AMPTP issues a strike warning to casting pros

Alliance tells Local 399 it will pursue legal remedies

Studios and networks have warned casting directors of upcoming legal challenges if they persist in planning for a strike.

Move comes in response to recent announcements from 400 casting directors and associates in Los Angeles and New York of a possible work stoppage if they aren’t granted recognition as a bargaining unit represented by the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 399.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which acts as a bargaining arm for the companies, has notified Local 399 that it will pursue all available legal remedies if planning for a strike continues because such steps violate federal antitrust laws and state unfair competition statutes.

The AMPTP contends that since most casting directors operate as independent contractors, an attempt to unionize them would make the Teamsters liable for financial damages from inducing breach of contract and interference with a contractual relationship.

Reps for the AMPTP and the Teamsters were not available for comment Monday.

The Teamsters began organizing the casting directors and associates two years ago. Casting directors are one of the few significant groups of Hollywood employees who are not unionized.

Local 399 also represents 4,100 studio drivers, location managers and location scouts.

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