Production Sound & Video

Spring 2023

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14 PRODUCTION SOUND & VIDEO – Spring 2023 Building Solidarity: The IATSE PAC by James Delhauer During the recent Georgia runoff election, there was a day when I received twenty- two text messages from the campaigns asking for money. Before that, the midterm elections felt like constant shakedown for handouts. It was impossible to go an hour without getting a text message or phone call about some dire circumstance or cause that desperately needed help before the next funding deadline. The point is that we are all sick of the number of political campaigns and organizations asking us to donate money. Now let me tell you about the IATSE PAC (Political Action Committee), why it matters, and why you should donate your hard-earned money to it. A PAC is an entity established for the purpose of supporting or opposing candidates and committees for elected office. They're funded primarily through voluntary donations from a restricted class. In the case of the IATSE PAC, that restricted class is exclusively made up of the members of the IATSE, their immediate families, IATSE staff workers, IATSE retirees, and individuals on referral/overhire lists who are working full time under IATSE contracts with the intention of joining. No outside or third-party interests are permitted to make donations to the PAC. Not even the individual Locals can make donations, as they are organizations and therefore, not a part of the restricted class. That means that this fund is solely responsible to you and your fellow members, not a political organization or party. Historically, the PAC has been used to support policymakers who protect and expand collective bargaining rights, eliminate "right-to- work" laws, protect our pension and healthcare benefits, oppose all forms of discrimination, protect creative content, and preserve or expand funding for the arts. But why is this necessary? In several recent surveys, a small number of Local 695 members have asked why our union involves itself in state and federal politics. "I joined a labor union, not a political organization," is a statement that comes up often enough that we should address it directly. Labor unions are under constant assault in this country. Before the passage of the National Labor Relations Act, worker strikes were often met with government- sanctioned force. There have always been those who have viewed living wages, safe conditions, and sustainable benefits as a detriment to their bottom line and there have always been those who have tried to do something about it. Your union's primary function is to represent your interests at work. This is done in a variety

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