The federal grand jury investigation of alleged corruption within Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters Local 25 in Boston has had a parade of Hollywood filmmakers testified in recent weeks, according to a Boston Herald source. But some industry officials are reportedly fearful of cooperating with federal investigators. “These people in L.A. are scared of these guys (Teamsters),” said the source. It is unclear which film producers have testified so far, but a number of movies filmed in and near Boston including Good Will Hunting, Cider House Rules, The Good Son, and Blown Away are reportedly “on the radar screen” of investigators. Additionally, the Dep’t of Justice has put a halt to IBT and state investigations of Local 25 bosses, worried that the probes could undercut the ongoing grand jury.
The Dep’t of Labor began probing allegations that Local 25 members routinely forced producers to rent equipment from them, placed unneeded crew members on sets and padded overtime in exchange for labor peace during filming. Allegedly, favored members, many with criminal backgrounds, were routinely placed in the plum jobs that pay $2,000 a week. The probe is also reportedly targeting payoffs and forced hiring in the furniture moving industry. Investigators are also reportedly probing possible drug dealings on sets as well as intimidation of union members who buck demands.
Among those targeted in the probe is James Flynn, an ex-con with reputed ties to organized crime who is Local 25’s chief transportation coordinator. Investigators raided Flynn’s home in June 2000. Flynn allegedly forced producers to rent equipment from his company Location Connection. The grand jury is also looking at producers being forced to give acting spots to some Teamsters, including Flynn who has appeared in Good Will Hunting and The Perfect Storm. [Boston Herald 01/12/01]