IATSE Local 80 closed its offices on Friday after receiving a threatening letter said to have come from an unemployed person.
The letter, which was postmarked Wednesday, appeared to be related to ongoing strikes at the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, said Dejon Ellis Jr., the union’s chief executive.
“He said some very scary things,” Ellis said. “He’s just mad. He says he is unemployed and homeless. He’s upset. I don’t know if it’s a cry for help or if he doesn’t know how to control his anger.”
Ellis said the threat was aimed primarily at Local 80, which represents Griffs and other workers below the line, but also cited the guild strikes in general.
The threat was first reported by Puck. Local 80 closed its offices, sent everyone home and notified other local union members.
IATSE’s main West Coast office was also closed; Some IATSE events planned for the weekend have been cancelled.
The Burbank Police Department was also notified and the CID investigated.
“The threat was directed at IATSE Local 80,” a police spokesman told Puck. “The Burbank Police Department is aware of the threat and investigators are investigating the credibility and validity of the threat. There were no arrests. IATSE closed its offices today out of great caution. No further information is being released at this time.”
The strikes have resulted in most Los Angeles productions being suspended for the past three and a half months. The shutdown has taken a significant toll on below-the-line workers and businesses that depend on the entertainment industry. The Entertainment Community Fund has distributed more than $4.7 million to workers who were out of work since May 2.
https://variety.com/2023/biz/news/iatse-close-strike-related-threat-1235705063/ IATSE offices are closed after a worker made a ‘strike related’ threat