Teamsters Union Votes Yes to Ratify New Contract

Steve Dayan Teamsters Local 399 secretary-treasurer - P 2015
Courtesy of Teamsters Local 399

Steve Dayan Teamsters Local 399 secretary-treasurer - P 2015

Thanks to the implementation of online voting, there was greater participation than in previous years.

Teamsters Local 399 on Monday ratified its “Black Book” contract covering drivers and various other workers, with a vote of 73 percent "Yes," according to union secretary-treasurer Steve Dayan. Terms of the deal have not been released.

The ratification percentage is somewhat lower than generally seen, and may have been influenced by opposition to the IATSE deal, which is currently out for ratification. However, Dayan said that the institution of online voting, for the first time ever, had led to greater participation.

“More people voted,” he said. “It was a seamless process and 15 percent more voted than last time.”

Two of the basic craft unions also approved their contracts. Another Teamsters contract, for location managers, is out for ratification, with ballots due back by Wednesday. Negotiations regarding a third, for casting directors, are expected to begin this month.

Meanwhile, IATSE ballots are due Tues., Oct. 9, with results to be announced the next day. Eleven of 13 affected locals previously signed on to a letter from IATSE international president Matt Loeb recommending ratification, but two did not, with one reluctantly supporting the contract anyway and another, Local 700, in open revolt, with its national executive director Cathy Repola appearing in five podcasts outlining the Local’s objections.

That stance does not seem to have gained much traction beyond Local 700 — the Motion Picture Editors Guild — and ratification accordingly seems likely.