Thomas C. Short has been nominated without opposition as prexy of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees for a four-year term.
The selection of Short, who has held the slot since 1994, had been widely expected as no rival had emerged from delegates at the IA’s national convention at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu. It’s the fourth time Short’s been voted up as IATSE chief without opposition with Short’s actual election today a formality.
Short has emphasized a pragmatic approach and membership growth during his tenure. The alliance has about 100,000 members; its minimum basic agreement expires in August 2006.
The convention, attended by about 800 delegates, has passed over 20 resolutions, including support of an increased minimum wage, support of anti-piracy legislation, pledges to organize Wal-Mart, support the United Farm Workers in their fight against Gallo Winery; urging unions to work with each other; and opposition to privatization of Social Security.
However, a move to take out blacklist clauses from the IATSE constitution failed following a spirited debate on the convention floor on Wednesday. The resolution, authored by Michael Everett of Local 728, said the IA’s adherence to the blacklist clauses in its constitution were declared null and void by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1965 ruling.
The IATSE constitution has a provision that specifically bars any person from joining if they are part of an organization dedicated to the violent overthrow of the U.S. or Canadian governments. Opponents of the resolution contended that the language is appropriate in wake of 9/11.
But Everett argued that the IATSE is a trade union, not a branch of the criminal justice system and that if a member is believed to be committing a crime, the union should notify the authorities. “We have neither the technical expertise nor the legal authority to investigate and prosecute crimes,” Everett said.
Oscar-winning cinematopgrapher Haskell Wexler, a convention delegate, also spoke at the event about being blacklisted during the 1950s due to his membership in an anti-lynching organization.
IATSE delegates also elected 17 other candidates without opposition to the General Executive Board — James B. Wood, General Secretary Treasurer; International VPs Rudy N. Napoleone, Timothy F. Magee, Michael Barnes, J. Walter Cahill, Thom Davis, Matthew D. Loeb, Anthony DePaulo, Mimi Wolch, Damian Petti, Brian J. Lawlor, Michael F. Miller, Jr., John T. Beckman and Daniel DiTolla; and three of the four International Trustees.
C. Faye Harper, John Ford, George Palazzo and Albert A. Burns are running for the fourth Trustee post.