IATSE, the movie industry's principal technical union, is taking on the august American Film Institute and threatening to boycott its activities because of what the union claims is the AFI's "outrageous anti-union activities." In a letter quoted today (Monday) by TheWrap.com, IATSE President Matthew Dr. Loeb charged that AFI was attempting to discourage employees working as ushers and ticket takers at the AFI's facility in Silver Spring, MD from seeking union representation. Noting that IATSE had supported the AFI in past years, Loeb said that he was "shocked by the position taken by the AFI" regarding the users and ticket takers in Maryland. He asked the union's membership to "support the IATSE in its efforts to assist these individuals in their right to organize by boycotting any AFI-sponsored events and to make known publicly that financial support of AFI should be withheld until this matter is resolved." The matter came to a head two weeks ago when the union leafleted the AFI's annual presentation of the DC Labor FilmFest. The AFI's projectionists are already represented by IATSE.

02/11/2009