Hollywood labor presented a united front last night at the Shrine Auditorium in support of the Writers Guild of America’s ongoing strike, which is now in its third day. That included Hollywood’s Teamsters Local 399, whose secretary-treasurer and chief negotiator Lindsay Dougherty had the biggest mic-drop moment in front of the crowd of 1,800 WGA West members.
As Deadline reported yesterday, Jon Avnet, chair of the Directors Guild’s negotiating committee, and Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, national executive director of SAG-AFTRA and its chief negotiator, both called for solidarity among Hollywood’s unions and guilds. It’s their respective groups’ turn in the bargaining barrel next: The DGA starts its contract talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers Wednesday, followed by SAG-AFTRA on June 7, and by the Teamsters and IATSE next year.
Avnet and Crabtree-Ireland both revved up the crowd, receiving rousing cheers and waves of applause.
But it was Dougherty who commanded the biggest moments, and was cheered repeatedly when she promised that her members would not cross the WGA’s picket lines.
“Our Teamster members are going to be with you side-by-side as well,” she told the crowd. “We have a saying that we like to tell our members: ‘Teamsters don’t cross picket lines.’ “
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“All of the support you’ve seen so far is just going to get better, and we’re excited to be in this fight with you guys,” she continued. “We are at a turning point in the labor movement right now. If we want to get what’s ours, we’re gonna have to fight for it tooth-and-nail. So just hang in there. Keep fighting. Keep hitting the pavement very single day, because if you throw up a picket line, these f*cking trucks will stop, I promise you.”
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After the cheering died down, she continued. “We’ve all seen what’s happening right now in Hollywood. They’re starving all of us out, not just you guys. So, whatever they pay you guys now, they’re going to pay all of us later, with interest.
“And we f*cking promise you that next year, when IATSE and Teamsters go in for our fight, it’s going to be the same thing. We have to fight. We have to keep fighting together.”
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And then came the drop-mic moment. “And what I’d like to say to the studios is, ‘If you want to f*ck around, you’re gonna find out.’ ” She then left the stage to wild applause and hugs from WGAW president Meredith Stiehm and several others on the dais.
You can see a video of her remarks here:
Every other labor leader speaking at the L.A. meeting, including representatives from IATSE, Laborers Local 724, IBEW Local 40 and Plasterers Local 755, sang from the same solidarity hymnbook to great applause from the crowd.
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