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IATSE urges Swank AV to raise workers’ wages, benefits

SEATTLE (June 7) — Swank Audio Visual is a national vendor that provides sound, video, lighting and staging for hotels, conventions and other events. As part of a nationwide campaign to bring Swank up to area standards for employee wages and benefits, the International Association of Theatrical and Stage Engineers is asking Puget Sound-area union members and supporters to take some simple actions in support of the effort.

IATSE Local 15 members Karl deJong and Justin Loyd at Seattle's Renaissance Hotel this week.

This week, IATSE members are bannering at Seattle’s Four Seasons and Renaissance hotels, which have in-house agreements with Swank. They’ll be handing out leaflets from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Friday. If you see them out there, keep in mind that they are simply bannering — not looking for public shows of support or additional folks to stand with them.

However, if you have a Facebook page, please post the following message on your page between now and Friday:

Swank Employees: You may have seen IATSE members bannering in front of the hotels where you work. We are not here to displace you. We are here to inform the public that your employer is not paying you a fair wage. If  you, or anyone reading this, agrees that people should be put before corporate profits, please call Greg Diekemper at Swank Audio Visual corporate office, 877-792-6528, and tell Mr. Diekemper to pay his audio visual techs the area standard wage.

You can also post your comments on a new IATSE Facebook page, on Swank’s Facebook page, or on the pages of the Four Seasons and Renaissance hotels.

If you use Twitter, please tweet the following message: “Swank AV undermines area standards set by IATSE Locals throughout the country.”

And finally, please call the Four Seasons Hotel  at 206-749-7000 and Renaissance Seattle Hotel at 206-583-0300, and tell them that you want them to use contractors that pay fair wages, benefits and working conditions to their employees.

For more information about this campaign, contact IATSE Local 15 Business Representative Paul Bigman at 206-441-1515.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!