The Summer of 2016
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
The summer of 2016 proved to be very busy for us all at Local 479. We had an unprecedented number of shows in production and more members working than ever before. Our growth continues and we recognize the amazing efforts of our sisters and brothers. Somehow, after the long days on set, our members continue to find a way to give back. Events such as our YWC Kickball Tournament, Women’s Committee Health and Wellness Day and Entertainment Industry Benefit Motorcycle Ride were well attended and tremendously successful. Our members continue to show their strength when it comes to activism and our community involvement has not gone unnoticed.
In July Business Agent Mike Akins, General Secretary / Treasurer Frank Hatcher and I traveled to San Francisco for the International General Executive Board Meeting. Over the course of the week long conference the efforts of Local 479 were noted in several reports. We received recognition for our organizing efforts, hosting the International Young Workers Conference, and our successful Training and Education programs. It is an honor to represent what is arguably one of the most active and engaged locals in the IATSE.
Union membership continues to grow across the board in the south and Local 479 has played its part. We have been recognized by the AFL-CIO and our International Representatives for our organizing efforts and proving to all that there is strength in numbers. International President Loeb firmly believes that to not organize is to produce a non-union work force. A non-union work force in the Motion Picture Industry only serves to drive down wages, eliminate health and welfare benefits, and destroy collective bargaining rights. We continue to organize non-union shows in our jurisdiction and have gained significant wage upgrades and benefits for our members. I wish to recognize Business Agent Mike Akins and International Representative Scott Harbinson for their continued focus on organizing efforts in Georgia and Alabama.
At the October General Membership meeting our local will hold nominations for the office of Business Agent, Sergeant at Arms and Labor Delegate. Those who wish to run for office should consult the Local 479 Constitution for details about the duties of the office and necessary requirements to be nominated. I am asking ALL Local 479 members to understand the importance of their vote in this election. Our recent ballot for the constitutional changes had to be thrown out due to the lack of ballots returned. This comes at a great expense to our membership and the local. Each paper ballot election cost the local between $20,000 and $25,000 dollars, so it is critical that we cast our votes. In November you will receive an election ballot in the mail. Please take the time to discuss the candidates with your union sisters and brothers. In past elections we have seen candidates win by one vote. Please participate in your Union elections and send in your ballot. Your vote counts!!!
As we head into planning our fall calendars I would ask that you save Saturday December 10th, 2016 for the Local 479 30th Anniversary and Holiday Party. It is our “Pearl” anniversary and the planning has already begun. If you wish to participate in planning this event please contact our Women’s Committee for details. This event will prove to be an elegant evening out for you and your guest so please plan on attending. Until then I will see you on the set!
Raymond L. Brown Jr., President
IATSE Local 479 Georgia