Why Should You Join the IATSE
Better working conditions, better pay, and future economic security. Local 122 and the IATSE have negotiated long and hard with employers to ensure safe and decent working conditions for its members. Yes, it can sometimes be an uphill battle but with strength in numbers the IATSE and Local 122 can demand, and usually receive the conditions and terms that are most essential for the workers it represents. Employers are continually pitting union workers against non-union workers. This type of strategy is called divide and conquer and dates back to the early days of the Roman Empire. The sole purpose of this strategy is oppressing wages and workers’ rights without any concern for the well being of them or their families. Most employers’ general motivation for doing so is their own greed. The unions’ priorities include insuring the physical safety of our members, protecting your job security, and obtaining fair benefits and wages that continue to grow. All working men and women deserve to have the comfort of knowing that they are entitled to a living wage, have the security of healthcare for their families, and a good pension when they retire. That is the right of every American worker whether you belong to a Union or not. America is the wealthiest Country in the world, and no one should be left behind when it comes to these basic rights. The only way to make sure you have those basic securities is to join a Union, and to make sure you have a say in the workplace.
How do I Become a Member of IATSE Local 122?
There are multiple ways to become a member:
Join the IATSE Local 122 Pre-Apprentice program: This is the most common approach that most employees will begin working with IATSE Local 122 representation. Local 122 has one of the best pre-apprentice programs within the IATSE. Designed to educate and train each applicant in Unionism, paid on the job experience in all aspects of carpentry, electrical, audio, video, properties, set building, etc. You start working on the job immediately and collect hours experience for every job you work. Once you have successfully completed your required hours and classes you will be offered Union membership. No vote is required by the membership.
Become 100% vested in your retirement plan. On average, a regular working employee becomes 20% vested in their Pension Benefits each year. Once you have reached 100% vested status (normally after 5 years), you are automatically eligible to apply for IATSE membership. No vote is required by the membership.
Turn in an application. Anyone can apply for membership at any time. This is sometimes known as a “Cold Application”. This application must be approved by the membership of IATSE Local 122 via a vote. It is important to understand the membership is unlikely to elect a new member that they are not familiar with, however that decision is up to the membership on a whole. “50% + 1 vote” in favor is required to approve an application.
Invitation. Once you start working with IATSE Local 122 under the Pre-Apprentice program, the membership begins to get to know you and become familiar with your work ethic and abilities. In some cases, when a Pre-Apprentice shows exceptional experience in the industry and agreeable cooperation on the job site, the membership will decide to “Invite” that person into membership early. This is most often done with employees who are consistently updating their personal industry education and can show strong leadership skills on the job site. Often, employers will write letters to IATSE Local 122 noting their exceptional behavior. At the discretion of the membership, the noted employee will be invited to turn in an application. This application is reviewed by the membership, and the membership will vote. A “50% + 1 vote in favor” by the membership is required for the applicant to become a member.
Organize a Non-Union Employer: If you are working for a Non-Union employer and you help us organize the employer (go Union) you will be offered membership into the local and you will be able to enjoy the benefits of Union membership. If you are currently working for a Non-Union employer and want to organize, call Local 122 and tell them you are interested and they will set up a meeting to discuss strategy. Your name will not be mentioned to the employer and your job will not be in jeopardy. All information is kept confidential from the employer as per the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The details of becoming a member when you are involved with an organization campaign vary greatly depending on the situation.
Thank you for your interest in being represented by IATSE Local 122. Union representation is a right that all stage employees have available to them. We look forward to providing you with better working conditions, health benefits, retirement benefits, collective bargaining, and real representation in your employment contracts. Also, when you become a member, we look forward to your input and active participation in the decisions and business practices of IATSE Local 122. Thank you for allowing IATSE Local 122 to serve you