Many of the films, television shows, commercials, awards shows and webisodes produced in the US are union made. Never before has that percentage been higher. On these productions, all the craftspeople working behind the scenes are members of Locals or Guilds, organized according to their particular department. Whether freelance or full-time, entertainment workers have a union to represent them. There is one glaring exception, one group of skilled technicians without the benefits afforded those who work union: the visual effects team.
When a group of employees working for an employer wish to pool their resources in order to give them greater leverage at the bargaining table for wages, working conditions and benefits, they do so by joining and participating in a union.
So what are some of the benefits included for those working under an IATSE contract?
Continuity in benefits:
The best portable health insurance in the entertainment
business, a pension and an individual account plan.
A unified voice:
representation and protections afforded
from the power of collective bargaining.
Live/work balance and education:
Contractually guaranteed working
conditions and ongoing technical training.
These provisions have been hard fought and forged since the IATSE was founded over 100 years ago. Please read on for information about why you should join the IATSE, benefits from being a union member, and how to start the organizing process in the U.S.