and I will assure you that we won’t. We have a solid Policy Committee in our Motion Picture Division. You have seen them at our last ratification meeting 2 years ago. The entire country was ready to support Local 399 at that meeting. As the Director of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Motion Picture and Theatrical Trade Division, it is my job to keep everyone together.
We will resolve our jurisdictional issues with our fellow Teamsters amicably, and continue come to each others aid in time of need. That’s what Teamsters do. That’s what makes us the most powerful Union in the United States.
BA’s Reports: There is an unsigned complaint written by friends of the AMPTP (Producers), Vendors, Commercial Producers, and certain 399 Members regarding alleged aggressive tactics by several Business Agents. I will investigate the allegation when it is signed, and I know who to investigate it with.