Response to Attack on Haskell Wexler

Post written by Kristin Glover

Dear Local 600 Membership,

One week ago you received an e-mail message: subject: “An Urgent Message from Local 600 Executive Board Candidates”

This is my response to those nine members:

Dear Lloyd Ahern, Allen Daviau, John Flinn III, Michael Goi, Stephen Lighthill, Donald A. Morgan, Michael O’Shea, Mark Weingartner and Lisa Wiegand,

How sad to see the nine of you falling over each other to sign on to a specious and error filled attack on one of the greatest human beings ever to grace our industry, much less our union. What disturbs me most, in addition to the mean spirited (cloaked in back handed compliments) attack on Haskell Wexler, is the fact that none of you bothered to check the facts. You believe what you are fed by those at the helm of Local 600. Haven’t you figured out by now that they have ulterior motives?

Hell, the leadership of the IA and Local 600 – (with the exception of the Gary Dunham presidency) – have been trying to silence Haskell Wexler (and others) for decades! Gosh, they actually “lost” the Brent’s Rule petitions (they mysteriously “disappeared” out of the safe in the Local 659 Office) when the issue was hot and Haskell was leading the charge to protect our members from life-threatening long hours. But the IA (and the producers) would have none of that. They have stopped at nothing to keep him, and those who support the “12 On 12 Off” principle, from accomplishing the goal of safe working conditions for film crews. Oh… our so-called leaders will tap dance around the issue – but in fact, they’ve buried it. That’s the way they want it.

As for the letter from the “Gang of Nine”, it is so filled with obfuscations, misinformation, and outright lies, that it’s hard to know where to begin.  

1/ The “Gang of Nine” paints Haskell as critical of everything Local 600 is doing. That’s just not the case. It’s ridiculous in it’s face.

2/ The “Gang of Nine” tells you about the Working in the Trade Rule (WIT) and how it was passed at the 2009 IA Convention – and that “all the IA locals attending… understood the ups and downs of our industry and they took that into account”.. . blah blah blah. I was there. What the delegates took into account is that incumbents are exempt from the rule. All delegates there were incumbents, therefore the rule would not affect them anytime soon. You get it???? All the Gang of Nine’s blather about the “fairness” of the rule is horseshit.

3/ What the Department of Labor did rule was that Local 600 and the IA illegally retroactively enforced the Working in the Trade Rule in our 2010 election!!! What they could not prove (because the IA and Local 600 refuse to keep statistics on women, minorities, older members, etc.) was that the entire outcome of the election was affected by this illegally enforced rule. My election protest was about the prejudicial nature of the Working in the Trade Rule. But since the IA and Local 600 don’t keep the statistics, it could not be proven. Therefore, the DOL (Department of Labor) was only able to find that the illegal retroactive enforcement of the rule affected only the Western Region Director of Photography/Visual Effects Supervisor election.

Oh – and by the way, Attorney Adelstein says that the IA OK’d the (llegal) retroactive enforcement, soooo… if that’s a fact, shouldn’t the bill for the re-run be sent to the IA office?

4/ If you read the DOL’s pamphlet on “Election of Officers of Labor Organizations: (page 15, 452.41) Working at the Trade; it says this: “In applying such a rule an unemployed member is considered to be working at the trade if he is actively seeking such employment. Such a requirement should not be so inflexible as to disqualify those members who are familiar with the trade but who because of illness, economic conditions, or other good reasons are temporarily not working.”

Wow- pretty interesting. Yes? In the initial stages of my election protest, (mind you, I was elected, but protested on behalf of those members I felt had been unfairly disqualified and may have even chosen not to run for fear of not qualifying), I asked Election Committee Chair Gene Jackson, regarding the above clause, if he was aware that the Local 600 Election Committee was not taking this DOL directive into account – as they were enforcing the new ruling in the strictest sense. He said, “Yes,” he was aware. So I guess Chairman Jackson, and his overlords Doering and Adelstein, don’t feel that DOL guidelines are important or necessary.

5/ The “Gang of Nine” accuses Haskell of not working one union day since 2006 – but he’s worked and worked and worked in the trade for decades. He’s shot tons of feature films and documentaries and directed as well. For God’s sake, how can you say he’s not working in the trade while he’s still working? It’s crazy. It’s all because the powers-that-be (your overlords) really want to shut him up. That simple. .

6/ The “Gang of Nine” accuses Haskell of having retired from the Motion Picture Plans – who cares? There are several “active” retirees sitting on the NEB. So, are you going to ask all those people to step down? Would that be legal? Isn’t that age discrimination??? By the way, retirees, are allowed to work a certain number of days/hours – so it does not stand to reason that they would not be working in the trade.

7/ The “Gang of Nine” accuses Haskell of choosing to be removed from the Roster. That is a lie – plain and simple.

You guys and gal – members of the “Gang of Nine” – really need to check your facts. I suggest you look before you leap next time. I also suggest you don’t believe everything you are told by our “illustrious” leadership. Their motives are highly questionable.

I have served along side some of you for years. Frankly, I’d expect better from most of you. Some of you are new to me and I wonder at how quickly you’ve allowed yourselves to be drawn into the kind of group who so avidly issues false statements in order to malign a man of honor and unquestionable integrity.

As for our so-called “leaders” who mislead you again and again, I truly wonder how they sleep at night.

Apologies – by the nine of you – are in order to Haskell, a man who has always stood on the side of the workers and who has always had, first and foremost, the interests of the members at heart.

With Hopes for a Truly Democratic Union… some day…

Kristin Glover

NEB Member

P.S.: Re: Who to vote for: My list is short – since, sadly, most of the NEB have proved, again and again, to be far too willing – without questioning or checking the facts – to do the bidding of “their overlords”.

I recommend:

Haskell Wexler
Hiro Narita
John Lindley
Wayne Kennan
Dave Drzewiecki
Chistopher Chomyn
Matthew J. Siegel

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