Thom Davis, Longtime IATSE Local 80 Leader, to Step Down

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Thom Davis, the longtime head of IATSE Local 80, announced on Sunday that he will be stepping down at the end of the year, a local official told Variety.

Davis, who has served as business manager since 1998, was a strong supporter of the new IATSE Basic Agreement, which was narrowly approved by the 13 West Coast IATSE locals in an unusually contentious vote last month. The membership of Local 80 was heavily opposed to the agreement, with 70% of the membership voting “no.”

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Davis would have been up for re-election for another three-year term next March, along with the rest of the Local 80 leadership team. Instead, he will step aside effective Dec. 31. He will continue to serve as 2nd vice president of the International union, where he is a key part of international president Matthew Loeb’s leadership team.

Davis also chairs the California Film Commission and is active in representing IATSE in Sacramento. He has served as a trustee of the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans for nearly 20 years and chairs the board of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Local 80 represents about 3,900 grips, first aid workers and craft service personnel. The contract vote was especially heated within Local 80, where many members felt it did not do enough to address quality of life issues. Opponents argued that union negotiators should have taken a more aggressive line, especially on the issue of curtailing long hours on set.

In the wake of the vote, Local 80 members talked openly about seeking new leadership in the upcoming elections.

Davis has been an IATSE member since 1977 and joined the executive board of Local 80 in 1984.

IATSE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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