For Brooklyn’s International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 4 member John Weidenbusch, it all began with the Rolling Stones Steel Wheels tour back in 1989.
“That was my first job under Local 4,” says Weidenbusch, who became an IATSE member in 1994. “It was for a six-night run at Shea Stadium, and I was hooked.”
Since then, Weidenbusch has served in myriad capacities as an up rigger and stage tech for several high-profile tours and events nationwide, including the Macy’s 4th of July Spectacular, The Blue Man Group, The American Ballet Theatre, The New York Philharmonic, and various Broadway productions.
“I’ve been in the union for 35 years,” Weidenbusch says. “I’ve been involved in my local and I’m proud to be a member. The work I do is really demanding and it takes a toll on the body, but I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Last year, Weidenbusch started looking for housing in the Philadelphia area after several jobs took him there.
“I was really beginning to split time between Brooklyn and Philly, and I decided that I’d to look to buy a house down there,” Weidenbusch says. “I found one and found that I really liked my neighborhood of Mt. Airy. I decided to make the move.”
Weidenbusch turned to the Union Plus Mortgage Company for his pre-approval letter and financing needs.
The Union Plus Mortgage Program, with financing available through Union Plus Mortgage Company, is available for all eligible union members. The Union Plus Mortgage Company is union-owned and staffed by knowledgeable loan officers.
Weidenbusch especially appreciated that he was able to buy a house at a time when work was slowed by the covid-19 pandemic.
“UPMC really gets me,” he says. “They know what my life and livelihood look like and there aren’t questions about what I’ll be earning when and where. They see my track record and they see union members in general. Working with them was smooth. And I know if there’s another work stoppage, there will be assistance there for me should I need it along the way.”
The Union Plus Mortgage Assistance Program provides interest-free loans and grants to help union members make mortgage payments when they’re disabled, unemployed, furloughed, locked out or on strike. Eligible members must have held a Union Plus mortgage for at least a year.
“I’m still back and forth [between Philadelphia and Brooklyn], but I’m really glad for how all of this has worked out. I trust Union Plus,” he says. “As a long-time union member, I can say that Union Plus is a great organization with great benefits for other IATSE members. And if you’re in the market for a house, even better.
To learn more about the Union Plus Mortgage Company, visit unionplusmortgage.com.