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Morning Brief: City Councilman Faces Corruption Charges, A Hollywood Shut-Down, And Chocolate

an old movie projector like the kind once used in classrooms projects an image of a person in a white shirt leaning over a desk.
(Sol Robayo S. Journeys for the Soul VIAJES, licensed under CC BY 2.0)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Oct. 14.

Film sets are part of the L.A. landscape. But as of early Monday morning, they may disappear for a time; members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the union that represents 60,000 below-the-line TV and film workers in Hollywood, are set to begin a strike just after midnight.

IATSE has been locked in tense negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers since May 2021. Members want assurances that they’ll have better workplace safety, more sustainable hours and a living wage.

The news about the strike was announced on Twitter yesterday, by IATSE President Matthew D. Loeb:

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“Unless an agreement is reached, 60,000 @IATSE film and tv workers will begin a nationwide strike … We will continue bargaining with the producers this week in the hopes of reaching an agreement … However, the current pace of bargaining doesn’t reflect any sense of urgency. Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. @IATSE film and tv workers deserve to have their basic needs addressed NOW."

Union members voted almost unanimously to strike if their requests weren’t met at the bargaining table. If they go through with it next week, it would be the first strike in IATSE’s 128-year history.

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In a statement, AMPTP indicated that they hope to avoid that result.

“The AMPTP remains committed to reaching an agreement that will keep the industry working,” they said. “We deeply value our IATSE crew members and are committed to working with them to avoid shutting down the industry at such a pivotal time, particularly since the industry is still recovering from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic."

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas and the former dean of the USC School of Social Work have been indicted on federal corruption charges.
  • The Alisal Fire had burned more than 15,000 acres and was still only 5% contained as of Wednesday afternoon.
  • The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are expanding to 24/7 operations as part of an effort to relieve pandemic-related supply chain issues.
  • More than half Angelenos live in a neighborhood that’s at high risk of extreme heat, wildfire, drought, inland flooding and sea level rise — five of the biggest impacts of the climate crisis.
  • Gov. Newsom has declined to sign a bill that would have largely decriminalized jaywalking. 
  • Riverside City College recently started offering an apprenticeship to help Licensed Vocational Nurses working in the public sector become Registered Nurses. 
  • Ruthie Tompson, a legendary animator who spent nearly 40 years with the Walt Disney Company, working on virtually every film from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Rescuers, died this week at the age of 111.

Before You Go ... Tomatoes, Potatoes, And Chocolate

Chocolate with black lava salt pot de creme from Platine (image courtesy Platine)

Three foods beloved worldwide — tomatoes, potatoes and chocolate — are widely believed to have originated in European countries. In fact, they’re indigenous to Latin America. Here are their delicious origin stories.

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