IATSE Weekly Newsletter 3/12/2021

Congress Passes American Rescue Plan Act Following Biden Proposal, Delivers Comprehensive Relief for IATSE Members

“IATSE sisters, brothers, and kin — like so many across this country — have endured far too much over the last year. The American Rescue Plan Act will reduce suffering for those most impacted and put our members closer to getting back to the careers they love. We said from the beginning that the severity of this health crisis demands decisive action from our federal government. Saying this shouldn’t be a partisan statement. It was true a year ago, it was true during the November election, and it is true today. And yet, every Republican member of Congress chose to vote against the American Rescue Plan and tried to stand between our members and meaningful COVID-19 relief. Make no mistake, help is on the way, but it was only made possible because together we turned out in record numbers to elect pro-worker candidates to lead the executive branch and both houses of the federal legislature,”

– IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb More details on The American Rescue Plan ➔

House passes the PRO Act, sends landmark labor law reform bill to Senate

As we stated when Congress introduced the bill in early February, the PRO Act would be the most significant worker empowerment legislation passed since the Great Depression. It would help level the playing field in an economy pillaged by inequality and anti-worker legislation and would make the freedom to negotiate collectively a reality for 60 million American workers.

The PRO Act would:

  • Establish a mediation process to help management and labor find common ground
  • Give the National Labor Relations Board authority to order employers to negotiate in good faith with their workers and enforce penalties to prevent union-busting or deliberate misclassification by bad actors
  • Eliminate the “right-to-work” (for less) laws of the Jim Crow Era that enable free riders
  • Ban compulsory “captive audience meetings” and use of intimidation as a union-busting tactic
  • Protect the right to strike and make it illegal for bosses to fire and replace workers who walk off the job to protest for better conditions More on the PRO Act➔

In New Haven, College Street Music Hall stagehands picket for contract

Stage hands at the College Street Music Hall — currently idled by the coronavirus — do not receive insurance, overtime, pension or other retirement benefits. Twenty-one College Street stage hands voted unanimously a year ago to join a union, Local 74 of IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts. But one largely-unpaid pandemic year later, with one of the 21 bargaining unit members now having passed away, they have yet to successfully negotiate a contact with College Street’s owners, they said. On Monday, the workers hit the street — and said they will continue to go out and do an informational picket of the closed theater from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day through Friday. “We have hope” that negotiators will be able to reach an equitable agreement, said Shea. “We expect a fair contract. We expect that they’ll respect that this is what we’re here for.” Full Article ➔

IATSE Celebrates International Women’s Day

As we celebrate #InternationalWomen’s Day, women throughout the world face a triple threat under the pandemic. The threat is economic, as more women have left or been forced out of their jobs. 

It’s a health crisis, as more women are caregivers and essential workers, risking their health through exposure to the virus. And the final, silent threat comes by way of gender-based violence and harassment, as more women are forced to quarantine in high stress scenarios with perpetrators, or work under untenable workplace conditions with no recourse. 

Let’s ALL commit to truly celebrate women across the globe by working to eradicate these threats! Work to pass ILO Convention 190 today. 

― International Vice President, Joanne Sanders and IATSE Women’s Committee Chair.

Local 212 Costume and Wardrobe Department Head Adejoke Taiwo Shares Her Journey with IATSE and Talks Diversity and Inclusion in Canada


“I have always been interested in clothes and fashion since I was six years old,” says Costumer and Wardrobe Department Head and Local 212 member Adejoke Taiwo. “My Father’s mother was a tailor, so at the early age of six years old, was the first time I showed an interest in the skill. My parents decided to enroll me in sewing classes and I took these classes all throughout my teenage years.”

During her stay in Calgary, Adejoke says she ran into an old friend who suggested she return to Theatre Calgary and the Banff Centre and start working again in theatre and film. After giving it some thought, Taiwo says she began doing the groundwork and because of her years of experience, by 2010 she was working as a Costumer in film consistently. In 2011 she officially became an IATSE member.

Over the years, Adejoke has worked as a film Costume Designer in Calgary and Vancouver. Taiwo has worked on many projects such as Tribal, Tin Star Season 2 Chad, and ILand. She says although, Canada does not like to acknowledge that racism exists in their country. The lack of diversity and inclusivity has left many Canadian BIPOC talent, on and off-screen, feeling dismissed.

Adejoke says she hopes sharing her story will encourage her IA Sisters and Brothers of all races and backgrounds to not be afraid to question themselves. “Don’t just say to yourself, that you’re not bias, because sometimes we all have an unconscious bias,” she added. “We all make mistakes, but we must think about our actions and focus on the steps towards measurable change. The IA has already taken the first step by sharing the stories of its BIPOC members to ensure Motion Picture will hear our stories and continue to amplify our voices.”

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We are sunsetting IATSEcares.org

In March 2020, COVID-19 upended the entire entertainment industry and so many of our lives. During the uncertainty, IATSE, the ‘union behind entertainment’, launched IATSE C.A.R.E.S. to support its membership as the crisis proliferated.

Thankfuklly, we’ve come a long way since that time. While we are no longer supporting grocery deliveries or check-in calls, we will leave IATSEcares.org intact for historical purposes. We want to thank every volunteer who participated when other members needed them most.