Orlando, FL — The 66th Quadrennial Convention of the IATSE wrapped up here today after five days of meetings, highlighted by the re-election of Matthew D. Loeb as International President, James B. Wood as General Secretary-Treasurer and the return of the entire General Executive Board, consisting of 13 vice-presidents, as well as three international trustees and the union’s delegate to the Canadian Labor Congress. All candidates ran unopposed and were re-elected by acclamation.
Throughout the week, President Loeb stressed that the major issues facing the entertainment industry union, which represents more than 110,000 members in over 400 locals in the US and Canada, are digital piracy and the importance of health care reform. The mood among the 840 delegates was overwhelmingly supportive during the course of the convention.
Guest speakers at the convention included Florida Congressman Alan Grayson; Jay Roth, National Executive Director of the Directors Guild of America; Janet Conner of the AFL-CIO; Todd Vradenberg of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation; Johannes Studinger of the global entertainment industry affiliation of unions UNI-MEI, and two representatives of the UK’s BECTU, General Secretary Gerry Morrissey and Tony Lennon, BECTU President. All were equally emphatic about the need to stem digital piracy. IA President Loeb serves on the board of UNI-MEI.
A highlight of the convention week was a plenary session held by the National Labor College based in Silver Spring, Maryland, which offers classes in the development of union skills and labor leadership, and bachelor’s degrees in several labor areas. The two hour session drew an overflow crowd estimated to be near the total number delegates in attendance at the convention.
In closing on Friday, President Loeb again reiterated his commitment to solidarity among the locals in the US and Canada, and put employers on notice: “There are no divisions between the crafts,” he stated, “and no divisions between the borders. We stand united for the betterment of our members. You take on one of us, you take on all of us.”