Blockbuster Foundation Case Successfully Ends Discriminatory IATSE Union Scheme

Faced with prosecution for  discrimination, IATSE union bosses will stop ‘bumping’ non-members off film shoots

James Harker, a New York-based movie production electrician, has a resume filled with big-name films that take place in the Big Apple, including Elf, Spider-Man 3, Men in Black II, and, recently, Steven Spielberg’s 2021 West Side Story.

But, while helping these and many other silver screen stories come to life, he witnessed a much more sinister plot unfolding among his fellow production workers. Production staff who were not International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) union members would often get “bumped” off of their positions on film shoots if union members became available and wanted those jobs, merely because the non-members lacked union membership. […]

“IATSE union officials’ scheme to keep non-member production workers off the job is a classic example of union officials prioritizing power and control over workers’ individual rights,” commented National Right to Work Foundation Vice President and Legal Director Raymond LaJeunesse. “The Foundation was proud to back Mr. Harker, who recognized the patent injustice of this arrangement.”

“Film crew members who have exercised their right not to affiliate with a union should know that they can’t be required to go through union officials to look for work, and can’t be ‘bumped’ off a job just so a union member can get it,” LaJeunesse added. “Unfortunately, Foundation attorneys’ experience is that these types of unlawful schemes are pervasive in the entertainment industry, where near-total union boss control combined with the fear of union retaliation keeps most workers too scared to defend their rights.”


All contents from this article were originally published on the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation Website.

If you have questions about whether union officials are violating your rights, contact the Foundation for free help. To take action by supporting The National Right to Work Committee and fueling the fight against Forced Unionism, click here to donate now.

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