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Support/Fight for the Camera Operator position....

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#1 Michael Stumpf

Michael Stumpf

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 11:16 AM

we need Local 600 Camera Operators AND DP's
to attend the National Executive Board (NEB) Meeting
Saturday the 21st of January
at the Hyatt in Hollywood.
Starts at 9am

You need to RSVP to Bob Wyar at Local 600
by calling 323-969-2728

Basically we're going to need to PLEAD to Tom Short NOT
to sign the contract that Gary Dunham agreed too which
cuts the Camera Operator position OUT of the mandatory and
necessary camera crew staffing.

It would speak VOLUMES to the IA that we DO NOT and DID NOT
support Mr. Dunham's choice to cut out our position without
us knowing or agreeing to it first. To speak VOLUMES we need
a LARGE turnout of Operators and DP's to stand up in unity and support
for this VITAL and needed position.

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#2 JamieSilverstein


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Posted 13 January 2006 - 01:21 PM

I left the Local 600 executive board during the last election, deciding not to run because I felt that the politics were getting in the way of the actual helping of the membership. Gary Dunham and party have been hell bent on getting recognition of certain issues before the internatioal that were and I guess still are unpopular with the international. By trying to bulldoze the issues, they have alienated the international, and instead of being a model example of a local that is bicostal and functioning well, we have become the whining local that just wants its way.
In all fairness though, this issue regarding the operator has been brewing for many years. I attended local negociation 6 or 7 years ago when Short told the producers that any discussion regarding the operator and still photographer positions will result in the IA's leaving the table. I've got to tell you, when he said that, the room full of Producers etc. shut up....... I was pretty impressed with the display of balls and how effective the message was. It was then that I learned that I might not always agree with Tom Short, and I might not always like the way he does things, but I believe that he has a way of getting things done for those who support him and in return who HE SUPPORTS. Essentially, its his ball, and we can either play or not, but any way you slice it, its his ball. Now that we don't have his support, the old standing issue of the operator position became vulnerable, and the producers pounced.
Finally, as far a ratification is concerned, the Hollywood Basic Contract is ratified by all those unions in the Hollywood basic bargaining unit. We are only a small small part of that unit. I believe that if it is ratified by the majority of the locals that it will go into effect.
We might have lost the right to have an operator on every show, but as you all have already discussed, there are many a DP who don't like to or cannot operate, not to mention, those on TV will suffer greatly if they do day in and day out, especially if they do Steadicam as well.
I am not sugar coating it..... It is not a good day for film workers, but it is not the final day, and there are going to be many more before the light switch is turned off. Pay attention to what is happening, stay vigilant, and try to join and support the union, because that is the only way that we are going to garner respect from producers; not just in the US but internationally.
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