Forum Fights Union

A planned picket by the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees that led to a recent Neil Young cancellation at The Forum in Los Angeles was not legal, according to a statement issued by the venue’s owners.

Young pulled the plug on an Oct. 30 show after learning of IATSE Local 33’s plans to picket. But according to Forum officials, the National Labor Relations Board ruled The Forum and SMG were not in violation of any labor laws in July 2006, though the union has continued to picket.

In making its case, Forum Enterprises – which operates the arena for the Faithful Central Bible Church – accused IATSE of racism.

According to the statement, the “union has continued to picket using false accusations and statements, claiming the church does not support ‘the working man’ but in its community ‘the working man’ is predominantly African-American and Hispanic.

“Historically, when the union would fill calls in the aformentioned facility, ‘the working man’ never mirrored this community,” the statement continued.

Forum COO Marc Little added, “IATSE Local 33 has been insensitive to the African-American ownership of the iconic Forum and has systematically exhibited racism against the church’s efforts to employ the local community. We apologize to the fans who were counting on a great evening of music and the employees who were counting on the income.”