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Teamsters pact with TV blurb producers

Four-year deal took two years to OK

After two years of trying, the Teamsters last week signed an agreement with the Assn. of Independent Commercial Producers covering commercial shoots in California, Nevada and Hawaii.

The four-year pact, which goes into effect on Wednesday, covers drivers of trucks and other equipment such as cranes, insert cars, honey wagons and specialty picture vehicles.

“It’s historic,” said Tom Marchetti, business agent of Los Angeles-based Teamsters Local 399, which represents about 3,500 drivers. “The commercial drivers have been non-union since day one. We’re thrilled to death. We’re here to put our members to work.”

Marchetti said the Teamsters’ deal was put together by secretary-treasurer Leo T. Reed, organizing director Anthony Cousimano, fellow business agent Katy Johnson and Marchetti himself.

“Any member of the (commercials) association who films in California, Nevada or Hawaii who doesn’t sign up through their association is subject to a picket line,” Marchetti told Daily Variety.

Jane Nunez, manager of labor affairs at the 270-member commercials association, said the Teamsters “have wanted to organize commercials for a long time. There’s always a benefit to using professional drivers.”