Banner - District One History


  1. Newsletter June 1983--About District One
    By Thomas Watters, Jr.

  2. Newsletter June 1983--Report From Local 117
  3. Newsletter June 1983--Report From Local 28
  4. Newsletter June 1983--Report From Local 15
  5. Newsletter June 1983--Report From Local 254
  6. Newsletter June 1983--Report From Local 672
  7. Newsletter June 1983--Report From Local 339
  8. Newsletter June 1983--Report From Local 672
  9. Newsletter June 1983--Special Note To Projectionists
  10. Newsletter June 1983--Sid Phillips Retirement
  11. Newsletter Christmas, 1983--December Projectionist Caucus
    By Thomas Watters, Jr.

  12. Newsletter Christmas, 1983--Report From Local 918
  13. Newsletter Christmas, 1983--Report From Local 401
  14. Newsletter Christmas, 1983--Report From Local 154
  15. Newsletter Christmas, 1983--Report From Local 93
  16. Newsletter Christmas, 1983--Report From Local 339

Newsletter-June 1983

         About District One--By Thomas Watters, Jr.: - - There are fourteen Districts of local unions of the I.A.T.S.E. in the United States and Canada. They are numbered one thru fifteen. There is not now and never has been a District No. Thirteen. District No. One encompasses five states.

         The idea, of course, in forming a District of locals in a given area was to keep unified surveillance on the progress of events in the crafts we work. This enables us; hopefully, to better address ourselves to the problems that progress brings. Progress happens rather slowly and, thus, the problems get solved in the same slow fashion.

         Progress - Problems - or shall we agree on just changing times. Let us refer and compare some history: "Previous to the organization of Local 28, as early as December 1893, some of the charter members met and tried to organize at that time. Records show that several meetings were held but nothing happened until the organization date of January 7, 1895 when Local 28 was chartered by the I.A.T.S.E.

         The second meeting of the Local held January 16, a motion was made and seconded that there be no smoking in the hall during meetings, motion carried.

         January 5,1896 - The treasurer reported that the receipts for the past year were $57.65, expenditures $20.90, balance in treasury $36.75.

         June 13,1897 - Special meeting Motion made and seconded that the Recording Secretary draw a warrant f or $30.00 f or expenses of delegate to the Convention. George Baker (later Mayor for several terms) was the delegate elect.

         Novemher 28, 1899 - Special meeting. The following was the first wage scale to appear in the records. (this was a weekly scale) Carpenter, $25.00; Propertyman, $15.00; Flyman $15.00; Electrician, $20.00; Grips $1 .00 a performance. Overtime, 35 cents per hour.

         April 9,1903 - Propertymen were instructed not to be too hasty in regards to refusing to clean dressing rooms, as it may cause some trouble.

         September 25, 1903 - Motion made and carried to open the charter for thirty days and reduce the initiation fee to $10.00.

         February 28,1907 - A committee was appointed to formulate a plan whereby members of the Union can establish a summer camp at some nearby resort by assessing all members that wished to mingle with the merry throng. Next meeting committee was discharged as no action was taken to secure a summer playground. - (Note: in those days all theatres closed from end of June to September)

         November 28,1907 - a resolution was introduced to raise the dues of the Local to $1.50 a Quarter. Resolution was rejected.

         April 23, 1908 - Motion made and carried to allow picture operators to join Local 28 for a fee of $25.00 and that they be confined to that class of work and be given special working cards for such.

         May 28, 1908 - The committee reported that they had secured a rubber stamp reading "Operating Only" to be stamped on our regular Union cards for operators.

         September 24, 1908 - The Operators voted to ask the I.A. for a separate charter. For months the I. B.E.W. and Local 28, had clashes as to jurisdiction over picture operators.

         December 24, 1908 - President of Local 28 reported that our sister local 159, M.P.O. delegates were seated at the last Labor Council meeting.

         DID YOU KNOW - That Brother H. H. Moyer (Local 28) was the father of the Yellow Card? This law was enacted at Ottawa, Canada, Convention in 1919."

         The foregoing article was copied from District No. One Quarterly Bulletin December, 1960 issue entitled "Highlights of History" and written by Ernest H. Hood, a member of Local 28. Comparing with today it may appear that the Stagehand locals have made great progress in their field, but what you have read is only the beginning history of one such local. Records show that the following 75 years were ups and downs, fights and struggles in varying times. Not easy, that constant surveillance, to find and foresee the many problems. Finally, tougher yet to solve those problems that threaten your livelihood.

         To show how slow progress sometimes moves let us look at another article, more recent concerning the Projectionists trade:

         "The past year has seen little change in the general conditions covering the cinemas throughout the country. Theatres continue to close, mostly in areas which are well served with movie entertainment The entertainment tax which applies to cinemas was repealed in April last Therefore, it may be said that the closures are due to lack of patronage caused by poor product and the attractions of TV. However, it has been abundantly proved that the "gimmick" pictures invariably play to big business.

         It is in the field of automation, as applied to cinema equipment that much progress has been made. And several theatres have been running (I for some time past a fully automatic show.

         In each case there is a console situated in front of the circle (balcony) from which the entire film program is controlled, including focus, masking and changeovers, In addition, lighting curtain masking and non synch, also sound volume are likewise console operated. Therefore at any one time only two projectionists are required. The one in the booth threads up the projectors and rewinds the film. The other man runs the show from the console. The writer attended a public showing of this fully automated projection system and can only say it works. Every claim made for it is substantiated and there have been no major difficulties since installation. Just a few "teething problems" that were got over. There are quite a few "Projectomatic" installations around the country. There is a British made device which by means of electrical pulses raises and lowers lighting, strikes lamps, does, change overs, opens and closes curtains, starts non synch. There is, also, a less complicated model which operates booth equipment and/or the ancillory gear outside the booth. The introduction of the aforementioned automatic aids has been brought about to some degree by the shortage of good projectionists. Many have left the cinemas and taken up work in the studios and TV.

