IATSE votes down tariff

Measures aimed to counter runaway prod'n

HOLLYWOOD — IATSE delegates overwhelmingly turned down Wednesday a quartet of resolutions calling for the giant below-the-line union to back a countervailing tariff against U.S. producers who use foreign subsidies.

The resolutions had emerged in recent weeks as an means of countering runaway production and an alternative to seeking wage-based tax credits. Voting at the IA’s national convention was in line with expectations, as prexy Thomas Short had strongly opposed the measures as counterproductive and unfair to the union’s 12,000 Canadian members, who make up 12% of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees membership.

Had the measures passed, it would have become easier for backers of the tariff plan to make a formal filing with the Intl. Trade Commission and the U.S. Intl. Trade Commission. To make such a filing, the petitioners must show that they rep half of the employees in the affected industry or about 135,000 of the 270,000 employees in U.S. showbiz jobs.

Living wage backed

The more than 700 delegates also approved resolutions opposing privatization of Social Security, presidential Fast Track trade authorization and the establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Americas; setting an eight-quarter limit on readmission payments; and declaring its solidarity with local and national “living wage” campaigns.

However, language was dropped that specified a living wage as $10.50 per hour and barred the IA from signing contracts at less than the rate unless approved by members of the unit.

Florida delegate Sandra Del Conte of Local 477 criticized Short during Wednesday’s meeting for his blunt comments to dissidents in the previous session (Daily Variety, July 18). Short is expected to be nominated to a four-year term today with no opposition.

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