Steve Dayan Challenges Leo Reed for Teamsters Leadership (EXCLUSIVE)

Steve Dayan Challenges Leo Reed for

Reed has held post for 24 years

In what promises to be a spirited campaign, longtime business agent Steve Dayan is challenging Leo Reed for secretary-treasurer of Local 399 of the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Reed has held the post — the top leadership slot at the local — for 24 years, or eight three-year terms. Local 399 reps over 4,500 drivers, location managers, animal wranglers and casting directors, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

Reed dismissed Dayan on Friday from the business agent post, which he had held since 2000, after being informed that Dayan intended to challenge him in the upcoming election. Dayan told Variety he is heading a “399 Members First” slate because Reed has fallen short in key areas such as contract negotiations, preventing runaway production, organizing, transparency and adjusting to changing circumstances.

In a mailer, Dayan portrayed Reed as being out of touch with the members.

“We’ve all seen our industry change and we will continue to face new challenges in the years ahead so we can no longer rely on ‘old school’ tactics,” Dayan said. “our local does not belong to any one person or family. For me, it’s always been about taking care of our members and I believe the time has come for new leadership with fresh innovative ideas that move us forward together.”

Reed won the 2010 election with 81% of of the 1,961 ballots cast over challenger Mitch Masoner, who had criticized Reed for not getting a larger minimum salary increases than 2%. That’s the same increase in the current master contract, which expires in 2015.

SEE ALSO: Teamsters re-elect Leo Reed

Randy Peterson, who was elected in 2010 as VP as part of Reed’s slate, has already endorsed Dayan for the upcoming election. Ballots for that contest will go out in October.

Starting in 2002, Dayan spearheaded Local 399’s successful three-year campaign to organize about 500 casting directors and associates in Los Angeles and New York. He’s also currently vice chairman of the California Film Commission.

Dayan has launched a website at

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  1. Ted Friesen says:

    Having retired from the Pension and Health Plans at the end of 2008, I have no business getting involved in Teamster issues. However, as the CFO of the plans for many years, Leo Reed accomplished much for his members from a Pension and Health standpoint, including the 13th and 14th checks which the retirees benefitting from. I am also aware of issues involving teir pension and health matters, he was fighting for his members and in most cases prevailed. Be sure and coose wisely. I know Steve and he is a good guy but am not aware of his accomplishments.

  2. Norton Flynn says:

    Best of luck to Steve but I’ve got to say, you don’t pop into Don Corleone’s office and inform him that you want to replace him, if nothing else it’s not good for your health

  3. Bad Bon says:

    Time for change. Time to change shirts.

  4. Phil Old teamster says:

    These comments are very interesting, one retiree is advocating a major change, Unhappy with your thireenth and fourteenth checks every year?? Leo has fought for those every negotiation, remember?? I am concerned as to who will be on Mr. Dayan’s team, no announcement as to who he has in mind to replace the existing adminstration. Who will be his B.As ? Who will run the office? His background leads me to believe he will be more complacent when faced with strong opposition from the Producers. I do remember he was will ing to go along with the IATSE and accept a 23% reduction in drivers salary. He nor anyone will “bring back the job’s” get real people, they are gone, and not coming back. New stages all over the country, major investment in equipment, tax incentives, lower wages, these things are realistic, and Mr Dayan cannot change the situation.

  5. Day of reckoning says:

    Well all I have to say is I wouldn’t trust someone that backstabs their own friends and family… Everyone has skeletons in their closets, Steve needs to come clean on some issues that are in hand.

    We are talking about a guy that wants to lower drivers pay to look good in front of producers, according to him we are over paid. How about ur beloved Location assist? You threw them to the curve to supposible help Location Managers… This is the same guy that says we need change and wants to bring more work to LA, When he is promoting out of the country work (Costa Rica) oh wait don’t you have a house in Costa Rica Steve?