         It is safe to assume that we will see more changes in the operation of cinemas and methods of presentation. It is therefore difficult to foretell the ultimate end of the present trends as described."

         The foregoing article was written by Mr. Stan Perry, Projectionist at the Empire Theatre in London, England. The year was 1961.

Back to Top of Page

         Bellingham, Washinton, Local 117--By Bob Keel: - - For the past three years, we have operated a very successful combo, or shared projectionist arrangement between SRO's Sehome Cinemas and the Samish Twin driven. Because of its success, we are negotiating with SRO to initiate a three-way combo to include the Sehome, Samish, and Viking Twin. All three are located in a close proximity to the freeway. Thus resulting in virtually no traffic problems. One of the prime advantages to a combo operation is that the theatres involved would always be covered by a qualified operator, which would eliminate the manager relief program currently in effect which has proved to not be very successful. Other advantages would be a dramatic scale increase for those involved, and would eliminate the boredom factor which is prevalent in automated houses covered by individual operators. We are looking forward to implementing this three-way combo arrangement.

         Our largest motion picture house, the 1500 seat Mt. Baker Theatre, may also be undergoing a change in operation. The owners, who are presently operating the theatre, have indicated a desire to lease the operation to another party. SRO has negotiated a lease arrangement with the owners, and was nearly ready to assume the operation, when a group of local businessmen and arts groups expressed a desire to have the City of Bellingham purchase the theatre as a performing arts center. Currently, the situation is at an impasse; however, it does seem likely that SRO will pick up the lease, since the other parties are undergoing financial difficulties. It should be noted that SRO has no plans to multiplex the 55 year old theatre if they assume the operation, and if they do pick up the lease, all the Bellingham area theatres, with the exception of the independently owned and operated Picture Show, will be operated by SRO.

         State Street Theatre in Bellingham, which had operated as an Adult Theatre, recently closed its doors due to a lack of patronage. This theatre had operated non-union since it opened.

         Stage work in our area has been relatively slow of late, with most productions locally produced, but several motion picture companies filming in the area recently have more than adequately compensated for the slack. Recent film productions include War Games, The Prodigal, and Cry for the Stranger. Locations included Newhalem, Deception Pass, Mt. Vernon, and Coupeville. It appears as though motion picture companies are attracted to the scenic areas, which abound in the Northwest.

         Several of our members reside outside of our state and include Brother, John Higgins, who is employed in the New York area, and travels quite frequently with road companies Bro. Paul Thompson is a sound engineer in the midwest. Brother Donald Fenton, who is currently in the Army, stationed in West Germany, worked as a projectionist when he was stationed in Omaha and Souix Falls, South Dakota.

         While It may appear that the situation in our local is one of success, like some others, we have our problems, One of the problems which deeply concerns our executive board is apathy on the part of our members, We seem to consistently have low attendance at our meetings. The executive board is trying to solve the problem. It is growing exceedingly more difficult to carry out the goals and purposes of the local which ultimately benefit the individual members, when the individuals express no interest in the affairs of their local.

Back to Top of Page

         Portland, Oregon, Local 28--By Tom Bugas: - - Since I missed getting an update out for the last newsletter there is some old business to catch up on. Last September 1; Local 28 signed an agreement with the Exposition Recreation Commission of the City of Portland for our Memorial Coliseum Utility Members. The new 3 year contract changed some conditions and contract language from the last contract and gave our members wage raises over the next three years of 5%-4%-4% with all wage increases for this year retroactive to July 1, 1982. In view of all the wage cuts and freezes signed by other labor unions in the past year we feel we did a pretty good job for our members this time around.

         In November of '82 Local 28 moved off ices from the Willamette Building in downtown Portland to the other side of town at 2215 S.E. Division. For years the inconvenience of parking downtown had hindered members attending meetings and we now have ample parking as well as larger meeting hall to accommodate our growing ranks, Our mailing address remains P.O. Box 1728, Portland, Oregon, 97207 and our phone number remains 503-295-2828. Projectionist Local 159 of Portland is sharing our new office space.

         Local 28's annual election of officers was held at our January meeting. The new elected officers are: President Jim Burbach; Vice President Ron Sarver: Business Representative John DiSciullo; Treasurer Joe Bickford; Seargent At-Arms Everett Frowner, and Executive Board Members Jody Brunch, Mark Person and Peter West. Our Wardrobe and our Utility Members also each elected an Executive Board member. The Utility Members elected Lee Borden and the Wardrobe Members elected Olive Mince.

         On February3, 1983 President Jim Burbach, Recording Secretary Tom Bugs and Business Representative John DiSciullo attended the first day of the District#1 Stagehand's Caucus hosted in Seattle by Local 15. We all enjoyed discussing our respective situations and problems with the other Local Officers in attendance while gaining a good deal of information to bring back to the members of Local 28. Unfortunately the Local 28 contingent had to return to Portland to cover several calls on Sunday and thus couldn't attend the Saturday night dinner or the Sunday meeting. We look forward to keeping the District #1 Locals in close contact through the caucuses. We all benefit from fresh ideas and the information exchanged. Our thanks go out to Local 15 for their effort on the caucus.

