A sexual and religious harassment claim made against a senior member of IATSE Electricians Local 728 — which the union’s board had settled out of court — has sparked a letter-writing campaign within the local’s rank and file.
The claim was made against call steward Ron Tickle; the local settled the case out of court, causing someone within the union to cry foul.
A former longtime union employee, Pam Mack, initiated the claim last March, when her attorneys sent a letter threatening suit for harassment.
In that letter, which Daily Variety has obtained, numerous instances of alleged harassment over a six-year period were outlined, including constant name-calling of a gender-related or religious-based derogatory nature.
In response to inquiries about the letter, Tickle referred calls to the local’s attorney, Joseph Kaplon.
Kaplon said Thursday that the local’s board, believing that a lawsuit would be filed, had voted to resolve the matter confidentially and out of court.
“We’re very perturbed that somebody has taken it upon themselves to send this out,” he said.
Kaplon added that the local’s board would review the matter Saturday.The attorney representing Mack, John S. West of Allred, Maroko, Goldberg & Ribakoff, had no comment other than to say the letter received by Daily Variety was a confidential letter and that the matter had been resolved.
Mack had no comment.
According to an open letter directed to local members, the union settled Mack’s claim for $ 42,000, which neither side would confirm.
Yet the settlement has led to a charge in the open letter — signed by “a loyal union member”– that the union is misusing member dues to pay off a claim made against one member.
Officials from the Los Angeles office of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees had no comment on the matter.
IA policy is to let each local have its own autonomy. IA officials usually do not step into the matter unless they believe a local is having operational or administrative problems.