Guthrie Front-Facing Crew Unionizes with IATSE Local 13

Minneapolis, MN – Approximately 130 front-of-house workers at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater will join the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 13 after voting to unionize in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election earlier this month. The vote demonstrated strong support for the union, with over 70% of the ballots cast in favor of joining IATSE. 

Founded in 1963 and located in the heart of Minneapolis, the Guthrie produces a mix of classic and contemporary plays on three stages and continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production. Guthrie stagehands were already represented by IATSE Local 13, and the theater’s scenic shop voted overwhelmingly to unionize with United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829, IATSE in 2022. The front-of-house crew’s unionized colleagues were essential in supporting the campaign, continuously demonstrating their solidarity for their front-of-house counterparts. The newly unionized group will now join the Guthrie’s other employees protected by union representation, including performers, musicians, and the various other craftspersons that bring productions to life.  

The crew’s campaign did not go without pushback from Guthrie management, with leadership attempting to persuade workers from joining the union at various stages in the process. However, one of the most common anti-union tactics — mandatory captive audience meetings— were off the table as the state of Minnesota banned the union busting practice in 2023.  

“This group is passionate about the changes they want to see in their working conditions,” said IATSE International Representative Amanda Sager. “Minneapolis has always been a strong union town and Local 13 is proudly part of that wave. Despite the employer’s attempt at anti-union messaging, workers prevailed.”  

Theater workers nationwide are coming together to win essential access to healthcare, training, robust safety measures, mental health resources, and avenues for professional growth. If you are interested in joining the movement, head to iatse.net/join to contact a live events organizer. 

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The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees or IATSE (full name: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada), is a labor union representing over 170,000 technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live events, motion picture and television production, broadcast, and trade shows in the United States and Canada.

For more information please contact:
General: comms@iatse.net
Press: press@iatse.net


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