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#1 jayvitela

jayvitela

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 02:28 PM

Lets talk unions. I'm currently a non-union freelancer in Houston TX. Most of my gigs lately have been sports events, pro and college. About a year ago one of the major TV production companies went "union" which started a small ripple of companies to only hire union folks. There have been many opportunities for work as a non-union member however, to break into the real money gigs you have to be in the union. In the past few year?s there?s been more small time gigs (non-union) than full rate gigs (union) so I've never felt the need to join a union (FYI this whole union thing is new to the Houston TX area). This year I've brought on a steadicam to my production company and will really push my business harder then ever. My concerns are these; If I join will I still be able to work non-union gigs, will I still be able to operate my video production biz, and of course the gamble is, will being in a union help my biz or not? Sorry to make this so long but there?s so many things that will need to change so its something I really need advise on. :blink:
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#2 JamieSilverstein

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 11:44 PM

Jay you are asking several questions........ As a local 600 member and a member of the Executive Board, I can only answer that being in a Union is a good thing for anyone who is a technician. It provides protection while on the job, standards, pension and welfare, as well as generally a better wage. As for working non-union, the answer is our policy is generally to turn a job around rather than turn it down. You generally only get opportunities to work on larger shoots if you have a union card, so if you desire to branch out and try the "big leagues" having a card is a good way to start.
The only catch is that you are a company as well as a member and there are certain conflicts between the two. You should get in touch with the local union rep down there and he or she will be able to go through the ramifications of billing through your company, insurance etc......
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