Banner - District One History

1987 and 1988

  1. Newsletter Christmas 1987--About District One
    By Thomas Watters, Jr.

  2. Newsletter Christmas 1987--Report From Local 675
  3. Newsletter Christmas 1987--Report From Local 154
  4. Newsletter Christmas 1987--Story About Lowell Wheeler
  5. Newsletter Christmas 1988--From The Secretary
  6. Newsletter Christmas 1988--Report From Local 175
  7. Newsletter Christmas 1988--Report From Local 154
  8. Newsletter Christmas 1998--Report From Local 28
  9. Newsletter Christmas 1988--Training By Susan Traynor
  10. Newsletter Christmas 1988--Report From Local 339
  11. Newsletter Christmas 1988--Death Benefit Information
  12. Newsletter Christmas, 1988--Constitution Change

Newsletter-Christmas 1987

         About District No. One--By Thomas Watters, Jr.: - - Our Northwest area seems to be holding together so far as membership goes. Merging of some local unions have certainly helped keep things in balance.

         The Stagehand locals seem to be holding their own with added boosts from traveling rock shows and area movie making.

         Our one Theatrical Wardrobe union is retaining their membership and keeping themselves fairly busy.

         The Projectionist locals are still struggling but with so many technical advancements in the exhibition business, they seem to be making some improvement towards convincing the exhibitor we are still skilled craftsmen.

         Information just received tells us our International Convention will be the week begining August 8th, 1988 in Reno, Nevada. Our District Convention will be held in the same place on Saturday, August 6th, 1988. You will be notified later with more details.

         Let me wish all locals and members of District No. One the happiest of holidays.

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         Eugene, Oregon, Local 675--By Elizabeth Rosenblatt, President Local 675--(This article arrived too late to be printed in our Christmas 1986 edition): - - Howdy and greetings for the New Year. This is Local 675 in Eugene, Oregon checking in. Hope each of your Nutcrackers went well!!

         An increase in membership and the HBO/James Garner movie "Promise" have helped in making us a bigger family and a stronger union.

         The Hult Center for the performing arts is our biggest contract here in Eugene; providing work for about 15 of our members. Although in 1929 we were predominately a Projectionists Union, times have changed. Moyer and Luxury have all but two of the movie theatres, and 675 is now a healthy mixed local with an emphasis in stage work.

         We are looking forward to a full year with more outside the Hult Center. Hope to see you at the 87 caucus.

         Till then, here wishing you a Happy-Healthy New Year.

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         Seattle, Washington, Local 154--By Thomas Watters, Jr.: - - As this year leaves we look forward to another. The past year has left the members of Local 154 not too much "worse for the wear".

         With the acquisition of SRO by the Cineplex Odeon organization in December of 1986 things have not changed too much. Since our general contract expires the end of February of 1988, we may find some answers to questions we have not asked.

         This past summer we have finalized a new four year contract with the Seven Gables Corporation. This agreement includes their new metro ten plex scheduled to open in February of 1988.          We are still picketing the one non-union United Artists unit downtown Seattle as well as the whole Moyer Luxury chain.

         This past year we have taken in members and lost due to death, resignation and honorable withdrawl.

         In closing, let us wish you all a Merry Christmas and a good year ahead.

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         "Witness Recalls Chkalov Landing As Fun"--By John Branton, The Columbian: - - The story is about Lowell Wheeler a long time member and officer of Local 401, Vancouver, Washington (now merged with Local 175). History of Lowell and his father Charley with Local 410 dates back and is another complete and colorful story.

         Lowell Wheeler had just unloaded a crate of lettuce from the rumble seat of his Cadillac roadster when he heard a roar overhead. It was June 20, 1937. Wheeler was 26 and was delivering produce from Portland to the Army store near Pearson Field. The rumble was a big Russian ANT-25 airplane flying toward Pearson on its way from Moscow via the North Pole.

         Wheeler and the store manager, Don Harter Sr., ran outside the PX. "I remember Don Harter said, "What the hell is that?" Wheeler said. "A plane that size and coming in that low was unusual to see." The ANT-25, its single 900 horsepower engine droning, "didn't circle around," Wheeler said. "It just came right in."

         Wheeler didn't know the event was history, that it was the first time a plane had flown the dangerous non-stop polar route. Or that thousands of aviation enthusiasts and newspapermen soon would be rushing to the scene. "I had no idea," he said. But he did run to his car, grab his camera and start shooting. "I was kind of a photography hound anyway."

         Three weary Soviet fliers, pilot Valeri Chkalov, co-pilot Georgy Baidukov and navigator Alexander Belyakov, climbed from the machine. "Here's these three little Russian guys and, boy, were they happy because they had landed. You couldn't understand them. They were real nice guys. It was a lot of fun. I could tell by the way they were talking they were out of gas." According to news reports after the landing, the plane had less than 11 gallons of fuel. - 15 minutes flying time - when it landed.

