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Old November 16th, 2003, 07:48 AM   #1
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Union work in California- Local CWA

This is question to any union brothers and sisters out there:
I was in a Union (Local 49 CWA -Colorado) then moved overseas for several years and am returning to my native California soon.

So my question:
How do I go about finding work/training in camera operation or similar areas as a union member in California. Do I have to "rejoin" the union in CA? Although my work was in the newspaper industry the CWA jurisdiction covers videography as well right? Thanks in advance.
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Old November 16th, 2003, 12:46 PM   #2
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One of the frustrations of union work in broadcasting, is the number of unions that have a piece of the pie. Unfortunately, I don't know of many CWA locals that are doing business in California, although there may be one somewhere (but not in So. Cal area). The usual practice is to approach the various news outlets and show them your stuff (reel), and if they take you on staff, you have x number of days before you have to join the union at their station. If you have a choice of where to work (not likely), get in a station where you can join the IATSE local 600. This is the local that represents most of the camera workers in Hollywood, and since a reorganization of the IATSE a few years ago, this is a nationwide local in the IATSE.

Other unions doing business in Hollywood include, NABET (ABC and others), and IBEW (CBS only). I don't want to start a long discussion about unions, but let me say this: this is a tough town to work in, and without unions it would be miserable. There is a lot of non-union work here that pays very well, thanks to the unions they must compete with for the skilled labor. Most people doing non-union work also belong to a union. Don't ask.

You should concentrate on finding a job, and the union membership will take care of itself.

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old November 16th, 2003, 10:17 PM   #3
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CWA- union work

Very helpful Wayne-

I do enjoy the protection that comes with "membership" and the subsequent job market effects--steady income goes w/o mentioning.

Thanks
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