Travelling caused me to miss Dave Robb‘s 5.9 Deadline report about on-set fist fighting between Teamsters. Robb linked to and quoted from a warning posted on Thursday, 5.8, by Steve Dayan, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 399. “We are finding that more and more members are fighting with one another on-set,” Dayan wrote. “It is my duty to say Knock It Off! When two members get into an altercation we have found that in order to remedy the situation quickly BOTH members will immediately be LAID-OFF. Whether you were the one to instigate the situation or not you will both be released from the job.”
What kind of professionals knock each other’s teeth out on a film set, much less repeatedly or in sufficient numbers to provoke an official warning? Have Teamsters always been duking it out and this is the first time it’s gone public? Or is some kind of internal union issue behind this? There’s almost certainly a backstory. I’ve visited many film sets and the general attitude among know-it-all below-the-liners has always been that the Teamsters are the Sopranos of the production realm — lazy, overfed, truck-driving goombahs with primitive tendencies and less-than-enlightened mentalities. It would seem that Dayan’s posting is some kind of smoking-gun confirmation. Good thing I’m in France or some guy would probably come over to my place and kill one of my cats as a warning.