Archive for the ‘Dissolution Local 600’ Category

California Corporate Law is Protecting Us Right Now

May 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Get an official email from the ICG recently?

The corporate dissolution campaign is continuing to heat up as the election winds to a close. Whether you know it or not, you and I are paying overtime to the Local staff to spend their weekend writing an official position paper about a members-only ballot referendum.

The issue is deceptively simple. Virtually every nonprofit in California is organized in the same way. Corporate law historically has been one of the great engines of prosperity in our society. Look at the chapter headings in the Nonprofit Mutual Benefit Corporations Law, California Corporations Code §§ 77110-8910 which defines and regulates directors (board members), managers, members, assets, mergers, files, records, voting, and the right of members to bring suit. The usefulness of this law for all nonprofits has been tested for over a century.

As I read it, your union leadership is upset because it was unable to quickly hold a video conference to discuss one computer contract over the last six decades. This worry about expense is noble, especially when linked to the shamefully expensive $1.2 million dollar system that, whenever it goes on line, will be little more than a database management system. This was an isolated problem of logistical planning, not corporate law. As a California corporation, the Local has operated its day-to-day business successfully over six decades, long before computers, long before voice mail, long before video conferencing.

No one on the Local staff is an attorney. Although they may play one on TV. I am not surprised they have misrepresented more than a few points of law. Here is my response:

(1) Federal law trumps state law. No one on the staff took Conflicts of Law, one of my stronger classes at The Law School, The University of Chicago where I received my Doctor of Law degree in 1991. Federal labor law rights have not and will not be taken away because the Local is a state corporation.    Read more…


An Attorney Says Members’ Rights at Risk

May 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Dear Fellow Local 600 Member,

Your elected union leadership and the final legal status of Local 600 will be decided next Friday, May 14th. I’m asking members to please vote in your union election. Ballots must be received by 11:59 PM this Thursday, May 13th. I’m strongly recommending a NO vote on corporate dissolution (AKA, “The Green-Ballot Measure”).

If membership authorizes the dissolution of Local 600’s non-profit mutual-benefit corporate status, then I assure you, that decision will be irreversible. The new association’s Articles of Association will be written to ensure permanence in perpetuity. You will never again regain the rights that you are now being asked to willingly surrender. Vote wisely.


Below is an impartial legal opinion on the issue of corporate dissolution for your review.

Bill Roberts
1st Assistant Cameraman
WRC/NEB Alternate
Candidate for National Secretary-Treasurer

Dear Members of Local 600,

As an attorney who represents a variety of California nonprofit corporations and who does not work for or represent any of the unions affiliated with IATSE, I was asked by Bill Roberts, a candidate for National Secretary-Treasurer, for my views regarding the memo by Local 600 legal counsel David Adelstein supporting dissolution of Local 600 as a nonprofit corporation entity and its conversion to an unincorporated association.

·       Guaranteed membership rights. The legal guarantee of specific rights of membership to members of a California nonprofit corporation prevents the board of directors from ignoring members’ wishes on significant decisions including election of directors, sale or transfer of the assets of the corporation, merger or dissolution. Members retain the ultimate control over the leadership and direction of the corporation. Such broader and stronger rights are in addition to union members’ rights under federal law. Why give them up? Read more…

Be Aware!

May 7, 2010 Leave a comment

A new ethical low — desperate and extreme in it’s Karl Rove like approach — has been reached in the appeal to our members to vote against their best self-interests by dissolving Local 600’s California Non-Profit Corporate status.

The flyers and emails provided by Steven Poster cynically fail to provide you with all of the information that you, as members, should have been provided either at a meeting* or in printed materials.

* Brother Steven Poster only allowed approximately 25 minutes for Old and New Business at the recent Annual National Membership meeting, preventing members from bringing issues forward for discussion.

To make an informed vote, you need to know exactly what legal protections members currently have under the Corporations Code versus what they would have as members of an Unincorporated Association.    Read more…

“We Are A Union” by Haskell Wexler

May 4, 2010 1 comment

Ballots are out for local 600’s Union election.

Sorry … “Guild” ballots.

No so long ago, three regional locals combined to unite us, to make our Union stronger.

Yet our first National President, George Dibie, proclaimed us to be a Guild. A “classier” name, he said. Bruce Doering agreed and defended his 1/4 million dollar salary as being more appropriate for the executive director of a Guild — a title that would “encourage producers to give him respect.”

The new Guild — rather than incorporating the hard-fought gains enjoyed by the East Coast and Midwest locals — expended its capital to prove to producers that Guilds are nicer than Unions. Studios and mega-corporations are “our industry” and, to benefit them, we need to be “industry friendly”. Or so the story goes.

