OSF workers vote to join IATSE theatre union
Three cheers and a big congratulations to the new 71 worker bargaining unit with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) who voted affirmatively on June 10, 2015 to affiliate with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). These workers now have a voice at work! OSF employs nearly 600 and is a large economic engine for Ashland and the whole region. The union density in Ashland and the Rogue Valley just went up with this successful union drive and this translates to a healthier Southern Oregon for everyone.
The Northwest Labor Press did a terrific job of telling the story of the stagehands at OSF with stories published on June 2 before the vote and then on June 11 right after the successful union election.
On June 17, three OSF stagehands Amanda, Mike and Rosie joined us in KSKQ’s studio in Ashland as guests on the Brain Labor Report radio show. These members of the union organizing committee are joined via telephone with “Radar” Chris Bateman who is an IATSE organizer from Portland. The radio program is worth hearing. The passion and enthusiasm of professional working stagehands gushes out when they tell about the organizing, the story of the over 6-months long campaign for a union at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. IATSE’s grassroots democratic process was moved by the 8-employee organizing committee who did the hard work and have good reason to be excited about the success for all the stagehands at OSF.