WASHINGTON, D.C. – The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) released today its updated federal legislative priorities for the second session of the 117th United States Congress. The IATSE Federal Issue Agenda highlights the core issues facing behind-the-scenes workers employed throughout the U.S. entertainment industry and conveys the union’s federal policy priorities to elected officials.
Following IATSE’s successful advocacy that saw Congress pass comprehensive COVID-19 relief and economic support in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for entertainment workers who lost work through no fault of their own, IATSE members are now using the strength of their collective voice to call for legislation that ensures workers in the entertainment industry come back stronger than before.
The union’s core agenda is focused on protecting the rights of working people to organize a union and bargain for higher wages and better benefits; restoring tax fairness for union creative professionals; advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in the arts and entertainment industry; increasing federal funding for the arts; defending creative works from copyright theft and piracy; safeguarding the multiemployer pension and health plans of IATSE members; and realizing a health care system that is affordable and accessible to all.
The updated agenda also reflects the overwhelming adoption of resolutions by the delegates of IATSE’s 69th Quadrennial Convention to protect the right to vote and seek fair elections with access to the ballot box for all Americans, and establish a national paid family and medical leave program that considers the unique work patterns of behind-the-scenes entertainment workers.
“After collectively achieving unprecedented pandemic relief for behind-the-scenes workers and the entertainment industry in 2021, we continue the fight to ensure the issues important to IATSE families are front and center for Congress and the administration,” said Tyler McIntosh, IATSE Political/Legislative Director.
The document is by no means comprehensive, as the IATSE consistently advocates on additional legislative matters that impact IATSE members and new policy topics that arise, but the issues outlined in this agenda are of primary concern.