Teamsters Leaders Slam Hollywood & Wall Street At Amazon Picket Line: “They Don’t Care About People”

“Look who’s running Hollywood right now, corporate America,” declared Teamster president Sean O’Brien on the WGA and SAG-AFTRA picket line outside Amazon’s LA HQ. Big corporations, they don’t care about their people. They care about the bottom line and the balance sheet,” he added with Hollywood Teamster leader Lindsay Dougherty by his side.

“This is a historic moment in our industry, hasn’t happened since 1960,” Dougherty stated, noting the last time the writers and actors went on strike together when Ronald Reagan ran SAG. “But, it goes to show that workers are not happy with their current conditions…with big tech, infiltrating our industry as well as the streaming companies, we need to take back what’s ours.”

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“We are the largest, strongest union in the entire country,” O’Brien said of the 1.3 million Teamsters members. “We have the ability to shut this country down,” he went on to say with the combined 160,000 strong SAG-AFTRA and the 20,000 WGA members, among others in an America witnessing a union resurgence in recent years.

Out with striking scribes and actors for the first time since the latter hit the streets last week, O’Brien revealed that UPS have just reached out this morning to resume talks with the Teamsters to possibly avert a national strike next month.

The Amazon appearance by Dougherty, O’Brien, WGA Chief Negotiator Ellen Stutzman and others comes almost immediately after a multi-union rally for UPS drivers in DTLA this morning. As talks with the delivery service’s management stymied earlier this month, the Teamsters members could be looking at a strike of their own in the next two weeks if new negotiations fail. Representing over 340,000 drivers nationwide and 40,000 here in the Golden State, the Teamsters’ current contract with UPS expires on August 1.

“If we don’t have an acceptable deal for our members by midnight on July 31, UPS will put itself on strike,” O’Brien bluntly told the downtown crowd this AM before getting the call that management wanted to start up talks again “Los Angeles labor is united, and no greedy-ass employers can break us,” the eminently quotable Dougherty added.

Out supporting scribes even before talks between the WGA and the AMPTP ended without a deal on May 1, the Hollywood Local 399 leader will be facing contract negotiations for her own members with the studios and streamers next year. As Dougherty told Deadline at the beginning of all this, she thinks it is “absolute bullshit” that the studios and streamers claim times are too tough for them to meet the guilds’ financial demands.

Along with SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee member Sean Astin, WGA leaders Chris Keyser, David Goodman, and Meredith Stiehm were also out on the picket line outside Amazon’s Culver City HQ today with Dougherty, O’Brien, and Stutzman.

“It may not be your fight today, maybe your fight tomorrow,” O’Brien said earlier of his members, many of whom have refused to cross WGA pickets over the last two months. “And that’s what we’re doing here today, supporting the Screen Actors supporting the writers. Because look, we’re going be in negotiations with the studio drivers next year and that fight could be ours as well. So, we’ve got to come together. Injury to one is going to be injury to all.”

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