The following is from International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 15:
Last year, workers at Rhino NW won the right to bargain collectively with IATSE Local 15, but the company is refusing to negotiate. Instead, Rhino NW brought in new workers to weaken the original bargaining unit.
Unfair labor practice charges have been filed against the company for retaliating against employees who supported joining the union.
IATSE Local 15 needs your support. This week the union is hosting a rally in support of the Rhino Riggers, calling out the company for continuing to stifle the voices of its workers. (View the flier for more details.)
TAKE A STAND — Support Rhino NW Riggers at a rally this Friday, May 20 at 1 p.m. in front of Safeco Field, 1st Ave S. and Edgar Martinez Dr. in Seattle. Come show your solidarity with these workers and show Rhino NW that the community supports their efforts to get respect on the job and a fair contract!
For more information, see the following resolution passed March 16, 2016, by the M.L. King County Labor Council, AFL-CIO:
Resolution in Support of First IATSE Local 15 Contract for Rhino NW Riggers
WHEREAS the concert business is a multibillion dollar industry with attendees in the tens of thousands at numerous events in many venues; and
WHEREAS this industry has become incredibly profitable by utilizing publicly-funded facilities and anti-union labor providers; and
WHEREAS the workers employed for the set-up, operation, and take down of these events are at-will employees without secure employment beyond a single show or shift, and often paid near-minimum wage without benefits; and
WHEREAS riggers for Rhino NW won a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election and the right to be represented by the IATSE Local 15; and
WHEREAS Rhino NW has refused to recognize or negotiate with these workers and has appealed the NLRB decision at regional and national levels; and
WHEREAS the NLRB upheld the certification of the election; and
WHEREAS Rhino NW has taken this matter to appellate court in an attempt to overturn this decision; and
WHEREAS IATSE Local 15 continues to work to bring Rhino NW to the negotiating table; and
WHEREAS Rhino NW has also begun hiring and training new rigging personnel to replace the workers who voted in the union election; and
WHEREAS the increased use of inexperienced workers creates undue risk to the safety of performers as well as the public; therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the M. L. King County Labor Council (MLKCLC) supports the Rhino NW riggers as they attempt to negotiate with Rhino NW for a fair first contract; and be it further
RESOLVED that the MLKCLC forward this resolution to the Washington State Labor Council.
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 15 fields some 750 technicians in Western Washington. These professional stage employees provide the lights, sound, rigging, scenery and audio/visual skills required by all live productions and events. IATSE Local 15’s responsibility is to support the efforts of these workers to organize and bargain fair contracts, and assist in their struggle for a job security, fair scheduling, and livable wages and benefits. Learn more at Local 15’s website.