Washington, DC — IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb issued the following statement, Wednesday:
“As our country stands by under the threat of a disastrous government shutdown, I speak on behalf of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees in calling on Congress, and specifically Speaker McCarthy, to pass either a full-year funding package or clean, short-term measure to ensure the uninterrupted operation of our government.
A government shutdown harms our nation’s economy and threatens the financial security of workers in ways both seen and unseen. It would cause hundreds of thousands of federal employees to be furloughed from their jobs or forced to work without a paycheck. It could make it harder – if not impossible – for Americans across the country, including IATSE kin, to access important government services. It would also hinder the National Relations Labor Board (NLRB) in its capacity to mediate labor disputes or conduct unionization elections. Workers wishing to come together in union and bargain collectively under the IATSE and its affiliated locals should not have their rights postponed because a few members of Congress wish to sow chaos and discord.
Let me be clear: the only reason a shutdown is a possibility at this moment is because a small group of right-wing hardliners in the House of Representatives are willing to inflict collateral damage on working people for the sake of political posturing. Too often, workers are forced to bear the brunt of crises manufactured for political gain. However, should a government shutdown occur, we will remember who was willing to use our financial security and well-being as bargaining chips.”