Armed with flyers and a letter from their attorney, projectionists form I.A.T.S.E. Local 169 picketed the Alameda Theater again last night less than a month after Theater management placed one of their members under citizen’s arrest for trespassing.
Martin Lipow, president of the local, told Action Alameda News that Alameda Assistant District Attorney Charlotte Green threw out trespassing charges against the union member arrested last month, as California law gives members the right to enter private property to perform lawful union activity.
The letter from the union’s attorney, William Sokol, addressed as “TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:” reads:
“This firm represents the I.A.T.S.E. Union of which the individual(s) with whom you are dealing is an authorized representative. The Union Representative(s) who is entering upon this property is doing so for the purpose of engaging in lawful Union activity. This letter is intended to apprise you of the rights held by Union Representatives under California law to enter privately owned property to perform lawful labor union activities including card checks, organizing and like activities.”
The letter goes on to cite California Penal Code Section 602(o), the National Labor Relations Act and case law to support the assertion.
Lipow told Action Alameda News that Kyle Conner, the theater operator, is wrongfully trying to assert that the easement his firm has been granted over the public sidewalk on the theater gives him total control over who can use the space. In the past, Mr. Conner has not returned Action Alameda News telephone calls for comment on the union activities.
We did speak with two young theater patrons, Ben and Tyler, who supported the union and had negative comments about the theater’s management and staff, as heard in this video clip.