         Progress is coming along quite slowly but surely on the City of Portland acquisition and remodeling of the Paramount Theater. Luckily the design committee has been in close contact with the stagehands in their efforts to design a theatre that is modern and still easy to work in. The City's takeover of the facility from Private ownership has been once again put off for a month or two and now it looks as if the takeover will not take place until this June. Once the remodeling has taken place the Paramount will be the new home of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra.

         Long time stagehand Brother Joe Bickford who turned the magic 65 last year in August decided to enter semi-retirement this year. Joe, who was sworn in to Local 28 on January 1, 1967 after transferring here from Seattle, is still working on operas and Oregon Symphony Pops concerts and is yet quite active in Local 28 business. Joe has been quite busy lately organizing the upcoming April 14, 1983 party in honor of Brother Don Dumas. Brother Dumas will be receiving the new IATSE Gold Card for retired members over the age of 75 who have been members for at least 25 years, Brother Bickford has secured one of the few remaining union hotels in Portland, the Westin Benson as the site for the party and we're expecting a large turnout for the evening. Brother Dumas will also be receiving from the International a 50 year membership scroll in belated recognition of his 50th anniversary as a stagehand. Brother Don Dumas was sworn in to Local 28 on October 26, 1915.

Back to Top of Page

         Seattle, Washington, Local 15--By Mike Noland-Alex Hutchison: - - On February 5th and 6th of this year, Local No. 15 hosted the District Number One Stage Caucus, which includes delegates from Vancouver, British Columbia and Anchorage, Alaska as well as officers and members from Spokane, Portland and Eugene, Oregon.

         Stagehand Caucus, February 5 and 6, 1983, Held in Seattle, Washington at the Tropics Motor Hotel and attended by the following Locals and stagehands: Seattle, Washington, Local No. 15--1. Alex F. Hutchison, Business Agent--2. Richard DeLay, President--3. Robert Krah L Vice- President--Seattle, Washington, Local No. 154--1. Dean Skillingstad, International I.A.T.S.E. Rep.-Spokane, Washington, Local No.93-2. George Lathrop, "Acting' Business Agent--Portland, Oregon, Local No. 28--1. John DiSciulIo Business Agent--2. Jim Burbach, President--3. Tom Bugas, Secretary--Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Local No. 118--1. David Little. Business Agent--Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Local No 348--1. Derek H. B. Jones, President and Secretary-Treasurer of District Number Twelve.--Eugene, Oregon, Local No. 675, 1. Richard Scheeland, Member--Anchorage, Alaska, Local No. 918--1. Linda Nelson, Business Agent.

         Senate Bill 4220, which was strongly supported by Local No. 15 membership and the Theatrical Federation, unfortunately did not make it to the floor of the Senate for a vote. The bill would have required mandatory bonding of shows thus ensuring wage and debt payment. House Bill 606 (Successor Bill) is still pending in the House.

         Senate Bill 4220, which was strongly supported by Local No. 15 membership and the Theatrical Federation, unfortunately did not make it to the floor of the Senate for a vote. The bill would have required mandatory bonding of shows thus ensuring wage and debt payment. House Bill 606 (Successor Bill) is still pending in the House.

         Negotiations are being finalized with Tacoma's newly renovated and recently opened Pantages Theatre.

         Wayne Newton will open a three night show on April 14th at Seattle's Fifth Avenue Theatre, and Liza Minelli will appear at the Paramount Theatre four nights beginning on April 1 6th.

         Local No. 15 has been picketing Albatross Productions. Union members voted to strike and on April 9, 1983, stagehands picketed from 3 o'clock in the morning until almost nine in the evening. Albatross wants the Local to work half SCABS and half-Union stagehands.

Back to Top of Page

         Yakima, Washington, Local 254--By Aubrey Patrick-Craig Johnson: - - It has been awhile since any news from our Local has made it to the newsletter. Recently there have been a few changes but most things remain the same. No contracts signed and no chance there will be. However, many members are working and generally all is going well.

         We have one new member, Craig Johnson. Business has been good for the most part It was aided greatly by a weekly (Bargain Night).

         Two new houses are under construction which will expand the Mercy quad to a six plex. Expected opening in late April or early May. In Wenatchee the Columbia Cinema Tri-Plex is being considered for expansion to a Five Plex.

Back to Top of Page

         Klamath Falls/Medford, Oregon, Local 672--By Robert J. Yager: - - Going into spring vacation. This means opening both Drive Ins. The Lithia is a single screen and the Starlite is a twin. Matinees scheduled in all hard tops daily. Business was very poor last year and through the winter. Hope they come out with some worthwhile product this year.

         We are still plagued with a nonunion six plex in White City, which is eight miles out of Medford. There is also a small 4 plex built in South Medford that plans to open about the 1st of April. No luck on getting a contract with them either.

         Tommy Moyer is now owner of Theatres in Grants Pass & Rogue River. Too close for comfort. However he is running cheap films, which is a blessing for us. It's only 25 miles away and much of the public comes to Medford to see the good pictures out for first run. Hope he continues this practice.

         One of our projectionists, Virgil Stickney Sr. rides a motorcycle all the time. The other night he was going home and a car pulled out right in front of him and he was doingabout45 M.P.H. He sure got bruised up a bit and totaled his bike. He has always been safety conscious and wears a helmet religiously. We are thankful and so is he. Let this be a lesson for anyone who thinks it is cumbersome or too hot. It is a wonderful feeling to be among the living.

         I think the newsletter is very informational for all of us. I don't recall mentioning in the last letter that we renegotiated our contract last fall. Our present contract runs through Nov. 15, 1984. We took a freeze this year with 1 year extended to the contract with a raise this Nov. I guess that is all for this time.

