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Steve Dayan Tops Leo Reed for Teamsters Leadership

Reed has held top post for 24 years

Longtime business agent Steve Dayan has beaten Leo Reed for secretary-treasurer of Local 399 of the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters following a spirited campaign.

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.

Dayan received 56% of the vote and will assume his new post on Jan. 1. A total of 2,354 ballots were cast or better than half of the eligible members.

“Anytime you get over 50% turnout in a union election, that’s huge,” Dayan told Variety. “I’m thrilled and honored. It’s time for the membership to come together and moved forward.”

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

Dayan’s slate also took four of the other six seats with Wesley Ponsford winning for the presidency over Tony Cousimano and Gary Zuckerbrod, Chris Sell and Kenny Farnell taking the three trustee slots. Reed’s slate won two posts — Ed Duffy for VP and Rosie Falcon for recording-secretary.

Dayan campaigned on a platform that Reed had lost touch with the rank-and-file and questioned Reed’s hiring of his son for a job at the local.

Reed said Dayan had “stabbed” him in the back by unveiling his decision to run and accused Dayan of being pro-management.

During his tenure as business agent, Dayan led the three-year campaign to organize about 500 casting directors and associates in Hollywood and New York. The Teamsters were able to obtain the first union contract in 2005 for casting directors.

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