12 Dogs of Christmas” signed a contract with the IATSE covering the low budget film currently being shot in Bethel, ME, it was announced by International President Thomas C. Short. Produced by 12 Dogs of Christmas, LLC, at a budget of just over $1 million, the production was organized under the single project IATSE Low Budget Agreement.
International Representative Scott Harbinson led the organizing team consisting of Chaim Kantorof IATSE Local 600 and Chris O’Donnell of IATSE Local 481.
Terms of the deal, include health and pension benefits that are retroactive to initial date of hire and a $150 one-time bonus for returning employees in addition to the usual overtime, safety and quality-of-life provisions of IATSE agreements. Approximately 37 workers are covered under the agreement.
What made this organizing effort unique was that the crew was comprised almost entirely of non-union technicians and artisans. Approximately three-quarters of those individuals signed authorization cards and have stated their intent to join the appropriate IATSE local in their hometown. The crew was nearly unanimous in its support of the IATSE’s organizing effort, which translated into the employer’s capitulating without the IATSE having to resort to a job action. For most of the crew, this was their first experience with the IATSE. This organizing drive showed them firsthand the advantages of membership in the Union.