We all sat down in the meeting hall promptly at 10:00 ... and just as promptly were asked to leave as the IA Executive Board went into closed session (usual this means that the board is adjudicating a dispute between two -- or more? -- IA locals. But I didn't ask what the closed session was about, so never found out.)
The most pertinent report for IA Los Angeles locals in this session was the organizing that has gone on non-stop over the past fifteen years, and that the IA now has wall-to-wall contracts with cable producers, HBO, commercial producers, and a spate of music videos. And the IA has signed its first contract for an internet series ...
All these various contracts have given the IATSE a lot more leverage than it had when I started business reping in the early nineties. In those days, the IA had minimal coverage in cable ... also low-budget features ... also commercials. And high-end features like Driving Miss Daisy and Dances with Wolves were "non-union" features, as far as the IATSE was concerned.
Today, the IA has regained its grip on movie and television work, which means that a lot of health and pension hours have flowed into IA pension plans. Why is this important? Because television series on the east and west coasts are now shut down, so no hours into the plans. IA President Tom Short noted: "If we hadn't had all those hours most of last year and the years before, we could be in deep trouble."
The Writers' strike hangs over the proceedings. It's what IA reps talk about out in the hall, at lunch, at the hosted party last night in the hotel. Several reps think the the WGA strike will end (or unravel) two to four weeks after the DGA makes a deal. Everybody seems pretty confident the Directors Guild will nail down a new contract, and soon.
But -- unless I've missed the story in Wednesday's news -- it hasn't happened yet.