The American Federation of Labor as the National Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees originally chartered the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada in 1893. Our name has evolved over the course of 110 years of geographic and craft expansion as well as technological advancement. The current title, adopted in 1995, more accurately reflects the full scope of our activities in the entertainment industry.
Since the birth of our organization, the stage hands and projectionists have been joined by a great variety of other craftsperson’s in the numerous branches of the entertainment industry, including motion picture and television production, product demonstration and industrial shows, conventions, facility maintenance, casinos, audio visual, and computer graphics.
In the I.A. we have always understood that our bargaining strength comes from our complete coverage of all the crafts involved in the production of theatrical, motion picture or television products. Our members are involved in every phase of a production, from its conception through every aspect of its execution. The principle of complete coverage and unanimity of purpose has been applied by the I.A. with ever-increasing success to each new form of entertainment.
It is through our combined strength that we have been able to achieve some of the highest wages and best working conditions to be found among skilled craftsperson’s anywhere. Our members are among the highest compensated union members in North America. While most contracts are negotiated locally or by region, the General Office signs nationwide agreements in cases where they are warranted by the nature of the work involved.
In order to protect and expand our bargaining success, it has been, and continues to be necessary to maintain jurisdictional control over the crafts we represent. To do so, the I.A. has been constantly required to meet the challenges presented by technological developments. Over the years, our ability to adjust to technological change has become one of our greatest strengths. Continuing in that tradition, the I.A. has been in the forefront of efforts to organize workers in new crafts such as computer-generated imagery.
Throughout our history we have shown a willingness to modify our structure to protect our traditional jurisdiction and accommodate new crafts, but that alone is not sufficient. In recent years, the I.A. has maintained its position in the vanguard of entertainment industry unions by vigorously pursuing a policy of organizing nonunion workers. On both the International and local levels of our organization, we have reaffirmed our commitment to represent every worker employed in our crafts.
Membership participation and democracy are cornerstones of the I.A. These principles are advanced by our local union structure. Our local unions are autonomous organizations. They are free to pursue independent agendas based upon their membership's concerns. The local union structure, backed up by the International, enables members to have a direct voice in their working lives. The membership is the driving force behind the effort to obtain the kind of wages, benefits and working conditions they need for themselves and their families. The local unions are the vehicles that have enabled these goals to be reached.
A. IATSE stands for International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States and Canada. We are the union of technicians who serve the entertainment industry.
A. You contact the Business Agent of the Local.
A. You can contact the Business Agent by telephone, letter, fax, or e-mail.
A. To become a member you must work for the Local for 18 months, submit an application for membership (including initiation fees), and be elected by the membership.
A. Let us list the advantages:
- We offer "Value per Dollar".
- We provide a "Safe Work Environment".
- We assure "proper worksite insurance".
- We have a "alcohol and drugs policy" in place.
- We provide "Professional, Trained Technicians"
A. See the following reasons:
- As a member of the union, you are protected with a legal contract that specifies what you will be paid, what your benefits are, defined working conditions. Without the union you are working under a good faith understanding.
- You are protected from unfair and illegal activities by an employer.
- You have access to retirement and health benefits for you and your family.
- You have representation, legal and negotiating expertise of the union at your side should you have a dispute with an employer.
- You are part of a professional network of technicians and craftsmen in the entertainment industry.
- You can participate in educational and training opportunities provided by the union.
- You have a voice, vote, and dignity in an industry that continues to experience growth.
- You realize the closest thing to job security in the entertainment industry by possessing an IA card.