During COVID-19 pandemic, IATSE covered insurance costs for members

International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 317 President Mike Pope joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how IATSE covered insurance costs for its members, regardless of their ability to pay, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Theatrical stage hands were hit hard by COVID-19 lockdowns and could not work. Fortunately, IATSE was able to provide insurance for its members. This was an enormous benefit during this difficult time, he said.

Pope spoke about the benefits of being in a union, particularly for freelancers. Not only do union members tend to be paid more, but benefits such as healthcare and a pension are enormous assets to those in the entertainment industry.

He also talked about the struggles of Local 317 to organize and why it chose IATSE for representation because the union promised to work hard for its members.

Many Local 317 members wish they had organized 20 or 30 years ago, Pope said. Members have the benefit of knowing what their rates are going to be and do not need to renegotiate for every freelance job they perform. He urged any freelancer in the theatrical industry who wants to join a union to contact IATSE.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about these topics:


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