Casting directors will vote

Casting directors to vote on union

The National Labor Relations Board will mail out ballots next week to about 300 casting directors and associates, who will vote whether to authorize the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters to be their official representative.

The NLRB, which is conducting the election, has set June 23 as the date for counting the ballots.

Should the casting directors vote to unionize, the Teamsters would be their bargaining agent. The Teamsters reached agreement on Feb. 1 with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers to hold the election after several months of saber-rattling by both sides.

The casting directors, who are seeking formal unionization through Teamsters Local 817 in New York and Local 399 in Los Angeles, had not set a strike date but had warned that the Teamsters’ national leadership was willing to shut down production nationally. The AMPTP had threatened to sue the Teamsters; studios and nets were bracing for a job action before the deal for an election was hammered out.

The casting directors remain one of the few significant groups of Hollywood workers who have not been unionized. Key issues have centered on the lack of health-care coverage, late pay and performing uncompensated work.

Local 399 also represents 4,100 studio drivers, location managers, location scouts and animal wranglers.

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