Leo Reed’s response to allegations by the author (authors?) of an unsigned letter sent by fax at a Fed Ex store near Warner Brothers at 10 PM, Sunday, July 1, 2012:
On those unproven allegations, first of all, I can only respond and investigate the allegations when it is signed, and I know who to investigate it with. If the Local 399 Business Agents are legally aggressive and assertive, I will not stop them. If a Business Agent is inappropriate in his or her response to a grievance, I will immediately deal with it.
Second, that author (authors?) of that allegation used Fed Ex, the biggest non-union scab company to deliver their message. Fed Ex is the major scab competitor to UPS, the largest Teamster Employer in the Country. Not only using Fed Ex, but at 10 PM on a Sunday night? Very sneaky. Who are those people?
Third, the letter was not signed but it listed Teamster Local 399 Members, Motion Picture Teamster Members across the Country, Theatrical Producers, Commercial Producers, Motion Picture Vendors, and Friends of the AMPTP (management). Sounds like a bunch of employers to me.
Fourth, they threatened to go to the FBI, the NLRB, the US Justice Dept., the California Attorney General’s office and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters! Go for it! Good luck! We have nothing to hide!
I’ll admit that sometimes my Business Agents have been over zealous in defending the Members but the rank and file rights will always come first over any special interest groups. Because of our assertiveness, Local 399 has won more grievances and back pay on behalf of the Members. This Local on a regular basis has won more grievances than other Local in the US, and management is not happy including those certain guilty coordinators who deliberately violated the Contracts. I believe that those allegations may have come from some of them. What do you think?
The times have definitely changed! Productions are always trying to cut back on expenses and they always pick on the Transportation Dept. first. The other unions usually have their full complement of workers, but the Teamsters always have to make adjustments. Who do you think initiated and started move crews, split shifts, skeleton crews with less hours on stage? Who? Also when some of the employers and certain Coordinators intentionally violate the contract which includes falsifying time cards, we act quickly. We will always come to your rescue. The Business Agents have to be aggressive; they can’t afford to wait. There are drivers that may remain quiet for fear of losing their jobs. We will not allow any special interest groups to run amok. The Business Agents will continue to be aggressive to defend the rights of the rank and file, and this has angered a lot of people. Hence, the unsigned allegations via Fed Ex.