Back to Top of Page

         Missoula, Montana, Local 339--By Irvin A. Renz: - - We had our elections in January and the same officers were reelected except for the Vice President. Bill Raoul is the new Vice President. We also accepted three new members: Gregg Hansen, John Sautter and Jim Lynch.

         The Montana Legislature is in session this year and from the mail I receive from the reports of the Montana State AFL-CIO, they have introduced a lot more Bills than their last session. There area lot of amendments and cutting of programs with talk of increasing of income taxes and sales tax There are good Bills and lot more of bad Bills, but we shall see what the Governor shall sign. The Theatre business has been good this winter not too many good shows the usual tried a few 3-D shows. The Mann Theatres are still having the Buck Tuesday Nights and the reduced matinee admissions. The owner and manager of the Crystal Theatre has his Theatre for sale, for lack of attendance.

         The University is building now under construction the new Fine Arts Building. There is a lot of talk and study of a Dome Sports Facility in Missoula along with the University.

         The Academy Awards are presented and theatre attendance does increase especially with the picture Gandhi. We are looking forward to our summer Theatre Schedule.

Back to Top of Page

         Seatle, Washington, Local 154--By Thomas Watters, Jr.: - - Referring to the December 1982 issue of the Newsletter, I can not recall any good news of this past Quarter of 1983 to expound on.

         About the only happenings are along the line that all problems and issues of 1982 are still unresolved. But let us see what we can come up with.

         Referring to our problems with Playtime Theatres, where they terminated employees at the Roxy/Renton theatres unit in the interim of what we thought was covered under our contract with that company. After filing with the NLRB, a ruling was made in our favor to reinstate the part time projectionist and pay any wages he may have lost because of that termination. The full time person, because he acted as manager, was not covered under the jurisdiction of the NLRB. Further, the NLRB ruled that there was insufficient evidence of the existing collective bargaining agreement to apply to the Roxy/Renton unit. After depositions, facts, figures and conferences with our Attorneys, we filed an appeal to Washington, D.C. This resulted in the appeal being denied with the Washington, D.C. office backing the decision of the Regional Office that there was insufficient evidence of the existing contract encompassing the Roxy/ Renton. Precedent and experience does not always win out.

         Mr. Moyer has built another theatre in our jurisdiction in the Southcenter Tukwila area. This will be Non-union. This will give us three theatres for the picket committee to worry about. We are still negotiating on the two theatres under contract. If we cannot come to an agreement, we will have five Moyer theatres. It does not look good.

         An independent group has opened a new theatre on the East side in Kirkland. It is a "turn key" operation and a sixplex. As of this reading it is operating non-union.

         The Theatrical Federation Health and Welfare Trust Fund has changed Carriers from King County Medical to United of Omaha. This plan saves considerable money compared to the increase that King County was demanding. This becomes effective as of 1 April 1983. The new Carrier, United of Omaha, offers the same $100.00 deductible with the Million Dollar Major Medical Lifetime Maximum. After the $100.00 deductible is met, this plan pays 80% of claims to$5000.00, then pays 100%. There is no deductible required if the claim is an accident cause. Further, there is a $10,000. Life Insurance included in this plan for all covered employees. At this time there is no dependent coverage available. Included, too, with the Washington Dental Service, is a plan of equal value to our former dental plan. This appears to be an equitable plan; time will tell.

         Our Union membership is still holding at about 114. So far this year we have obligated three new members. We have an Examining and Training Committee who trains any applicant towards passing a standard Exam. This qualifies the applicant to work and we proceed to accept his membership after that. We sometimes run into unusual circumstances to protect our jurisdiction, but try to hold to the normal procedure most of the time. We have four others in training at -this time.

         Running a Union, keeping track of its membership and holding the jurisdiction in the area seems to be more time consuming than in the past. There are so many circumventing laws directed towards labor unions in these times that were not there before. Then, too, trying to keep up with the employers and their lawyer's interpretations of contract language can be a full time surveillance problem.

         With summer approaching we hope for the usual good business so everyone can complain of being overworked. There is no finer delight in the life of a Business Agent than to hear from co-workers that half of the membership wants identical days off. Trying to explain to anyone the reason we don't have twice as many members as jobs is never convincing at that particular time. And so it goes.

         Have a good Summer. Go to a Movie

         ED. NOTE: Local 785 of Coos Bay, Oregon has been dissolved. A new Local in Alaska, No. 918, has been issued a charter.

Back to Top of Page

         Special Note To Projectionists, Local 154--By Jack K. Bostock: - - Recently I had the privilege of representing Local 154 at the Film & Video Seminar held at the Seattle Center. I was very impressed with the calibre of the program and the credentials of the participants, The recurring message that I heard at the Seminar was that Film & Video is an art form requiring the dedication and cohesiveness of the entire production crew. A truly great production is a fusion of many talents - And yet, what happens when the production is finished'?

         I heard nothing about the role of the projectionist whose job it is to nurture the product and to see that it receives the came diligent care and attention that went into its creation. I don't wish this to sound like an accusation against producers because I suspect the fault lies on both sides of the fence. All too often there is an adversary attitude between production and exhibition. Why must this be so?

         We are all facing the onslaught of automation. Are we going to be homogenized so that the cream cannot rise to the top - or can we channel the new technology into greater heights of artistic excellence? Perhaps the Northwest Seminar can expand its forum to more fully embrace the projection craft and provide an interplay of dialogue and ideas for the mutual benefit of the industry.

Back to Top of Page

         Seattle, Washington, The Sid Phillips Retirement Party: - - On October 7,1982, Sid PhiIIips was honored with a party. It was held in Seattle, Washington at the Norway Center.

