IATSE Seeks Boycott of AFI Events

Union angered over anti-organizing efforts in Maryland.

Labor troubles ahead: IATSE President Matthew D. Loeb asked for a boycott of all activities under the auspices of the American Film Institute because of AFI's attempts to discourage organizing of a union at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, the union said on Saturday.  

In his letter released Saturday, Loeb wrote:

"I am writing to advise you of a situation that has arisen between the IATSE and the American Film Institute relative to the ushers and ticket takers. This group of important employees at the AFI’s facility in Silver Spring, Maryland, has sought to be represented by the IATSE. Unfortunately, the AFI has engaged in activities meant to disparage the union, discourage support for representation and otherwise exploit the sensitive position of employees exercising their right for representation by creating undue fear and uncertainty about their futures. I have attached two pieces of correspondence that leave little to the imagination with respect to the AFI’s clear and outrageous anti-union activities.

"The IATSE and many of its members have supported the AFI over the years. We occupy an essential and unique position in the motion picture industry and, as such, I am shocked by the position taken by the AFI. I have personally attempted to adjust the matter with AFI’s Director Ray Berry to no avail.

"I ask that you support the IATSE in its efforts to assist these individuals in their right to organize by boycotting any AFI-sponsored events and to make known publicly that financial support of AFI should be withheld until this matter is resolved.

Thank you, in advance, for your part in supporting what is simply fair and just."

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada, AFL-CIO, CLC  (IATSE) is one of the largest entertainment labor unions in the world and represents more than 110,000 technicians, artisans and craftspeople employed in stagecraft, motion picture and television production, the trade show industry and affiliated crafts throughout the United States, Its territories and Canada.