         The 63-hour flight, in a time when aviation equaled romance, had been guided by Russian, Canadian and American radio beacons in a spirit of international cooperation. The Soviet aviators were welcomed as heroes in Vancouver and around the world. After the landing, Wheeler said, "The Army got in here in a hurry and barricaded everything up. I just got the heck out because I still had produce to-deliver."

         Today, Wheeler is 76 and semi retired. But in 1937 he worked day and night. In the morning, he would drive to Produce Row in Portland to pick up fresh food for the PX and small grocery stores in Vancouver. "I didn't have a truck in those days. I delivered the produce in a roadster. It had a big rumble seat." He said he can't remember when the Cadillac was made, but he said, "It was a good car. I paid a bundle for it even in those days. But I was always working and I always had money, so if I wanted something good, I got it. I was a bachelor in those days."

         At night, Wheeler, like his father, the late Charles Wheeler, was a theater projectionist, "in the days of the (now defunct) Mission and the State and the Roxie theaters in Vancouver." Lowell Wheeler later operated his own television and radio repair businesses and managed movie theaters in Vancouver.

         He and his wife, Juanita, had two sons, one of whom died in World War II. After Juanita died, Wheeler remarried and fathered a son, Brent, 19, who lives with him and is to graduate from Hudson's Bay High School this year.

         Wheeler said he retired eight months ago, or tried to. "I've always been a workaholic," Wheeler said. "I'm still doing work out of the house (repairing) old time radios."

         Wheeler, recalling his 50-year old encounter with the Russians, said he liked them. "They were friendly and we were friendly too. We had no problems. And why in hell we can't get along today is more than I can understand. Think of how much we'd save if we worked together instead of everybody pulling against each other. It's the big guys that want to fight, not the little people."

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Newsletter - Christmas 1988

         From The Secretary--By John R. DiSciullo: - - As I end my first three months as District Secretary, I want to thank all the Locals in the District for the help they have gave me in getting membership information up to date. There are sill some Locals who have not forwarded a up dated address list to me, and till they do, I will hold off sending this NEWSLETTER to them, as this year with the increase in postage rates it is no longer able for us to send the newsletter out as permit mail. The fee has gone up to $60.00 per year and 18 cents per copy where if you don't send out 800 or more you can send them first class cheaper. We then will receive the undelivered ones back without any charge.

         It is my hope as I start this newsletter that I will receive many more articles from the Locals them Tommy received in the past. As he as said "Participation in this Newsletter is far from acceptable".

         It would also help me if all the Locals would inform me of their Officers for the coming year, including the telephone numbers of the Treasurer or the officer who will be paying the bills. In the coming year I will be putting out a letter informing all Treasurers of the method of payment to the District for Per Capita and Insurance Fund. There are still some locals making only one check out for both payments, when it should be one to each fund.

         It is now December 16 and I am hoping to get this to all the members of District #1 by January 1, 1989. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and please feel free to call me with any problems you may have.

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         Tacoma and Southwest Washington, Local 175--By Al Tone: - - Local 175 has had its' problems, management seems to dictate more and more and we get- less and less! We're going to get stronger; we're getting more input from the members, which makes for a healthier climate! The closer knit that our Locals become, we feel that we can take care of the problems that arise before management gets involved!

         The bottom line for Local 175 is Get Stronger, and that's what our New Years resolution is!

         Happy Holidays and a stronger Union for all of us, from all of us here at Local 175.

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         Seattle, Washington, Local 154--By Thomas Watters, Jr.: - - The holiday season and end of another year approaches with our annual message of events past.

         We hope finally completed-signed agreements with all Union employers. This includes our equitable Health & Welfare program which Covers Doctors, hospitals, Dental and Vision care. Also, we were able to improve on Employer contributions to the I.A.T.S.E. National Pension Fund with the new rates just implemented. We also accomplished a fourth week of vacation after fifteen years employment.

         Wage increases were minimal for the most part, but considerable for some. Regardless, this gives us some security to 1991 and 1992.

         As mentioned before, Local 154 continues with a complete training program for those who desire to work in this jurisdiction and who are new to the industry. We have now added a new wing to this program, which includes training on all facets of AUDIOVISUAL equipment. This includes Sound Mixers, Multi media, film projectors and slide machines, opaque and overhead projectors, Video projection, monitors and cameras. We are finding considerable growth in this area and anticipate this continuing in the ensuing years. It is a struggle to convince many employers to use our skills, to pay reasonable wages and allow us some guarantees with a fringe benefit package. Worse, though, lies being able to supply those employers with the class of competent and dependable people we promise to supply.

         Our membership and jobs holds fairly consistent. At present, our membership roster is down about ten members, but we will be obligating close to that number in the next couple of months.

         We would like to pledge our support and hope good luck to our new District Secretary, John DiSciullo. His job and the future of this District will only be successful and meaningful with the complete cooperation and informational input from the officers and members of the local unions that comprise this District.

         MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to all.