         Too numerous to mention, Sid and Evie were honored by friends and associates from many sections of this United States. This included people from the five states of our District No. One; also, California, Texas, Ohio, Florida and our own International President Walter F. Diehl (who, I think, hails from all 50 states; add Canada).

Back to Top of Page

Newsletter-Christmas, 1983

         About District No. One, Local 154--By Thomas Watters, Jr.: - - It was my intention, under this heading, to present some tones and news of the past for information to the members of local unions of this District. It is my further intention to continue this. For this issue, though, let me present some news of current events and future plans.

         You will notice the format and type of this Newsletter is somewhat different. Also, please note there are no pictures in this issue and will not be; at least for the present. Too, I notified all local unions some months back that I would accept Ads for Christmas greetings in this issue. I made the decision to place no more pictures in the Newsletter and NOT to accept Ads and do my utmost to cut costs of this Newsletter.

         The Advisory Board of this District is aware of these certain changes. I will bring this situation and the reasons for it to our Convention in July 1984. In the meantime, let me inform you of some future plans and ideas. I plan to issue one more Newsletter before the July Convention. It should be in the mail late Spring or early Summer. Any information that is known will be in that issue. Further, I plan to mail to each local union, delegate credentials similar to those supplied from the IA offices to the International Convention.

         Next you can plan on the District Convention to begin the Saturday proceeding the Monday opening of the I.A. International Convention. The reason for that is the fact it is part of our Constitution and By Laws and can only be changed by Resolution. Added to this, a complete restructuring of our Constitution and By Laws will be done at that Convention. This was a directive of delegates assembled at the 1982 Convention. I am not sure that the business is going to be able to be transacted in a one day District Convention. There will be many things to decide and act on in that session.

         My purpose in searching the past records of this District was to show some comparison of today's problems with those of yesterday. Also, it can be shown that ideas of the past compare closely with ideas of today. I have said this before and the history of proceedings of both the International and this District will substantiate that. You just have to make it fit into the present situation of events and try for the support of the people involved to make the effort to see if it will work or not.

         Without further elaboration on the long past history, let me try to bring a case to point. Within this District, the locals are made up of members who are mostly Stagehands and Projectionists. Over the past few years it appears the Stagehands have reached out their jurisdiction and areas. They have done this within their Local's leadership in some instances. From what I have observed, the other instances have been through area and section caucuses. This has produced ideas and action on the part of some of the Stagehand and Mixed locals to better understand the problems and help to standardize wages and conditions. Communication is the By Word.

         Seattle Local 15 has expanded, legally and officially, their jurisdiction to include Olympia, Tacoma and Everett. Portland Local 28 has increased their membership to include other crafts or jobs that fall within their place or places of employment. Other Stage and Mixed Locals in this District have moved into the Civic Centers, Domes, Repertories, Universities and Colleges within their Jurisdiction. I believe this has come about, in these "changing times", by their communicative approach, meetings and caucuses.

         Someone said, I think, that foresight is the Mother of Invention. That seems to apply to such a small group of people, though, that I have often wondered if the hindsight would not apply to the vast majority of us. If that history be fact, then I think perusal and hindsight on the part of "us vast majority" could very well save us from future destruction.

         One half of this "case in point" is the Stagehands progress. That, of course, does not mean they are without problem. Trouble is built in to this continual struggle for the betterment of wages, conditions and Union jurisdiction. The Projectionists in this District (and other Districts) have been suffering. In the technical sense we know why--AUTOMATION. In the practical sense it has been because of a lack of communication, direction and the inability to further our past skills to the future ones required; different as they may appear.

         On December 2, 1983 a Projectionist Caucus was called by the IA Office. For this District it was held in Seattle, and the outcome was for all projectionist trade locals to give consideration and to decide to begin a coordinated form of bargaining for the future. It can only be done by consent of the individual local unions involved. There was a good attendance from locals of this District at that Caucus. Following is the minutes from that Caucus:



Alex Hutchison Seattle, WA
Marvin Scifres Boise, ID
Dave Crawford Spokane, WA
J. D. Tobert Spokane, WA
John L. Stanovich Bellingham, WA
Robert T. Keel Bellingham, WA
Paul Costello Seattle, WA
David E. Oathout Seattle, WA
W. T. Coy Seattle, WA
Larry Price Seattle, WA
H. Lawler Seattle, WA
Marv Atkinson Bellevue, WA
Robert B. McRae Seattle, WA
Fred W. Jiencke III Seattle, WA
Jack Bostock Seattle, WA
Frank J. Baird Seattle, WA
Michael A. Bridgham Seattle, WA
Allen E. Williams Portland, OR
Bruce Russell Tacoma, WA
Ed McMurray Everett, WA
Al Oczkewicz Everett, WA
Joe Fiamengo Everett, WA
Ed G. Hauff Yakima, WA
Vern Harden Yakima, WA
T. L. Harrison Longview, WA
Jack Dryden Longview, WA
Bob Ridenour Lewiston, ID
Hobart Burns Lewiston, ID
James R. Larimer Klamath Falls, OR
Charles J. Burgess Medford, OR
Marvin C. Ramsey Eugene, OR

         Locals not in attendance: Local 28, 94, 240, 339, 770, 887 and 918.


         President Diehl: Explains purpose of this gathering with details of past, present and the future. Meetings have been held of all Districts in the Alliance with about two to go with another one slated for Canada.

         The Canada situation is explained that it is somewhat unique to the extent that Canadian law restricts union bargaining nationally must be done by Provinces.