Just as pre-industrial guilds were organizations of craftsmen, existing solely to serve the feudal lords, our pretend “union” now exists to provide skilled workers to the industry under pay and conditions that may vary according to whatever is “in the budget”.    Read more…

Doug Hart’s Local 600 Independent Audit Report

April 24, 2010 2 comments

Have you ever wondered where the dues and assessment money you pay into Local 600 actually goes?

Well, as a Member of the National Executive Board (NEB), I get this question from Members quite often, and it is always difficult to find an acceptable or even believable answer.

This is what prompted me recently to demand my legal right, as an elected “Director” (NEB Member) of Local 600, to examine the financial bills, receipts and records of this organization.

This was only possible because Local 600 is a “Non-Profit Mutual Benefit Corporation” under California State Law.  President Poster and National Executive Director Bruce Doering are now trying to eliminate that corporate status with their infamous “green ballot measure,” which will forever make it impossible for elected NEB Members to gain access to the financial records of this organization.

I am the ONLY “Director” to have successfully done this so far. I used my legal right to inspect the books during the Dibie administration.  What I am presenting today to the members of Local 600 is my Independent Audit Report conducted in December 2009.

This post is just a summary of my full 14 page Independent Audit Report. If you would like to see the full report email me at and I will email you a copy of the complete Audit Report, after I verify that you are indeed a member of ICG Local 600, either by seeing your entry in the most recent Members Directory, or for new members not yet listed in the Directory, by confirming with ICG 600 staff.

A Labor Union should never have such “secrets” from its members, especially about financial matters, when it involves how the elected and hired  “leadership” of that Labor Union spend the dues and assessment monies collected from members, and spend it they do, as fast and as extravagantly as possible, with absolutely no regard or consideration for the members paying that hard-earned money for legitimate union expenses, and making no attempts at trying to limit expenses to absolute the minimum required to service and benefit our membership.

The annual budget of Local 600 is approaching $12 MILLION per year (THAT’S A MILLION DOLLARS A MONTH) for our 4 offices nationwide, staff salaries & perks, computer system (the new computer system is now about HALF A MILLION DOLLARS OVER BUDGET, and over a year late), costs of meetings, air travel, the ICG Magazine (which usually LOSES us between $400K and $500K a year), mailings, training and organizing expenses, etc. Who is minding the store?   Read more…

Vote “NO” On The “Green” Ballot Referendum

April 20, 2010 1 comment

As a current candidate for the offices of Second National Vice President and National Executive Board Member (representing Western Region Camera Operators), I am sharing with you the following comments that I made “For the Record” (i.e., recorded and verbatim) at the October 2009 National Executive Board meeting.  It was at this meeting that 32 NEB members first moved to dissolve Local 600’s corporate status as a Non-Profit Mutual Benefit Corporation in the State of California.

 In the wake of the email received from Local 600 today, April 19, 2010 (purportedly authored jointly by staff Regional Directors Behm, Kantor and Hilsman), concerning the so-called “Green Ballot” referendum, please note that the official minutes of the October 2009 NEB meeting are online at, and available for member review.  The following may give you some insight into the actual discussions that took place that day.

From the minutes:

Scott Kaye read for the record.

“I personally find this motion that I’m speaking against [is] bordering on the tragic and that this body is considering dissolving a corporation that was formed 56 years ago and under which we have operated to varying degrees of compliance over the years. As counselor’s letter of September 6, 2007 notes, we are generally in compliance. Clearly in the documentation provided and the tone and tenor of this morning, the drive is to dissolve the corporation as a solution to a problem that has another remedy. The problem is not that we have a corporate form; the problem is that we are not in compliance with California Corporate Law. Read more…

The Color of Money AKA “Green” Ballot Measure

April 17, 2010 1 comment

We Are a Union – AND a Corporation, For 57 Years!

What’s “GREEN” about this ballot referendum? MONEY, because that’s what it’s really about.

Your union’s current leaders are not giving you the complete picture regarding their push to dissolve Local 600’s 57-year legal status as a Non-Profit Mutual Benefit Corporation in the State of California.

What’s wrong with this picture?  Why did Steven Poster and the National Executive Board that rubber‑stamped this move to eliminate our legal protections – guaranteed since 1953 by California law – refuse to allow any counter-arguments in your ballot, on the Guild’s website, or in Camera Angles?  What are they hiding, and what are they afraid of?

They’ve told you that this change will “Enable the union to respond more quickly to members’ needs.”  They’ve neglected to tell you just how the union will do this.  While this sounds good, no one knows what it even means.

They say it will bring us in line with the majority of other entertainment unions.  If it were even true, so what?  So, the Art Directors gave up their legal rights?  Why should we?  Plenty of unions are still incorporated.     Read more…