Exclusive: Crystal Hopkins resigned as president of IATSE Local 871, in part because of her dissatisfaction with IATSE’s new film and television contract. Marisa Shipley, the local’s current vice president, will be the local’s next president, running unchallenged to succeed Hopkins in the local’s ongoing election.
Hopkins, who was one of the leaders of the movement to ensure a better wage for Hollywood’s historically female crafts, resigned last week, shortly before IATSE’s new film and television contract was ratified.
The new contract contains huge pay raises for the local members, many of whom worked for just over a minimum wage. Under the new agreement, the local script coordinators, production office assistant coordinators, art department coordinators and writer room assistants will see their salary increase to $ 23.50 per hour, retroactive to August 1, 2021; to $ 24.50 in the second year of the pact; and to $ 26 in the third year.
“My resignation from Local 871 was caused primarily by my personal and family needs,” Hopkins told Deadline in a statement. “Besides, I was also not the right person to lead 871 by ratifying the new contract. When we started negotiations in May, the priorities were clear, and we were united in them. Solidarity and unity never wavered. However, when October was rolling and we still had no agreement, the overwhelming and historic response of the membership for the strike authorization made it clear to me that the priorities we were dealing with were no longer appropriate for the membership.
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Hopkins also told Deadline:
“In the ongoing negotiations, which are not wrong, we have made giant strides forward compared to the history of our contracts, the leadership, including me, has kept our eyes on the goals we set in May. But the membership has set and created new goals. – goals on which I agree. And on a very basic level of what a union represents, more time and consideration should be given. I could not in good conscience lead the membership of 871 by ratification of this agreement.
“Although 871 probably stood to win the most through the lens of immediately better conditions, and therefore also the most to lose, my personal principles of what trade unionism and solidarity mean would not allow me to claim this agreement as a victory, when the voices of so many union members shouted that they needed more, and this agreement did not fix the problems they wanted to strike to solve.
“Similarly, the membership of Place 871 did not deserve to receive any negative effects from the consideration of my personal opinions and beliefs. When I faced the combination of these things, and knowing that 871 would be led by our current Vice President in a few short weeks anyway, I felt it was best for my health, and the health of the Local and its members, that I step . away from the seat. I will never stop fighting for IATSE membership and what they need. This is a temporary measure for me to re-evaluate the healthiest and most productive way forward. “