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News ::
Somerville Projectionists Update (6/3) (english)
03 Jun 2003

Projectionists at the Somerville Theatre continue demand union recognition. We feel that is only through the collective power of the union that we can effectively combat our exploitation at the hands of Mel Fraiman. Projectionists at the Somerville Theatre are paid minimum wage, are not offered benefits, and work in an unhealthy and undemocratic environment. We cannot afford to live on poverty wages, so the struggle must go on!
FROM THE PICKET LINE TO THE BALLOT BOX:
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES...
Somerville Projectionists Update (6/3)

Projectionists at the Somerville Theatre continue demand union recognition. We feel that is only through the collective power of the union that we can effectively combat our exploitation at the hands of Mel Fraiman. Projectionists at the Somerville Theatre are paid minimum wage, are not offered benefits, and work in an unhealthy and undemocratic environment. We cannot afford to live on poverty wages, so the struggle must go on!


THE LOCK-OUT CONTINUES

It has been nearly a month since we made our unconditional offer to return to work. During this time another projectionist quit, but Mel Fraiman and Ian Judge still refuse to give any hours to the projectionists who struck for recognition. As this is a clear-cut violation of our rights under US labor law we have filed Unfair Labor Practices with the National Labor Relations Board and anxiously await the results.


THE THEATER IS OPERATING ILLEGALLY

The Somerville Theatre is currently operating with unlicensed projectionists. All projectionists in the state of Massachusetts must be sponsored by a licensed projectionist and pass a thorough examination before receiving a motion picture operator’s license (520 CMR 3.00). The Somerville Theatre continues to put patrons at risk by having unlicensed people behind the projectors who have not been trained in fire and safety procedures, or the proper maintenance and operation of the projection equipment.


MANAGEMENT'S CONTINUING DIRTY TRICKS

With the upcoming NLRB election in a matter of weeks, management is doing everything they can to undermine the fact that an overwhelming majority of the projectionists have signed union cards and pack the ballot box with anti-union votes. The NLRB has already ruled against their attempt to include assistant managers among employees eligible to vote as projectionists (nice try Mel!). However, there is still the matter of the scab replacements, some of whom are longtime friends of the manager himself. Although we are still confident in a pro-union victory, with management’s dirty tricks to contend with we expect the election to be very close.


WE DO NOT ADVOCATE PROPERTY DESTRUCTION

It has come to our attention that numerous acts of vandalism have been perpetrated against the Somerville Theatre in the past week. Whether or not these actions were taken on our behalf we cannot say for sure. Certainly it is a possibility. Somerville is a largely pro-union, working class community. Many residents have expressed a genuine outrage at the theater’s continued union busting tactics. We appreciate any and all acts of solidarity on our behalf, however we would never advocate for our supporters to take illegal actions against the theater itself. This would play right into the hands of management and give them the excuse they need to fire all pro-union projectionists.


PLEASE CONTINUE BOYCOTTING THE SOMERVILLE AND CAPITOL THEATRES

We ask that supporters continue to honor the picket line by boycotting the Somerville Theatre and Mel Fraiman’s other theatre, the Arlington Capitol Theatre. We have recently received good news. Jonathan Richman (ex-Modern Lovers) has informed us that he has decided not to perform at the Somerville Theatre, and has moved his show to the Middle East. Hopefully other musicians, artists and performers will follow his lead and also refuse to support union busters by pulling their concerts and events from the Somerville Theatre.


AS ALWAYS, KEEP THE PRESSURE ON!

Let management of the Somerville Theatre know how you feel about their refusal to recognize the projectionists union and continuing underhanded tactics.

Mel Fraiman (owner) - Phone: (617) 484-6947 Car Phone: (617) 460-6909 Personal Fax: (617) 484-5823, FEI office - (781) 648-6022

If you cannot reach Mel on his personal phone, please try his real estate office Chatham Light/Dunster Realty - Phone (617) 354-4466 Fax (617) 354-5299

Ian Judge (general manager) - Somerville Theatre Phone: (617) 625-4088 Direct to manager phone: (617) 625-0261 Fax: (617) 625-5496 or ijudge (at) feitheatres.com

You can also write a letter on our behalf:

Mel Fraiman (residence): 48 Village Hill Road, Belmont, MA 02478

Fraiman Enterprises Inc./Chatham Light Realty/Dunster Realty: 15 Story St. Cambridge, MA 02138


OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT OUR STRUGGLE

The projectionists have not been able to work for over a month now. If you would like to make a donation to our campaign for union recognition please visit the paypal account link below:

https://www.paypal.com/xclick/business=cac%40linefeed.org&item_name=Proj

We also have a mailing address:

Somerville Projection Workers
PO Box 442075
Somerville, MA 02144
(any checks or money orders should be made out “Cash”)

Solidarity,
Somerville Theatre Projectionists

Pissed_Off_Projectionists (at) yahoo.com
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