         The Durwood (AMC) situation is explained and the special deals made around the Country then moving onto the Northern California State Association (NCSA) past problems with the present results, some of which are not too bad. He then gave some details on the Southern California Association problems, especially with the United Artist and Syuffy Chains. He then moves on to explain that Contracts being made today are not new problems along the lines of sharing projectionists. Projectionists can be shared two ways; one… between screens and/or units and the other is sharing time with the management personnel either per screen, many screens and/or units. No matter what; we are getting something less than all operating hours being run in the theatres.

         Further, he recounts that from action at the recent Executive Board (IA) Meeting in Boston, Mass., it was decided to approach the Projectionist Locals through their Districts to discuss future bargaining nationally, area or regionally.

         Referring to the ADOPTED PLAN that was handed to all those present and mailed to all Local Unions in the District previously, he noted some changes in the Seven (7) points listed. The changes were in the order as written and did not change the intent or proposed plan.

         Further explanation of the PLAN was in the fact of organizing all employees in the theatres. Although the theory of the Plan is one of strength and solidarity, thought must be given to the idea that the unorganized theatre employees would outnumber the present membership of Projectionists. All steps would be taken to protect the present membership. The usual life span of the working unorganized theatre employee is quite short because of many factors. Experience has proved this. But this fact compared with the increasing danger of small bargaining units of projectionists in the theatres would outweigh the minus portion of probability.

         We must keep in mind, too, that even after signing Power of Attorney to the IA; that clever attorneys on employer side can make a case out of refusing to accent this form of bargaining at the outset. This could delay for some time. These, of course, are all possibilities and possibilities only. But the fact still is facing us that something has to be done different than the way we are going.

         He then detailed the reasoning to ratify future contracts by locals by way of IA delegate strength and not on the one-person vote in the various locals. He then explained the importance of the larger locals being a part of this as that is where the bigger proportion of theatres are.

         President Diehl then recounted some Locals and Employers and the various problems with contracts and inability to get contracts. Deals being made are in no way standard or uniform and it appears to be worsening, especially in this day of Union Busting awareness.

         President Diehl continues mentioning many items; certain licensing laws for Projectionists, the Kerasotes Chain in Illinois being Non Union for many years, San Jose beginning of multiplex operation for one Person.

         He then compared the present exhibition form of motion Pictures to what may be in front of us in the future via electronic Presentations. President Diehl continues that our worries could be unfounded if we only realize we are in a Process of change and the qualified people will retain jobs and good jobs for the future. At this time he gives his experience of viewing- some electronic showings and the comparison with the present type. He wants us to be prepared that film could be leaving and the future could be in electronics in this business. He continually suggests we must train the members and look into the various trade and technical schools available.

         He then expounds somewhat on the Labor problems of today beginning with the Air Traffic Controllers, TWA (and other) Pilots of Airlines, Greyhound Bus Lines.

         He suggests we take this back to our Local membership and find informs the IA of their decisions. Perhaps he did not present this Plan as all positive, but wanted to be sure all in attendance had a complete overall picture of what all facets of this Plan may produce. One thing for sure that the way we are going is not working and this is the best idea to come out of the IA Offices that will still protect the autonomous various locals that make up the IATSE. With this automation today and questions about the future, it appears to be important to retain jurisdiction in the theatres. There are many duties to do in the theatres.

         President Diehl, after talking and outlining the foregoing for more than an hour asks if Dean Skillingstad has anything before turning the floor over to questions. Skillingstad suggests we take a short break and return. Reconvene at 11:43 AM .

         Skillingstad begins with some remarks relating his experiences in the District helping some Locals with Contracts. He recaps on outline by President Diehl and further mentions that where the Locals make the effort and can supply qualified people that they can make contracts and stay in the business. Suggests we go back to our membership, have discussions and make a decision. Skillingstad then puts the meeting up for any questions that those in attendance may have…. Thus:

         Burgess, 672: Explains his situation and agrees with what has been said in and outlined. States his is a good union area, but Union people will walk right through picket lines. He feels we have been our own enemies as far as adjusting to changing times. He realizes the problems, as does his members, and feels this is the way we must try.

         Costello, 154: Mentions his experience in the Construction Industry that the Area, Regional bargaining idea is not new and not without problems, but feels this is the way we must proceed.

         Dryden, 401: States his concerns about present and future conditions in regard to travelling between theatres covering time and possible accidents. Also, feels that problems with some locals are in the fact of retired members holding office when they are no longer employed in the field. He, also, wonders if In-flight is covered under IA Contract. President Diehl explains that In-flight is covered and it is up to Local union to make sure those employees become members if they cannot supply the help. It is a part of the agreement. President Diehl explains that is the problem for the local jurisdiction to attend to and must. He, also, states the fact of Select a Vision contract with the Hotels that the Local Union so not take care of.

         Bridghan, 154: Refers to ADOPTED PLAN about the one-person bargaining unit, then asks about a situation where there is no Projectionist, but the manager is doing the projection. President Diehl answers that if that were the case there is nothing can be done. This is the ploy of some employers and it is difficult. He further explains that Manger/Projectionist contracts can be signed if the employer agrees. If the employer will not agree than we can talk about the projectionists only.

         Burgess, 672: Explains the Manger/Projectionist situation in his area.

         Harden, 254: Asks about clarification on the combination job of Manger/Projectionist, is that type of Contract legal, only if employer agrees.

         Bostock, 154: Question on implementing the PLAN only after all locals have common expiration dates. Wonders if maybe this would take so long that it will be too late.

         Oathout, 154: Points out his agreeing with the national type bargaining. He refers to his personal contract with the Moyer chain in the Oregon Area.

         Dryden, 401: Expounds on the Moyer situation and his experience on the subject.

