NEW YORK – Union Local 306 of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), which represents about 1,500 theater workers in the New York City area, is urging moviegoers to boycott City Cinema Theaters to protest their plan to eliminate union projectionists and replace them with untrained non-union personnel.
“City Cinemas is attempting to bust the union and eliminate about 90 percent of their professional projectionists and replace them with house managers, ushers and candy attendants,” declares a leaflet distributed to moviegoers here. “You deserve a quality presentation considering the high ticket prices you are paying. Contact City Cinemas today and voice your protest against their unionbusting tactics.”
Joe Rivierzo, a union official for Local 306 explained that City Cinemas wants to eliminate 12 of the 15 union projectionists at their chain of movie theaters in the city. “It would be devastating,”he said. “City Cinemas would use in-house personnel to do our jobs, people who are not licensed by the City of New York as projectionists. City Cinemas is not negotiating fairly with Local 306 and intends to eliminate our jobs at a time when unemployment has reached record numbers.”
Already, he said, IATSE members have been decimated by the mergers, acquisitions, cutbacks and outright closing of theater chains.
Of City Cinema Theaters, moviegoers are being asked to boycott the Angelika Sixplex, Cinema 1, 2, 3, Eastside Playhouse, 86 Street East Quad, Sutton Twin and Village East.
Local 306 urges people to all City Cinema Vice President of Business Affairs Ellen Cotter at (212) 871-6828 or fax (212) 871-9094 to urge the company to negotiate fairly with Local 306.