Washington, DC – McGuire Scenic, an Indianapolis-based company that builds backdrops and scenery for corporate and entertainment clients across the US using IATSE members, is featured in the 2009 Labor Day List: Partnerships That Work, a publication of the American Rights At Work Education Fund.
McGuire Scenic, which started 14 years ago to provide theatrical scenery for local performances and national traveling shows, has evolved into a diverse company working with top-tier clients across the country.
McGuire’s workers are represented by IA Local 30, and several employees have been with the company since it was founded. According to the ARAW 2009 Labor List, “ McGuire contributes to each employee’s pension welfare fund, provides health insurance, and pays higher wages than non-union design companies. McGuire understands the sacrifice its employees and their families make during the long hours it takes to get the job done and compensates for it, paying overtime wages for early or late shifts and for work on holidays.”
The Fund report continues, “The returns of having a union workforce are extensive, both for the staff and McGuire Scenic itself. The union has helped hone the specialized skills required for scenic design work, including offering forklift and carpentry training that minimizes safety hazards and increases productivity. This union advantage is one reason traveling Broadway shows use McGuire Scenic: they know hiring union contractors results in superior performance and safety.”
Co-owner Don McGuire told ARAW that he believes that openness and respect are keys to a successful labor management partnership. “We try to keep it all open here,” he told ARAW, “so there are no issues. If we know and follow the rules, which are fair, and if everyone stays in those boundaries, union and management can work together with no problems.”
As an employer, Don McGuire supports the Employee Free Choice Act so more working men and women can have the same rights and opportunities as his employees. “The benefits for employees and their families are far greater than benefits associated with non-union jobs,” he continued. “All workers should have a chance at forming a union because they are treated better.” The Fund report concluded its section on McGuire Scenic, “When more workers can free form unions, more companies will enjoy the benefits of a skilled, loyal workforce – an asset that McGuire Scenic knows firsthand.
The 2009 Labor Day List is the fifth annual report from the American Rights at Work Education Fund, which spotlights partnerships between employers, employees, and their unions that both meet the needs of workers and fulfill business objectives in the new economy. The eight companies on the list have each taken a stand for all workers by unanimously supporting the Employee Free Choice Act. ARAW is an educational and outreach organization dedicated to promoting the freedom of workers to form unions and bargain collectively, working through coalition-building, research, public relations, policy analysis and advocacy.