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         Portland, Oregon, Local 28--By James Robinson: - - Greetings from Local 28. Our exciting news is that the District Secretary position is back in Portland. Our Business Agent, John DiSciullo was elected District Secretary at the last Convention. John has been busy entering the Secretary's records onto his computer. The records needed a lot of updating and documenting.

         Local 28 is busy with contract negotiation between our Memorial Coliseum Utility Members and the ER Commission. The Stage Contract for the Auditorium, the Schnitzer, Memorial Coliseum, and the Intermediate Theatre has also expired, with very preliminary talks underway. The major question for both negotiations is which Government organization will control the buildings. There are stories in the newspaper that the County's Metro Commission may be merged with the ER Commission. The ER Commission is City, and Metro is County. In the negotiations, our Memorial Coliseum Utility Steward Randy Frederick has been most helpful.

         About a year ago, the buildings within The Performing Arts group were merged with the ER Commission. The Stagehands have seen a decrease in management responsibility with poor maintenance of the buildings. Also, the budget to maintain stage equipment is very small. Thus, upkeep of the stage is not done.

         In other news, ground was broken for a new Convention Center. It will be completed in two years. The new center will be managed by Metro.

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         Portland, Oregon, Local 28--By Susan Traynor: - - Before I read the Autumn 1988 issue of THE OFFICIAL BULLETIN, I was a member of the alliance with a strong and proud knowledge of Stagecraft and our history of Democratically organizing the craft. So far we have been alert enough to work our way through changes in technology. Solidarity and rightful confidence been the result of successful advancements such as the complete changeover from resistor type switchboards to computerized lighting consoles. As written on page 28 of the Official Bulletin, "It was fortunate that the Alliance and Local #1 were ahead of their time and had the foresight to prepare their members with seminars and educational courses to meet the challenges brought about by radical changes that resulted from new technology..."

         Now after reading the Autumn 1988 Official Bulletin, what I saw vaguely is clearly written on each and every page: Tom Donahue, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO says, "We must keep on training and retraining so our people can continue to manage change." He admits the constant adaptations of our Union structure; I.E. bargaining and education are "not easy but essential to our future."

         With this extremely generalized synopsis in mind, I would like to propose to all members of our union an addition to our valuable NEWSLETTER: An educational forum where all members who have technical advice, information, and questions can write in to every issue.

         New technologies which generate difficult problems yet frequently effect our employment rate and bargaining power include pay and cable vision, direct satellite broadcasting, electronically assisted editing of celluloid films, audio and visual recorders, synthesized music production, compact disks, and digital tapes.

         I would like to conclude by quoting a paragraph also in the Autumn Bulletin:

         "Because of the rapidly changing nature of the stagehands functions we can no longer afford the luxury of merely giving lip service to training programs. It is no longer sufficient to simply observe a few performances and learn ques. Lighting, sound, rigging are but a few of the areas that have been automated to an extent unimagined just a few years ago. Laser operators, pyrotechnicians, welders and other metal workers are no longer rarities. The requirements of licenses and certifications increase constantly, if the stage is exclusively our domain we must be competent to handle any new innovation, invention or technological change that comes our way. We have been successful in this regard to a great extent but greater opportunities are out there for us." Page 34

         Please send your Educational Forum Mail to: Local 28, 2215 S.E. Division, Suite "C", Portland, Oregon 97202.

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         Missoula, Montana, Local 339--By Ervin A. Renz: - - We have one Member working part-time as a projectionist. University Repertory Theatre Stagehands have been on tour from January through May.

         I was elected as a delegate to the International Convention and the District One Convention at the Bally's Hotel at Reno, Nevada. I was appointed to serve on the Constitution and BY-Laws Committee, and also the Election Committee. I attended the Projection, Stage and Secretary Treasurer Caucus. The Secretary Handbook I received with procedures and responsibilities has valuable information.

         I have finally sent in my application for a Retired Membership Card. I plan to do some traveling and spend the winter months in Arizona.

LOCAL 339 shall be 75 YEARS old on June 1st 1989.

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         DISTRICT DEATH BENEFIT INFORMATION: - - Members of this District taking Honorable Withdrawal Cards should be aware of the following:

         "Any member who has held continuous membership of a local union in this District for at least twenty (20) years or has reached age 65 with fifteen (15) years continuous membership may, upon being granted an Honorable Withdrawal card, participate in the District Death Benefit Fund by paying Death Assessments when due. The local issuing the Honorable Withdrawal card shall be responsible for payment to the District."

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         DISTRICT DEATH BENEFIT INFORMATION: - - The following change in Section 4 of the District Death Benefit Fund was approved at the District Convention August 6, 1986 at Bally's Hotel, Reno, Nevada:

         Add the following sentence after: Enrollment fee shall be a sum as approved by Delegates at a regular Convention of this District. ADD: "However when the International deems it appropriate to wave a applicant processing fee for organizational purposes, the Local may also wave the applicant Enrollment fee."

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