Thursday, March 18, 1999

Union: no
cuts, no way for

A Teamsters leader
says his union won't make any
concessions to entice
'Baywatch' to Hawaii

By Tim Ryan


"Baywatch" will get no wage or benefit concessions from the Teamsters union even if it means the show won't relocate to Hawaii.

"No concessions, at all," said Leo Reed, who heads the Teamsters Local 399 in Hollywood. The union provides drivers for television and film productions.

Reed met for nearly two hours yesterday with "Baywatch" producers Greg Bonann and Frank Conway at the union leader's North Hollywood office.

"I listened to their proposal, but told them I don't think I can do anything for you," Reed said. "They asked me to think about it further. I have. My answer is no."

Reed said he will tell the producers his decision tomorrow, probably in a telephone call. No future meetings were scheduled. Neither Bonann nor Conway were available for comment today.

What's at stake for Hawaii is a guaranteed 44 episodes over two seasons, at a cost of about $34.5 million, or $785,000 an episode.

Further complicating the situation is the expected withdrawal by two other unions -- the Screen Actors Guild and now the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 665 (IATSE) of major concessions they made earlier this month in principal to get "Baywatch" to Hawaii.

Al Burns, IATSE business agent, today said he told the producers early on that his union would not except any concessions greater than what other unions agreed to, mainly the Teamsters. IATSE provides the crew for television and film productions.

The transportation budget for TV shows usually run about 10 percent of the show's total budget, Reed said.

That would mean about $79,000 an episode for "Baywatch." Reed said "Baywatch" producers offered $57,000 an episode for transportation "and that's terrible."

"The concessions would have been the lowest rate we've ever done. What they offered doesn't fit any Teamster contract," Reed said.

"The Teamster portion of the show's budget is so minuscule ... that I don't believe it has any bearing whether '"Baywatch' comes to Hawaii or not," Reed said.

Reed, in fact, still believes the show will find the money to film in Hawaii.

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