The Dept. of Labor held its first public session Wednesday with WGA West members to go over the ground rules for the upcoming presidential election.
Jeffrey Gitomer, head of the L.A. region office of Labor-Management Standards, conducted the session along with Labor Dept. investigators Eugene Guza and Michael Miller. The unprecedented confab drew about 30 WGA West members to the guild headquarters in Hollywood.
One prominent item of discussion was the decision not to send ballots out until after the Sept. 1 candidates night. Ballots will be counted on Sept. 21.
The WGA West agreed to the Labor Dept. oversight in March after department investigators found that Victoria Riskin’s election to a two-year term last fall was invalid — she had been ineligible to run because she’d not worked under the contract for the previous four years.
That investigation had been prompted by a complaint from Eric Hughes over how last year’s election was conducted, including allegations that the WGA West staff unlawfully helped Riskin conceal her ineligibility and engaged in a scheme to promote Riskin and undermine Hughes.
The settlement also called for Hughes — who lost to then-incumbent Riskin — to be offered the opportunity to run in the upcoming election, to which he agreed. Current prexy Daniel Petrie Jr., who was appointed after Charles Holland stepped down in March, is also running to keep the post.
Hughes proposed Wednesday that the Labor Dept. independently confirm the eligibility of all candidates; that the guild sponsor emailing of candidate statements; and that the department limit the public communications by guild staff and guarantee equal access to guild publications.