Investigation draws an OK from lensers

Guild tries to bring runaways back home

Leaders of the Intl. Cinematographers Guild have reiterated their support for an investigation into the legality of foreign government film and TV subsidies designed to attract American productions.

The national exec board of the guild, which operates as Local 600 of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, passed the resolution after Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) pledged in a keynote address to support runaway production legislation in Congress to counteract the loss of jobs to foreign locales.

The board also cited a 2001 AFL-CIO resolution directing affiliates to “initiate trade cases to stop market-distorting importing of goods subsidized by our trading partners.”

Move comes a year after the Cinematographers Guild asked the Dept. of Commerce to take action against foreign film subsidies in the wake of the local’s membership voting for a slate that said it would take a more aggressive stance on runaway production.

“This resolution is what last year’s guild election results were all about,” said ICG prexy Gary Dunham. “We have affirmed our commitment to an investigation into the legality of foreign film and television production subsidies. It is time to level the playing field for our members.”

The idea of an investigation into the legality of foreign subsidies — particularly Canada’s — has long divided the town’s labor unions. AFTRA, the DGA and the national IATSE board have contended that such a strategy could backfire by leading to a trade war and further loss of jobs.

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