    Steve has no pull guys let’s be realistic here… You think Producer have there way! Hahaha hire Steve and we will all see how good we had it… Yes!!! There does need to be change no doubt about it, BUT I would rather work with what I have and make a change from within and know that I’m some what covered, than to clean house and put new people that don’t know what the hell they are doing… Steve was a location manager and deals with different groups except DRIVERS!!!!

    I guess we will see in the next couple of months what happens all I ask is plz look into what’s out there before you make a decision….

    • Dee Rivers says:

      Wow. Leo announces that Steve backstabs Leo and Tony in the back and you regurgitate it as if it is the gospel? How stupid are you? “Prior to July 5th, 2013 Steve Dayan never expressed dissatisfaction with any of the Reed/Cousimano policies”, is Leo’s response? Perhaps it is because Leo doesn’t listen to complaints. “If your are not with me you are against me” chimes Leo Reed. So why would you talk to him. He never listened to all of the members that complained about a rogue business agent that makes us look stupid all over town so why would a person try to talk to him about things he doesn’t like? And if people that run against Leo are “betrayers”, then why do we have Mitch Masoner back in our ranks? Did he not run against Leo and spend the last three years running around telling everyone that will listen how bad Leo is? So Randy and Steve are bad for running but Mitch is good for running against Leo? Leo is an idiot.

  6. Rank and File says:

    Only one person, union activist Gary Watts, rose to speak against the pact.

  7. Rank and File says:

    I was at union meeting and Gary Watts stood up and told Leo Reed he needs to retire, Nobody else has the courage to say anything till after the fact. I say lead not follow.

  8. Ed Nassaney says:

    399 is in desperate need of new blood. As a member for almost 40 years and now a retiree I’ve seen this union deteriorate into mediocracy. Mr. Reed has served his time in leadership but at well over 70 years of age it’s time to head to pasture. Rejuvenating the leadership with a forward thinker like Steve Dayan is an absolute must. He will modernize the union into the tech age using all it’s powers to communicate with the members and lead them toward desired goals. You Go Steve, Go Steve Go!!!

  9. Luis Arthur Fuentes says:

    Runaway Production: production and Tax incentives for productions , should be our main focus! And educating the general public , on these topics , so they can also get involved in helping our Los Angeles/ Calfornia filming to stay here!
    The room for new change, has been longtime coming, whether who ever it maybe, 399 cannot sustain itself as a powerfull union, and cannot be taken as serious anymore by the producers , undermining wage and benefit cuts, etc. All due respect , to our former leaders!The time for a new representation , should be passed down from its power at hand , knowing that they had a good run, but the now to hand down the torch to the more energetic and excited runner! God Bless us all and our 399 Motion picture drivers union! Sincerely , Your Brother 399

  10. John says:

    Steve is a smart and active on-the-ball-member. Perhaps he is the fresh voice that is needed. He goes above and beyond his service; the clock does not stop at 17:00 for him. As vice chairmen in the California Film Commission, Steve has the clout to get our jobs back to California, where they belong.

  11. Phil old teamster says:

    Randy Peterson is retired, entitled to his opinion, but it’s of no influence in this election, quite frankly, there are skeletons in that closet.

  12. Chris Haynes says:

    I joined 399 in 1965. At that time Location Managers were already 399 members. Leo has been a good man for our top job for a long time. But I now feel that it is time for him to step down and pass the seat to a younger, more energetic person. Leo seems to have trouble remembering things he has told people. Often in a conversation with him he will contradict something he has just said.At this time our union need a leader who is on top of things and doesn’t have to ask our lawyer what to do. is the lawyer running out union?

  13. a member says:

    Leo has grow complacent, cruising to retirement. Gary Watts is a hot head, maybe right, but not the guy 399 needs. Steve is the guy 399 needs. If it’s may the best man win, why did Leo fire Steve? The membership deserves the best man we can get. Time for a change, if you ask me. But vote and voice your opinion.

