Hollywood workers presented a united front last night at the Shrine Auditorium in support of the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike, which is now entering its third day. This included Teamsters Local 399 in Hollywood, whose secretary and chief negotiator, Lindsay Dougherty, had the biggest drop-mic moment in front of a crowd of 1,800 WGA West members.
As Deadline reported yesterday, Jon Avnett, chair of the Directors Guild Negotiations Committee, and Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, national executive director and chief negotiator for SAG-AFTRA, both called for solidarity between the Hollywood unions and unions. It’s their groups turn for the next bargaining barrel: The DGA begins contract talks with the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance Wednesday, followed by SAG-AFTRA on June 7, and by Teamsters and IATSE next year.
Avnet and Crabtree-Ireland lit up the crowd, and I received standing ovations and waves of applause.
But it was Dougherty who controlled the biggest moments, and was applauded time and time again when she promised her members wouldn’t cross WGA picket lines.
“Our Teamsters will be with you side by side, too,” she told the crowd. “We have a saying we like to say to our members: ‘Team members don’t cross picket lines.’”
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She continued, “All the support I’ve seen so far is going to get better, and we’re excited to fight this battle with you guys.” “Now we’re at a turning point in the labor movement. If we want to get what we’ve got, we’re going to have to fight for it. So just wait there. Keep fighting. Keep hitting the pavement one day too, because if you throw in a strike line, these truckloads of trucks will stop.” Beating, I promise.”
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I continued after the cheering subsided. “We’ve all seen what’s happening now in Hollywood. They’re starving us all, not just you guys. So whatever you guys pay now, they’ll pay us all later, with interest.”
“And we promise you that next year, when IATSE and the Teamsters take our fight, it will be the same. We have to fight. We have to keep fighting together.”
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Then came the moment to drop the mic. And what I would say to the studios is, ‘If you want to have sex, you’ll find out.’ She then left the stage to standing ovations and a hug from WGAW President Meredith Stehm and many others on the stage.
You can watch a video of her remarks here:
Every other labor leader who spoke at the Los Angeles meeting, including representatives from IATSE, Laborers Local 724, IBEW Local 40, and Plasterers Local 755, sang from the same book of solidarity hymn to audience applause.
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