New Jersey Nightly News; A Closer Look: 1. Movies; 38
Have to offer since 1977 the state Motion Picture and Television Development Commission has been trying to induce filmmakers to work in New Jersey governor Brendan Byrne appointed author Sidney Kingsley chairman of this commission Joseph Freedman is the executive director one of the chief problems faced by film producers is money. Motion picture unions have traditionally asked for high salaries and tight work rules. But the New Jersey Film Commission has made a deal to remedy the situation or so. Producer Bill Monroe in Hartford discovered when he visited the commission's office in Newark after the people involved in the decision to make the film Amityville Horror and Toms River got to the point of setting up their negotiations they were very concerned with the kind of labor conditions they would find here. What we could do was introduce them to the proper people and as I found out afterwards from the people in the IP in California that they were very very satisfied with the arrangements made
by the local New Jersey teams that this doesn't simply cost less to make a film in New Jersey because of labor agreements and the like. Well yes because the Teamsters don't have at least the teams here in New Jersey don't have a set contract with any of the major studios and they do say on the west coast the west coast teams as they can be flexible and they can decide exactly just how much they would charge for the particular work that has to be done. Teamsters are essential to the production of a movie. They drive all the trucks load and unload all the props and heavy equipment for 52 years. Members of a New York City Teamsters Local 8:17 had sole jurisdiction over films made in New Jersey local 8:17 is noted for its integrity and the high wages that it gets for its members. But the State Film Commission has been suggesting to producers that they can cut costs by working with another local Teamster local 560
based in Union City. Robert Lutz He heads the motion picture division of local 560. Mr. Kingsley called me one day and he told me they were looking to bring the movies in the whole book and it was going to do the movie the voices in Hoboken and he would like to know if I would get involved. He says it's gonna take time. It's a problem to get him here and he says they need cooperation with the union and give them the best breaks you can get. Things like that. I would do it and I said yes and I did. You may have heard of Teamster local 560 until this past June. It was the home local of Anthony. Tony Provenzano. Law enforcement officials contend that Provenzano has control of 560 is a classic study in labor racketeering. Steven Brill is a contributing editor for Esquire magazine. He is also the author of the Teamsters a best selling book that details the inner workings of the Teamsters Union. Traveling around the country one of the things I've been stressing is that the book talks about a lot of very
good local unions and the Teamsters and a lot of very bad ones. And the example that I always use very very easily is the ultimate terrible Teamster local is local 560 local 560 is a little more than. Curred than a subsidiary for organized crime. I would say it has the worst reputation of any local union in the country. What kind of activities have the officers of local 5:16 been involved in. You mean the range of organized crime activities and that's what they've been involved in from. From orchestrating hijackings to extortion loan sharking. To murder. We have the. Former president and secretary treasurer of local 560 Tony Provance who's been convicted of murder. Anthony Provenzano is in jail now but even with Tony Pro in prison his family continues to control local 5:16 with one of his brothers Nunzio serving as president and other brother Salvatore serving as vice president and his daughter
Josephine in the office of secretary treasurer Robert let's say the man chosen to run local 560 is motion picture division is one of Anthony Provenzano his most trusted subordinates and his relationship with the Provenzano extends well beyond union business. He is chairman of the committee to defend Anthony Provenzano a group soliciting contributions for Tony Proz legal expenses at a more personal level. Anthony Provenzano is the godfather of at least one of Robert Latsis children. But the State Film Commission seems unconcerned about the past history of both local 560 and Robert Lacey who has served time in prison for breaking entry and larceny. Are you aware that Mr. see is a convicted felon a man who served time in prison. No I'm not. Are you aware of the reputation that Teamster local 560 has had that law enforcement officers say that is dominated by organized crime. Frankly Bill I would like not to get into it because that's not the concern of the commission.
And just go ahead of me as a private citizen but as you point to the official state commission. I don't think that's my place at this point. Representatives of the State Film Commission argue that the question here is not the integrity of local 560 but featherbedding on the part of New York City Teamsters. We have here a contract which is probably one of the best contracts in the country. One of the one of the real accomplishments and that's done as a guarantee my head is that there will be no featherbedding and it is written and that's gone and that's a mouse. LUDDEN Right. Officers at local 8:17 term and charges of featherbedding baloney. They point to master contracts they have with five major studios adding You don't hear them complain.
Local 8:17 members more than half of whom live in New Jersey told us that they feel they are being slowly pushed out of New Jersey film projects and are surprised that no one at the State Film Commission has even bothered to contact them. Robert Lutz's role in film production isn't confined to just labor matters. In fact he's become something of a quasi official ambassador for the State Film Commission. When I was talking to Mr. Friedman he mentioned that you and local 560 made a personal commitment to Governor Baron to help bring movies to Bagshot. Is that right. That's absolutely right. That's absolutely right. Because they advertise me in Californian variety and a few other papers out there and I've had I've had I don't know how many calls on directors and producers mostly producers and we work everything out. I hesitate to speculate just in general terms about having any group involved in any situation and what the ramifications are certainly the track record
of 560 is that. We're five 60 officers go. There is corruption as crime is extortion and it seems to me that you're hoping against hope if you if you assume that if 5:16 gets involved in something like the movie industry with is how much discretion both in content. And in the kinds of costs involved in producing a movie you're hoping against hope that the 5:16 gets involved that it's going to be honest because there's nothing in the track record that says it's going to be honest. The influence of Teamster local 5:6 to you is already being felt on New Jersey movie sites. Teamster's working on films shot in New Jersey have been given letters encouraging them to donate to the Anthony Provenzano Defense Fund. Some contend that this is just the beginning. This year there were only 13 films shot in New Jersey but the state has ambitious plans to turn this abandoned railroad terminal in Jersey City or some other North Jersey site into a massive motion picture complex. The film commission
envisions the construction of the largest production center on the East Coast with facilities equal or superior to those available in Hollywood. If that ever occurs teamster's local 560 will be in an even more powerful position since only teamster's are approved by 5:16 will be allowed to work in this complex. Robert Stewart the chief of the federal organized crime strike force in New Jersey testified earlier this year that labor racketeering has not changed essentially since the 1950s when it was so brutally exposed in the classic On the Waterfront. Ironically until this year the last major motion picture shot in New Jersey. Stewart told members of the Senate subcommittee on investigations that it is a serious mistake to believe that the circumstances portrayed in Marlon Brando's on the waterfront are somehow passe. What we have today is the exact same problem as in the 1950s involving many of the same suspects
- New Jersey Nightly News
- A Closer Look: 1. Movies
- Contributing Organization
- New Jersey Network (Trenton, New Jersey)
- AAPB ID
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
New Jersey Network
Identifier: 01-73119 (NJN ID)
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “New Jersey Nightly News; A Closer Look: 1. Movies; 38,” New Jersey Network, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 5, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-259-mk657n85.
- MLA: “New Jersey Nightly News; A Closer Look: 1. Movies; 38.” New Jersey Network, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 5, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-259-mk657n85>.
- APA: New Jersey Nightly News; A Closer Look: 1. Movies; 38. Boston, MA: New Jersey Network, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-259-mk657n85