         Oathour, 154: Questions on picking Moyer in all places and theatres he operates.

         Burgess, 672: States his area and how close that Moyer is moving in. About all he can do and is dong is attending the Central Labor Council and mentions the fact for all the support that can be had from labor people. Skillingstad explains the situation of Moyer and The Coos Bay area. Moyer contacted B.A. personally, offered him a job upon buying out all theatres in that area. This resulted in the Local being dissolved.

         Ramsey, 675: Explains his experience with Moyer in his area and says that no matter what you do, the results is going to be the same, the one of Non Union. He says that he was offered a job by Moyer and did not accept it nor anyone else and it still ended up Non Union.

         Burns, 663: Questions if Projectionists under contract are obligated to train other people that the employer requests.

         Oathout, 154: Expounds further on Moyer and how he got into the Seattle Union. Thinks we should find out if Moyer Theatres has more than one projectionist, that we should contact them and talk to them.

         Ridenour, 663: Hands letter to President Diehl from the Employer stating idea on training projectionist for the future. He, also, says they have never implemented it.

         Williams, 159: Questions on the financing of this project. President Diehl answers that the initial start will be financed by the IA, after that he cannot answer. One thing for sure, with or without this, there will be an increase of Per Capita at the next convention. President Diehl further notes the fact of the new copy of IA Constitution and By Laws now being mailed out has many mistakes in it and will have to be redone.

         Hutchison, 15: Wonders if copies of Constitution and By Laws, Bulletins, Proceedings couldn't be mailed to Unions to distribute instead of individuals or at least to the major cities. President Diehl says that was once done and it turned out worse.

         Coy, 154: Expounds on the idea of licensing Projectionists and what he has found out by checking with the Fire Department in Seattle.

         McMurray, 180: Asks about the idea of ALL locals having to participate. He thinks that maybe we are going to have to start off regionally. He wonders if we can force local unions to join this plan. He is told that they cannot be forced. The Locals are autonomous.

         Hayden, 254: Questions the idea that we must have skills that the employer requires. It is his experience that the varied employers have different ideas on what skills are needed.

         President Diehl again says we will stay in the theatres if we are qualified and can make a concerted effort to organize and remain organized.

         Before closing, District Secretary Watters causes clarifications of maters, thus; Local Unions should send out notices to all members prior to discussion and decision and decision on this matter. Even if a special meeting should be called in order to expedite this as soon as possible. Further, keep in mind that Contracts in the future are to be ratified by delegate strength of Local Unions for reasons stated before. Hopefully, within the next few days the minutes will be typed and two complete copies will be sent to Secretaries of each Local Union of this District.

         Meeting adjourned at 1:07 P.M. - - District No. One, I.A.T.S.E. - - Thomas Watters, Jr., Secretary Treasurer.


Back to Top of Page

         Anchorage, Alaska, Local 918 Stagehands: - - To the Brothers and Sisters of IATSE District No. One. Greetings from Alaska Stagehands Local 918.

         As we approach the end of our first year as members of District No. One we would like to thank you for the support and guidance that we have received from our fellow members and supporters of the I.A.T.S.E. With the opening of the Sports Arena & Convention Center in this Alaska s largest and America's fastest growing city, we' foresee the possibility of expansion that will eventually extend across the State of Alaska.

         Presently we are in negotiations with local producers and the Anchorage Concert Association for mutually beneficial contracts that will guarantee work of the highest available quality to the contractees and a guarantee of income to the members of Local 918.

         In this season of joy, when seated with family and friends, we wish you to set aside a moment of remembrance to those Brothers and Sisters who through their toil, sacrifice, triumph and dedication have enabled the members of District No. One to pursue their chosen livelihood. In these times of union busting and anti-labor legislation we must not forget those who set the foundations on which we build. It is with great pride that the members of local 918 can say, "WE ARE UNION".

Back to Top of Page

         Centralia-Southwest, Washington & Astoria-Northwest, Oregon, Local 401--By Tim L. Harrison: - - Greetings from local 401. It has been a long time since we have contributed to the Newsletter. We're still here. We held our first meeting recently, after our summer break. We have managed to keep most of our members working through these hard times. We are looking forward to better times for all. We have a pre-forming Arts Center under way in Vancouver, and the Columbia 1heatre in Longview will be turned over to a task force for conversion next month. Ibis was made possible through a deal between S.R.O. and the City of Longview.

         Also S.R.O. started installation in their new quad here in Longview. This is slated to open November 22nd. It will have a total of 3,200 seats with mono sound and one 400-seat house with Dolby sound. This will be our first stereo house. Most of our concessions over the past couple of years have been in the area of multiple house operation. We now have members working as many as three houses at once.

         Well, I suppose I should stop for now. We hope to see articles from other locals, expressing their gains and troubles, so we can compare. BYE FOR NOW!.

Back to Top of Page

         Seattle, Washington, Local 154--By Thomas Watters, Jr.: - - For Projectionist Locals the problems do not seem to diminish; neither in size or quantity. Local 154 is no exception. The job description seems to be changing faster than we are able to cope. Nevertheless, Local 154 seems to be retaining size of membership, jobs & contracts. It is becoming more difficult, though, to keep up and move ahead with the countless problems.

         Our Moyer situation is not good. We continue picketing four sites at a cost of over a $1,000.00 per month to the membership. We began picketing Moyer three years ago at Aurora Village and followed shortly with the Kent Cinemas. Then the Parkway Plaza in the Southcenter shopping center area. These three were newly built units so we had to form the advertising and "informational only" type picketing. In July of 1983 we reached an impasse on the downtown Coliseum Theatre and went out on strike. We had good media coverage, but continue on to this day of no avail. The contract we had with Moyer covered the Coliseum and the Crossroads Theatres. We are still working the Crossroads under an expired contract that we and the employer have agreed, in writing, to honor until we ran can consummate a new agreement or arrive at an impasse.