  14. JohnDoe says:

    I remember when I was at the last Location Mangers contract meeting and Gary Watts stood up and told Steve Dayan that the location managers should have their fuel reimbursement rate should be set forth at State or Federal standards and which is ever higher shall prevail…Steve said we couldn’t get that.
    I remember when I was at the last Location Mangers contract meeting and Gary Watts stood up and told Steve Dayan that “Tax Incentives” Should have a “Project Labor Agreement” (must be union) in order to qualify for the Tax incentives…Steve said we couldn’t get that too.

  15. Phil an old teamster says:

    When you Location Managers were being kicked around by the Producers, and underpaid for years. You came crying to Leo Reed to take you into Local 399, and provide you with representation. Many of the teamsters were against bringing you into our union. Leo had an open meeting and explained his view that bringing you in would make us stronger as a union, and so we voted and you have been receiving the benefit of being in the toughest union in the industry. Now you want to elect someone to replace Leo Reed, fine, a free election is the way we change our leaders, but let us list qualifications, not personal attacks, slander, untruths, and false claims.

    • GREEN WEENIE says:


    • Dee Rivers says:

      You are not a smart man. You pass along every lame cliche the Teamsters have taught you over the years. By your statement, location managers and assistants are less Teamster than you? Well genius, let us take a good long look at your beloved late of Teamsters; Leo T. Reed – Drove for 30 days and then became a business agent; Tony Cousimano a green grocer and crony of Leo – industry experience Zero; Shanda Laurent – Union Dispatcher with zero industry experience that became a business agent when Mitch Masoner sexually and racially harassed her and she threatened to sue and now makes $195,000 per year ( read it yourself; Ed Duffy, a career location manager (I thought they were the enemy); Tom Marchetti – a tram driver – tons of studio experience and of course Mitch Masoner – a fellow “betrayer” that sold out to get $186,000.00 per year yet had nothing but contempt for Leo over the past three years. George Nadian – a honeywagon driver with a huge ego and racks up complaint after complaint against him by fellow 399 members and Leo ignores it! And then there is Leo’s son, two years on the job, yep, he earned it! Keep telling yourself it is going to get better.

      • Gitte Alife says:

        You sound like a prepubescent girl making up stories about the “cool kids in school” you know nothing about. If you are going to be so adamant about something, do your research and back it up with real facts; not hearsay and links that don’t work. How about giving us all the reasons why your choice of candidate is the right guy for the job? How about not being a very stupid person by assuming the only reason a black woman became a business agent is because of sexism and racism? How about taking 5 minutes away from your angry typing tirade to do some actual research (does not include talking with your “I hate Leo fan club” over the phone) and then provide us with an insightful comment? Until then, I’ll treat you with as much respect as you showed Phil, idiot.

      • Gitte Alife says:

        For you Dee Rivers

      • Phil Old teamster says:

        Well Mr. 1st door in the Honeywagon, Dee Rivers, nowhere in my comment did i disparage location managers, only stated the truth as to how they became Teamsters, by the way, how many picket lines have you been involved in?? Yes i am an old teamster, and since you are so much smarter than I please explain your years of involvement, your contributions to the members, and your deeds that strengthened our union. Lot’s of negative, no positive towards the leadership that provides your salary, benefits, future pension, health care, etc. etc. By the way Tony C has been an organizer for thirty-five years, long before you entered this industry, George Nadian was a honeywagon driver, and a Captain for many years, before becoming a B.A. You of course are part of the negative. You should really stop watching Fox 11. I said in my comment that ” a free election is the way we change our leaders” You of course must revert to slander and false truths to make your point, which is???

  16. John says:

    Steve Dayan has my support and he deserves yours as well. He’s a great leader, profound thinker and skilled negotiator.

  17. Jack English says:


  18. robbie goldstein says:

    Steve would be a huge boost to 399.His leadership is profound. Great..
    Robbie Goldstein

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