The Certified Grips and Crane Technicians' Branch is a London Productions Division Branch of Bectu in the United Kingdom.
We provide support and representation to our members in a variety of areas, including negotiating pay and conditions, promoting health and safety standards through the promotion of the national qualifications and advocating for the interests of the Grip Department across the Industry. We also provide networking, training and development opportunities to our members.
The Grips Branch is an important and influential voice in the film and television industry in the UK.
All the work the committee does is voluntary. If you'd like to get involved in the Committee or London Production Division please chat to us. We're always looking for help and assistance in organising.
The Grips Branch as we know it today didn't exist until 1984, when a group of Grips decided to break away from the NATKE general craft branch. They issued an ultimatum to the Union. All they wanted was the recognition they deserved and the ability to set their own rates and conditions.
The first meeting was held in the Wellington Pub in Borehamwood. The founding members were Colin Manning, Tony Rowland, Dennis Fraser, Jimmy Dawes, Brian ‘Ossie’ Osborn and Terry Kelly and so the decision was made to pull away from the union and the general craft branches and form a dedicated grip branch.
Tony Rowland, Colin Manning, John Flemming, Derek Russell and Paul Brinkworth, met with the Uxbridge general craft branch secretary Sid Thorley. It was a difficult negotiation but ultimately the power was in the hands of the grips. Finally after some persuasion they relented and agreed to recognise the grips in their own right.
There were only around forty Grips working on Motion Pictures at the time, TV Grip work was still done by staff Grips. They titled themselves rather grandly, ‘The Grips Branch of Motion Picture and TV Commercials Grips’. This was quickly dealt with at the first meeting and changed to ‘The Grips Branch.’
The Chairman for the first meeting was Jimmy Dawes, the Branch Secretary; Tony Rowland, Treasurer; Terry Kelly. The rest of the committee was as follows: Brian ‘Ossie’ Osborn, Colin Manning, Nick Pearson, Billy Geddes and David Cadwallader.