If you are a stagehand or technician in a theatre, shop or venue and don't work for a company that has a contract with the Local One, you probably aren't getting the most out of your work.
YOU can change that. You and your co-workers have a guaranteed right under Federal law to form a union. Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act states:
"Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection..."
Any information you give us is kept in strict confidence!
Call or Email John Lott Today
Without Local One representation, you are alone and isolated at the lowest end of the work environment, lacking the means to protect your own self-interests. No doubt, your personal experience will confirm the fact that alone, you have very little negotiating power against a producer, theatre owner or shop owner who is determined to give you just as little as possible.
With Local One representation, you are participating in critical decisions that affect your life, such as daily wages, continuing education, medical benefits for yourself and your family, holiday pay, retirement benefits, working conditions and professional representation in the work place. There is, indeed, strength in numbers, and with thousands of other IATSE workers on your side, you can have control over your future in this industry.
Labor organizations in this country have sustained setbacks in recent years, but a dramatic turnabout is now afoot. Nationally, IATSE has regained almost complete control of its traditional jurisdiction. Get on board for one of the most historic rebirths in labor history. Things will only improve as we move into the future.
Local One has negotiated hard and long with the producers, theatre owners or shop owners to assure safe and decent working conditions for its members. It is an uphill battle and it often seems like the boss is taking some of it away from us. But with strength in numbers, Local One can demand, and usually receive, the conditions and terms that are most essential for the membership. Our priorities include insuring the physical safety of our members, protecting your job security, and obtaining fair benefits and wages that continue to grow.
Most unionization drives start as conversations between co-workers. Sometimes the spark is a simple, off-hand comment: "This place is nuts. We should have a union." Sometimes it's more dramatic, like a tirade from the boss or six weeks of long hours and no extra pay.
Before you get too far along, you should speak with someone from Local One. We have organizers and attorneys who can help you navigate the legal and strategic issues that any organizing campaign will undoubtedly face. Give us a call or an email and we'll help get things moving.
If the majority of a crew sincerely wants a Local One contract and is willing to participate in a campaign to secure one, they can absolutely prevail. There must be a firm commitment to succeed and the ability to focus on a progression of campaign objectives.
Many theatre technicians in non-union venues, shops and other non-typical workplaces have contacted us looking for Local One to help them and their families have better lives. Many ask the same basic questions that we will try to answer below.
Q: Can I be discharged or suspended for union activity?
A: If your Employer attempts to discharge, suspend, demote, or otherwise adversely affect your job because of your union activity, your Employer has violated the law. Federal law prohibits such activity and the remedy provided by law includes reinstatement to your position and payment of lost wages.
Q: Can my employer threaten me if I want to join the Local One?
A: If your Employer threatens or seeks to penalize you in any manner because you support Local One, your Employer has violated the law.
Q: Who will run my Union if we organize?
A: You and your fellow stagehands and technicians run Local One. Since you elect your own Local
officers, you run your own Local affairs, you make the decisions on your Union contract, you elect your Local Union officers and you decide by majority vote the policies of your Local Union.
Q: Will the stagehands have help with grievances?
A: Your grievance issues will be handled by one of your elected Local One business agents. All of Local One’s officers and Business Agents have been working stagehands and technicians and thoroughly understand the business of show business, working conditions backstage and the contract under which you will work.
Q: Is a Producer with a Union contract more likely to go out of business than a Producer without a Union contract?
A: The answer is NO – We just light them, we don’t write them. There are many reasons for a show’s success or failure. As an experienced stagehand you’ve seen them onstage. We have no control over what attracts an audience. A union contract won’t improve or detract from a production. Union contracts cover actors, musicians, press agents, directors, chorographers and designers. In fact, even in the smallest productions, you may be the only person involved in the show that is without some kind of union contract.
Given Local One’s almost 125 years of experience in the business of show business, we recognize that there are different sorts of venues and shops and no one contract covers them all. It does no one any benefit if an employer goes out of business. Local One will not negotiate a contract that does not take into account the size and the economic reality of a particular employer.
Q: What are the advantages of becoming a Local One member?
A: There are many advantages. Here are just a few – Local One members enjoy much higher wages than non-unionized stagehands. Members and non-members working under a Local One contract have excellent healthcare benefits in a plan we control ourselves. A Local One member has an excellent
retirement plan that again, we control ourselves. When you work under any Local One contract, all benefits go into the same benefit programs, not individual employer plans. If you work for multiple employers in the course of a year, all those benefits go into the same plan. There is no need to have to try to qualify for multiple plans and fall short.
As a Local One member, you are also a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), which is the pre-eminent trade union in the entertainment industry. Our members work in theatres throughout the US, on tour and in the film and television industries.
The following theatre, televisions studios, and shops have been organized recently.
Under Section 8(a) of the National Labor Relations Act, there are a number of actions that your employer and/or supervisors may not engage in, which constitute unfair labor practices (ULPs). These restrictions on the employer’s conduct are designed to protect and preserve your right to join a union under Section 7.
Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA states that the employer may not:
"Interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed under Section 7."
Examples of 8(a)(1) violations include:
If you believe that your employer has committed any of these unfair labor practices, please contact us immediately.
Planning an Event in NYC? Contact one of our Business Managers