Local 399 of the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters has called off its week-old boycott of Quixote Studios with the trucking company agreeing that its drivers and dispatchers will be unionized.
The deal was reached Friday between Quixote CEO Mikel Elliott and Local 399 secretary-treasurer Steve Dayan.
Quixote said in a Friday evening announcement that both sides wanted to send a “business as usual” message for production in Los Angeles and throughout California at a time when the state legislature is considering a bill that would significantly boost the scope of the production tax credit program — with the goal of putting the brakes on runaway production from California.
“Unfortunately, it is the workers in our industry that have been caught in the middle of all this,” the announcement said. “The leadership of both Quixote and Local 399 took this to heart and displayed remarkable restraint and a willingness to compromise for the greater good of all stakeholders.”
The Teamsters and Quixote have agreed for Local 399 to represent Quixote drivers and dispatchers. In addition, both sides have agreed to a secret ballot election in which Quixote warehouse workers can decide whether they want to be represented by Local 399.
“This has been a major distraction for our industry,” Elliott said. ” It is now time to focus on the passage of AB 1839 and get back to work.”
The Teamsters launched the boycott a week ago of Quixote, one of Hollywood’s largest operators of truck and trailer fleets, after a negotiation scheduled for Aug. 6 at Quixote’s offices had fallen through. As a result, the local had filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board and plans to begin picketing Quixote sites on Aug. 22.
For its part, Quixote alleged that the Teamsters trespassed on its property on August 6 and insisted that unionization would drive up costs at a time when California’s losing money to runaway production. The company also notified members of the California Film and Television Production Alliance — which is lobbying for Assembly Bill 1839 to improve the state’s incentive program — to stay out of the dispute.
Both Quixote and Local 399 are part of the alliance along with all Hollywood unions and the Motion Picture Association of America. Dayan is chairman of the California Film Commission in addition to heading Local 399.
In a message to members, Dayan said Friday, “We are officially no longer boycotting Quixote, and in fact we encourage you to buy, rent and use their equipment. With a signed contract in place Quixote will now be paying into your health and retirement fund as well as paying drivers and dispatchers fair wages and working conditions.”