Tag: “This Fantastic Struggle”

Unions to Talk Outside ‘Quiet Rooms’

                  c Lisa A. Miles 1/26/12

* This article was Spotlighted by Daily Kos, Feb 3, 2012.  Also selected to repost in their “In Support of Labor & Unions” section.
 “This is only halftime,”  said Jeff Harris, spokesman for the Indiana State AFL-CIO, days before last Wednesday night’s working-class bashing– the passage of legislation barring unions from requiring nonunion members to pay fees for workplace bargaining in the state.  
He was actually referring to the fact that America’s unions will not take this lying down, but he may as well have been referring to the upcoming Super Bowl’s festivities, which are set up and run by the back-breaking, round-the-clock labor of professional stagehands, electricians, painters and carpenters.  Not to mention hotel workers, costumers and designers, other building trades workers, and certainly the mass delivery of goods by Teamsters.  
The first group of four mentioned have no-strike clauses in their contracts; the others, not.  But contracts will not hush the fury of the skilled working class in this country.  Not now.  No more….

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Pittsburgh Stagehands Circumvented for “First Night”

Lisa A. Miles c2011                                      SEE POSTSCRIPT AT BOTTOM!

Pittsburgh Stagehands don’t work Pittsburgh’s First Night.  The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust hires other workers to man the stages.

You’d think a city with vibrant cultural district would have plenty of work for arts professionals.  So much entertainment– little use of Stagehands.

The story gets stranger.

The Trust has employees who do that very work.  On payroll.  Pittsburgh’s Stagehands–  IATSE Local 3 members (International Alliance of Theatrical & Stage Employees).   They build scenery for A Christmas Carol and make sure U2 sounds cool in a football stadium, with everyone safe under state-of-the-art equipment perched precipitously above.  They run sound and lights for the Symphony and seamlessly work together to unload semis with half-ton show equipment in dark of night.  You can’t get any more talent and working class, both, than a seasoned stagehand.

J. Kevin McMahon, President of the Trust, said of the stagehands, “Obviously, we respect them.  They’re skilled members of the Trust family.”  (Post-Gazette, 12-17-11)  But they’re circumvented for other labor.  

They are under-employed, and should be working First Night, Three RIvers Arts Festival (also Trust-managed), the Regatta, Dollar Bank Jamboree….  All public tax-dollar funded.

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