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RU familiar with the film union negotiations? If so, I'll ask you a couple of questions, then, a referral to a website will be helpful.
We were shooting a film on West Coast. Unions showed up.
We agreed to go union - but, cut down on the shoot weeks.
We had a handshake agreement, to be signed in a couple
of days. Union agreed that we could shoot the next two days
if the crew likes. But, union showed up and gave a call for
strike and shut down the shoot.
Now, we're trying to resurrect our project in MI. But, the
LA unions are after us - influencing the MI unions to
neck us back to LA to make a deal. Or else, the MI
unions won't consider making a deal with us.
Is this legal to do? MI being a right-to-work state,
can't we just go non-union?
No. We're not using any SAG-AFTRA actors.
All non-union actors.
We're filming a feature film. We have at least 30 days of shoot.
We didn't obtain licenses to film in MI. We're planning to shoot in MI.
To avoid the unions coming in and messing with our shoot, we wanted
to proactively make a deal with the local union. At first, they welcomed.
Just before our meeting, they got calls from CA chapter. Now, MI union
is demanding that we should go back to CA to sign the deal which
fell through - where our crew went on strike. We don't find any basis for such a demand since we never walked away - in fact, the crew walked on us
Thank you for your follow-up.There is no formal obligation on your part to force or compel you to work with the unions. Filming by an independent studio does not require union participation, approval, or consent. You are free to hire non-union employees and shoot directly. While the union could arguably picket the site, they cannot shut you down, close the set, or directly affect production. In this instance you do not need the union, and you can work directly with those who choose to be 'at-will' employees.Good luck.
Thanks a lot. Appreciate your advice.
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