Hairspray Touring Crew Wins Voluntary Recognition, Joins IATSE

Denver, CO – 13 hair, makeup, wardrobe, and stage workers for the touring production of the musical ‘Hairspray’ have won voluntary recognition of their union and are set to join the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees’ (IATSE) Associated Crafts and Technicians (ACT) Local — which covers touring theatrical workers. The crew made a demand for recognition of their union while on the job in Denver, CO earlier this month, and their request was formally accepted by company management shortly thereafter.

As signatories to the Non-League Bus and Truck contract, workers will benefit greatly from retirement contributions, guaranteed rest and meal provisions, single occupancy housing, and safer working conditions. In addition, a signing bonus was also negotiated in recognition of less-than-ideal working conditions since the start of the tour.

The crew started their unionization campaign in November and filed a petition for a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election in February but withdrew the petition in hopes of gaining voluntary recognition from the employer. The decision by management to voluntarily recognize the unionization effort aligns with a broader trend in the U.S. live events industry. Employers are increasingly recognizing the benefits of a unionized workforce, emphasizing the importance of maintaining staffing levels, improving morale, enhancing skills, ensuring safety, and providing comprehensive training.

 “The courage of these workers to stand up for what they believed in was tremendous and we are thrilled to welcome them into the IATSE family,” said IATSE Assistant Director of Stagecraft, Stasia Savage. “They will have a safer work environment and be able to bring IATSE membership with them as they further their careers.”

In a statement, the crew expressed optimism that unionization would lead to improved working conditions, stating, “Accomplishing this has not been without difficulty, but we hope going forward that this can be a new start for our show. Our primary goals in this process have always been focused on improving safety, equity, and representation for everybody involved with making this show happen.”

Live Event 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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