Remote Membership Meetings:
To: IATSE U.S. Local Unions
From: Matthew D. Loeb, International President
Date: July 28, 2022
Re: Remote Membership Meetings
The preferred method of meeting is in-person. However, due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,
particularly since March 2020, the International has permitted Local unions to host membership meetings
using remote meeting platforms. Under the IATSE Constitution, the preference is that membership
meetings be held in-person, with members physically attending in the same location. Pre-pandemic, it was
recognized that national locals, or locals with multi-state jurisdiction, or locals that had special
circumstances were able to simulcast their meetings from certain locations with members in those areas
attending in-person. Those meetings may continue as approved.
Given the unique and unusual circumstances that stem from this unprecedented time, this Office has
received requests from some Local Unions for permission to host membership meetings on a remote
meetings platform. The International has given careful thought to the allowance of such meetings, taking
into account the legal requirements imposed by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act
(LMRDA), applicable state laws, the International Constitution, and commonly accepted rules of order
applied to meetings. To that end, these are the minimum guidelines that Locals must follow for hosting
meetings on remote meetings platforms. These are requirements not options.
Locals that host hybrid in-person and electronic meetings must approximate an in-person meeting as closely
as possible so those who are not physically present in the meeting room are able to witness, hear, and
respond to any debate occurring among the body as well as the corresponding responses from the meeting
chair. Thus, cameras must cover the entire room so that all participants may be seen. In the typical case this
will mean that one camera would be focused on the dais/officers and others on the meeting participants who
are present in person.
Members who are participating on a remote meetings platform MUST have their cameras on at all times,
even if they have to walk away briefly from the meeting. If not, the member will be dropped from the
If action must be taken via a secret ballot vote, be advised that such votes cannot be conducted using the
remote meetings platform. Thus, elections for officers, matters regarding dues and assessments, or
anything financial that will constitute an increase in a member’s financial obligations must be conducted
by secret ballot in person, by mail or some electronic means that satisfies the U.S. Department of Labor
requirements for secret ballot votes using remote electronic voting systems (further guidance may be found
Whatever means is utilized it must ensure that the sanctity of the secret ballot is protected.
Locals may adopt changes to their Bylaws regarding the conduct of meetings on remote meetings platforms.
Locals, however, must be cautious about putting in place any rules that would limit or restrict debate. In no
case may a Local treat one type of participant differently than another when it comes to participation in a
meeting. Whatever rules are adopted regarding debate must be applied equally to ALL participants,
regardless of whether they are in person or participating using a remote system.
ABSOLUTELY NO Recordings of any type (video, audio, photographic, etc.) of meetings are permitted; no
photography; no screen shots; etc.
Any chat (or similar function) function must be disabled. There are to be no side-discussions taking place
during any meeting.
Those on remote meetings platforms must use the raise-hand function in order to be recognized by the
chairperson. The Sergeant-at Arms or other officer will ensure that all participants are called upon in the
order in which they raise their hands, regardless of whether they are in-person or on a remote meetings
Any documents discussed during the meeting should be shared on the screen and/or distributed to remote
attendees ahead of time. Screenshots of documents are not permitted.
Locals must take accessibility under consideration (e.g., closed captioning, translation, etc.) however
Steps should be taken to ensure the privacy of the meeting as only members in good standing are eligible to
participate in Local Union meetings. Thus, members who participate on an electronic meetings platform
must ensure that only they are in a meeting and only they can hear the business of the Local. In addition,
any member participating using electronic means must separate themselves from others who may be
present; must wear earphones so that nonmembers (even family members) are not able to hear the
Participating remotely does not excuse other requirements including the LMRDA or other legal
requirements. Thus, members may not conduct union business while on employer work time.
Members who are at work must not be doing union work while on company time.
Members should also use sound judgment when participating remotely. Thus, operating a motor vehicle,
engaging in any activity than attending the meeting is STRONGLY DISCOURAGED.
Other rules concerning process and logistics may be adopted by Local Unions (e.g., in customary meetings,
debates may be limited to specific topics or motions; if an action or motion and an amendment to that
action/motion are on the floor, discussion should be limited to the amendment; all members assembled may
wish to limit the time for or close a debate).
Those Locals that wish to continue the current, preferred method of meetings should continue to do so.