DGA swaps kudos hotel

Show's attendees won't be forced to cross picket line

The Directors Guild of America has switched its Jan. 29 awards show to the Beverly Hilton Hotel from the Century Plaza due to a union boycott of the hotel.

This means the show’s 900 attendees won’t have to cross a picket line. Contract talks between Century Plaza management and the Unite Here union collapsed last week, making a protest likely.

The DGA announced the decision Monday, a week after the Producers Guild of America moved its Jan. 22 awards show from the Century Plaza to Culver Studios. The Writers Guild of America West has not yet decided whether to switch from the Century Plaza for its Feb. 19 kudos show.

Workers Unite

Los Angeles hotel workers repped by Unite Here (the recently merged union of needlework/textile workers’ UNITE and hotel/restaurant employees’ HERE) launched a boycott in mid-November of nine luxury hotels after contract talks failed to progress. Talks resumed last week for the first time in three months but broke off three days later with the union promising to continue the boycott.

The workers — who have been without a contract since July — want better wages plus a deal that would expire in 2006 at the same time as contracts with hotels in nine other major cities.

The nine hotels, negotiating as the Los Angeles Hotel Employer’s Council, oppose a joint termination date.

The DGA will announce its feature nominations Jan. 6, followed by telepic noms Jan. 10, TV series Jan. 12, commercials Jan. 13, special awards Jan. 18 and docus Jan. 19.

Oscar test

The DGA’s feature director award is a reliable bellwether of the Oscars, as the winners have been the same in both events for 49 of the last 55 years. Peter Jackson took both trophies this year for “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

The WGA and DGA have about 12,000 members while the PGA, which doesn’t have collective bargaining agreements, has about 2,000 members and acts as an advocacy group for the profession.

The WGA East will hold a simultaneous awards ceremony with the WGA West on Feb. 19 at the Pierre Hotel in Gotham.

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