More Allegations Surface of Union Featherbedding on Boston Film Sets

A fed. grand jury is investigating new allegations that bosses of a Boston Teamsters union forced the hiring of no-show drivers on the set of “Mystic River,” directed by Clint Eastwood.  According to the Boston Globe, the grand jury in Worcester summoned Keith Dillon, a Teamster from Los Angeles who has worked on previous Eastwood films, to testify about his dealings with Local 25 of the Intl. Bhd. of Teamsters in Boston.

“Mystic River” was the first feature film to be shot in Mass. in two years.  Local 25 has been under investigation since 2000 for allegedly extorting job favors for organized crime associates on the sets of such films as “The Perfect Storm,” “The Cider House Rules,” and “Good Will Hunting.”  On the set of “What’s the Worst that Could Happen,” Local 25 boss George Cashman approved the beating of a female snack truck driver who refused to turn her concession contract over to a Teamster member.

The Globe reported that fed. agents twice asked LA teamster Dillon for permission to disguise an undercover agent as a driver on the “Mystic River” set, but that Dillon refused.  IBT spokesman Brett Caldwell denied that any teamsters cooperated in any undercover investigation.  Caldwell did claim that Dillon contacted IBT officials at their Washington, DC headquarters after filming began in September about his dealings with Local 25, and that they referred him to the U.S. Attny. in Boston.

Allegedly, Local 25 officials demanded several non-contractual benefits after filming began in the fall, incl. the placing of a non-driver on the payroll, to which the production company agreed.  The moviemakers also hired a company called Location Connection, run by Local  25 boss James P. Flynn, to provide rental vehicles on the set.  The grand jury was already investigating allegations that past producers were forced to hire Flynn’s company.  Now, they are looking into the Flynn hiring on the “Mystic River” set. [Boston Globe 3/3/03]