As a union member, you will earn better wages and benefits than workers who aren’t union members. On average, union workers’ wages are 30 percent higher than their non-union counterparts, and this benefit is even greater for women and minorities. In addition, you will also have health insurance and a guaranteed pension. IATSE helps employers create a more stable, productive workforce - one where workers have a say in improving their job conditions. Together, all of these benefits add up to a better quality of life for you and your family.
If you are either a stagehand or an employee at an industry shop, and you are currently not a member of IATSE, please consider the following:
Without union representation, employers can pay you anything they want, from minimum wage on up. There is no law that requires them to pay anything more than minimum wage.
Without union representation and a contract, an employer has no obligation to provide you with benefits such as health care coverage or retirement savings plans.
And, without union representation, you can be fired for any reason - or no reason at all. The IATSE has been successful in negotiating contracts that provide protection for employees from being disciplined or discharged by employers, without just cause. In addition, there are representatives who, if you wish, can represent you in your problems with management. You do not have to confront the employer over their failure to properly pay you or failure to provide you with benefits under the contract.
Federal law protects the right of employees' to form, join, or assist labor organizations. In addition, it is an unfair labor practice to coerce employees in the exercise of these rights. Employers may not fire, threaten to fire, or in any way take action against an employee for supporting a union. If you would like to learn more about workers' rights and the organizing process, please visit IATSE National.