         Another employer, Playtime Theatres, has caused us much misery over the past year. Some we have resolved, and presently, we are trying to finalize an addendum to the existing agreement to last until contracts expire in September of 1984. Our other employers seem to continually exert pressure of changing times in the business against the conditions set forth in our collective bargaining agreements. It becomes quite apparent that, as a Union, we must train ourselves and adapt ourselves to be qualified for the jobs that the different employers require of us. Our whole form of bargaining and conditions of employment is going to have to change drastically. That is my opinion. I see no other way.

         Since the last Newsletter in June of this year, Local 154 has lost some members. Ben Neerland died May 26, 1983. He had been retired some years and worked for many yeas at the Coliseum Theatre with his last job at the Town Theatre. Vic Kirbach also retired for many years died May 24, 1983 and last worked at the Varsity Theatre. Hugo Winton died on November 9, 1983. He was a long time member of this Local until he took out an honorable withdrawal some years ago, but carried on his obligation of D.A's to this Local.

         Previous to this, we lost Norman Taylor on the 29th of January 1983. We total this up and we have lost four members during the year 1983. We should take a short break and remember that these people were very much a part of this organization and fought and strived for the same things we are struggling for today.

         Our election was held in December with some Officer changes for the year 1984. Frank Baird is our new Secretary-Treasurer, with Jack Bostock taking the helm of Vice-President. Ken Dowling declined to run for office, which left the Vice-President position vacant. Ken has devoted so many years of his time to this Local Union. Because words alone can not express so much gratitude he is deserving, Ken will just have to live with the fact that his time and effort have not been in vain and he is worthy of that award for duty "Above and Beyond"..

         In September of 1983, Local 154 celebrated their 75th Anniversary. We were honored by the presence of our International President Walter F. Diehl, Sixth International Vice-President Jake Johnson, retired International Representative Sid Phillips, many of our noteworthy employers, members from the many locals of District No. I and a good delegation of the members of Loral 154. We appreciate the many people that joined us to help celebrate this very important time in our history, As time runs out, but on behalf of the members of Local 154 let us express SEASONS GREETINGS and a most JOYOUS NEW YEAR for 1984.

Back to Top of Page

         Spokane, Washington, Local 93--By Pat Devereaux: - - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the members of District #1. Unlike many years when writing this article for the Christmas Bulletin, there is something joyous this year to write about. Local 93's stagehands have been constantly active since the middle of September working a movie being filmed on location in Spokane entitled VISION QUEST. We have had as high as seventeen members working the movie at any given time and have had at least eight people on constantly since the shooting began. At this writing it appears that shooting will last until the end of November. What does this mean to local 93? It means that our members will gross approximately $250,000. The local itself will realize approximately $5,000 in working assessments. This may not seem like a large sum, but the normal gross earnings for Stagehands for Local 93 for an entire year is generally $200,000.

         It has been very difficult, but we have been able to maintain our usual high level of workmanship on the other shows in Spokane since the movie shoot began. Local 93 is working this season with the Spokane Symphony without a contract for the first time in ten years. The Symphony is now being charged at standard rate card rather than the previously contracted rates, which were considerably, lower. The lack of a contract has lost local 93 some work at the low-usage venues the Spokane Symphony uses around the area.

         The Projectionists half of Local 93 has not fared as well. B.A. Jim Tobert and Brother Bill Wright are now in the process of negotiating a contract with S.R.O. We are having about as much success as everyone else is with Moyer, and we all know that's not very much.

         Brother Kawahara. And myself would like to extend our thanks to Local 154 for the enjoyable time that was shown us for their 75th Anniversary. May Joy and love be yours during this joyous Holiday season and throughout the coming year.

Back to Top of Page

         Missoula, Montana, Local 339--By Irvin A. Renz: - - We have had a fairly good summer for employment with the Mann Theatres. The Mann Fox and the Triplex started Matinees about the first week in June through the Labor Day weekend in September. Fox Theatre has $1.00 admission at all times and Triplex has reduced matinee admission with the Buck Tuesday each week. The Mann has offered to give or donate the Fox Theatre to the City of Missoula with some restriction for the use of the building. The city is undecided whether to accept the building as it is in need of great repair and remodeling to keep the building in use. I have heard that Mann Theatres are willing to lift some of the restrictions.

         We have been unable to get new contracts and are going along with the old extended contract with the verbal agreements. I have heard that all the Mann Theatres are going on an hourly work, hourly pay basis. We are expecting to hear from and meet with the District Manager. The City Manager for Mann Theatres, in Missoula, has retired after the St of September with 30 years in the Fox Theatre.

         We have accepted a new member, Stephen Nelson, as a stagehand from the University Drama Department. We have had the Northwest Ballet at the University Theatre, which put all the stagehands to work with some extras. Several of our stagehands reside outside of our State and are employed at other University and Colleges.

         I attended the Montana State AFL-CIO Convention in Butte during the 3rd weekend in August. I met with Dean Skillingstad, our I.A. Representative, and also met with Emmett Sullivan, the B.A. from Butte Montana. This was a good Convention, especially with so many changes taking place in the Labor movement and employment. Our members send Greetings to all the members in the District.

Back to Top of Page

Home Page | Menu | District One History | General News
Education | Links | E-Mail John

Hit Counter
Visitors Since January 3, 1999

A Legends Production