IATSE Weekly Newsletter 7/23/21


Weekly Action


Workers’ rights are under attack. Our outdated labor laws have been chipped away and weakened by anti-worker legislators. Every day, we hear about corporations openly union-busting and retaliating against working people without consequence. That’s why we need the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The PRO Act is the most significant worker empowerment legislation since the Great Depression. If it passes, it would:


1. Empower workers to form unions and bargain over wages and work conditions.


2. Hold corporations accountable for union-busting.


3. Repeal “right to work” laws, which were created during the Jim Crow era to divide Black and White workers.


Strong unions mean higher wages, safer working conditions and dignity for all people who work. Passing the PRO Act is our first step to getting there.


Sign the Petition!



News Updates


The DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, Teamsters and AMPTP Announce Tentative Agreement on Adjustments to Covid-19 Safety Agreement


With the ongoing goal of keeping casts, crews and all set workers safe, the Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and the Basic Crafts, and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), together with the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP), announced they have a tentative agreement on adjustments to the Covid-19 Safety Agreement reflecting vaccines and other scientific advances.

The modifications center on workplace practices for fully vaccinated cast and crew, including changes to outdoor masking requirements and updated mealtime protocols. Producers will also have the option to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A on a production-by-production basis. Additional changes, such as adjustments to testing frequency, are included for certain areas in the United States and Canada where Covid-19 incidence is, and remains, very low. Read more ➔



Scabby the Rat Can Join Union Protesters, Divided NLRB Says



The National Labor Relations Board approved a union’s use of a large, fanged, red-eyed rodent balloon known as Scabby the Rat at a protest, rejecting a bid by the agency’s Trump-era top lawyer to exterminate the rat.

The NLRB’s 3-1 ruling Wednesday allows unions to continue using Scabby and similar balloons in demonstrations at businesses that don’t employ those unions’ workers. The board turned aside former General Counsel Peter Robb’s argument that featuring the inflatable rat at such secondary protests is an unlawful attempt to threaten and coerce neutral parties. Read more ➔



IATSE Local 798 Demand Contract for The Atlanta Opera’s Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists




IATSE Local 798 has announced that Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists who work for The Atlanta Opera do not have a contract.

The union took to social media to call out the company for not providing its workers with health insurance or annuity benefits. IATSE is encouraging all to call the Atlanta Opera’s Board Of Trustees Chair Rhys T. Wilson and give support to the workers in their fight for a fair contract. These talented Hair Stylists and Makeup Artists deserve the protections and benefits of a union contract. Call The Atlanta Opera today and tell them to do the right thing and voluntarily recognize Local 798.

Executive Office: 404-881-2258 (Tomer Zvulun - General and Artistic Director)

Board of Trustees: 404-881-8801 (Rhys T. Wilson - Chair)




Resources — IATSE Training Trust Fund


AVIXA has developed this distance-learning version of their Networking Technology course. Just like an in-person group class, students will meet with the instructor in real time to receive personalized skills training, ask questions, and learn from the insights of the group. You will learn the basics of networking from an AV perspective, while gaining the tools you need to have a meaningful conversation with your IT peers. Collaborative exercises and demos will allow you to practice the skills you’ll take back to work with you. Register here ➔



Featured Member Story

Indoor concerts are music to the ears of Local 7 Stagehands at The Colorado Symphony 


It was almost exactly one year ago when Rocky Mountain PBS went hiking with Phil Hiester and his wife, Deborah—outdoor gatherings and social distancing were the norm.  A stagehand for more than three decades, his future at the job he loved was in jeopardy.


“In our industry there are no stagehands working in the country. Our industry has been shut down entirely.  It's very unsettling because we don't know when we'll get back to it,” he said in July of 2020. One year later, there is reason for optimism.


“It is a very special day,” he said during an interview after an early morning crew-call at Boettcher Concert Hall where preparations for the first indoor concert since the pandemic shutdowns are finally underway.


Hiester is a union steward for IATSE Local 7 at Boettcher Concert Hall and one of four stagehands for the Colorado Symphony.


“It is a full orchestra that we set, meaning all four families of the orchestra—strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and in full numbers,” he explained. For the first time in many months, there would be no need for extra spacing on stage and musicians could be mask-free while indoors.


As music and the arts are rebounding across Colorado, Hiester believes much of this is thanks to the successful rollout of vaccinations across the country and cities, like Denver, that took swift safety measures. Read More ➔



IATSE General Office:
207 W. 25th St., 4th Fl., New York, NY 10001