Public Theater Workers Vote Overwhelmingly to Join IATSE, Become Fifth Off-Broadway Group to Unionize

Public Theater crewmembers have voted to join The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), becoming the fifth off-Broadway group to unionize since IATSE launched its organizing efforts earlier this year. The successful recognition vote follows organizing victories at the off-Broadway musicals “Titanique” and “Little Shop of Horrors”, as well as the Vineyard and Atlantic Theatres, where workers also voted overwhelmingly in favor of IATSE representation.

The group, which includes all full-time, regular part-time, and on-call production employees, voted in support of unionization by a wide margin. The official election results revealed an impressive 178 “yes” votes and only 11 “no” votes. The Public is one of New York’s most prominent not-for-profit theaters, operating at their year-round home at Astor Place in addition to Central Park’s Delacorte Theater, which hosts the celebrated “Shakespeare in the Park” productions. The company has premiered many notable and award-winning productions including “Hair,” “A Chorus Line,” “Hamilton,” “Suffs,” and “Hell’s Kitchen.”

The Public’s union is part of a transformative movement off-Broadway, spurred by collective solidarity and recognition of unionization as a means to give theater workers a voice. “Unions are simply working people joining together for their mutual aid and protection,” said IATSE 1st International Vice-President Michael Barnes. “The IATSE stands with all workers behind entertainment and applauds The Public Theater for their commitment to a fair and equitable voting process. Democracy is a cornerstone of our institutions.”

“I’m really excited that my fellow production workers and I will be able to have a say in what our jobs look like,” said props worker Milo Robinson. “We’re hoping that negotiations will bring benefits we all need, including a living wage and access to healthcare. Having a union at the Public feels like a big step in making off-Broadway a more sustainable career.”

“If theatre is the celebration of our humanity, then I can’t think of a better way to restore humanity to those of us who make theatre, by unionizing and advocating for ourselves!” said Tacy L. Flaherty.

Theater and live event workers looking to join together to win better workplaces can head to iatse.net/join to contact an IATSE 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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