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Union resignation


Joe Perri
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Yes, you can leave the Union anytime. Technically, I think you should notify the Union that you are resigning. You could also just stop paying your dues. Keep in mind, if you want back in, you have to go through the whole initiation process (and fees) again. I left 600 about 15 years ago, I often wish I hadn't, but at the time I wasn't getting enough work to justify the dues. I'm still a big Union supporter though. An awful lot of people get a fair wage, insurance and pension thanks to the Union.

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Once I had kids and moved out of NYC I didn't work union jobs anymore as a gaffer or electric. I was shooting and lighting all corporate video stuff, which is all non-union. It was a quality of life thing - being able to be around to see my kids grow up and be part of their life. I later went even further away and opened a dinner theater. But i kept paying my dues - which is actually rather low in Local 52, as they mainly take money out of your pay check. That was one of the smartest decisions I made. I eventually closed the theater and went back to corporate video and then started teaching. But since I had off in the summers I put out some calls to people I used to know in the union and I've been getting union jobs every summer ever since - as an electric or gaffer. My recommendation - keep the card maybe see about going "inactive". Maybe it worked out for me as I wasn't in 600, so my non-union camera and LD work wasn't in my local's category. I still shoot corporate videos and low budget indie stuff but only do electric and gaffer work on union jobs.

Edited by David Landau
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