Grand Rapids, MI – On Thursday, September 28, the IASTE Local 26 West Michigan Stagehands Union hosted a speaking event featuring two Tampa 5 protestors in a show of solidarity. The speakers, Lauren Pineiro and Chrisley Carpio, are in the midst of a countrywide tour, spreading the word about their struggle against political repression by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' administration. IATSE Local 26 hosted the event to help mobilize labor activists to rally support for dropping the charges against the Tampa 5.
Grand Rapids, MI – West Michigan labor unions, politicians and socialist groups rallied and marched for International Workers Day on May 1 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. More than 70 union members and Asian-American, Chicano/Mexicano, and Black community activists and politicians gathered. The local unions also expressed solidarity for immigrant rights and justice for Patrick Lyoya, the young African man executed by Grand Rapids police officer Christopher Schurr.
Lansing, MI – A group of 40 stagehands from across Michigan gathered at the State Capitol building in Lansing, March 17. The IATSE union stagehands are marking one year without work and demanding the extension of unemployment benefits until it is safe to return to their jobs.
Grand Rapids, MI – Outside the stagehands union IATSE Local 26 headquarters in Grand Rapids, union members and youth activists attached big signs to their cars saying “Amazon needs a union!” and “Solidarity with Amazon!” They gathered in the freezing cold on February 19 for a press conference and car caravan to three Amazon centers, including a giant new one promising to employ 1000 workers.
Austin, TX – On the morning of September 8, a group of around 100 unemployed artisans, designers, technicians, stagehands and other entertainment industry workers held a protest to push for $600 in unemployment benefits and pass the HEROES Act now. The protest was organized by IATSE Local 484 and Local 205, along with many independent contractors.
Grand Rapids, MI – Joining other unions across the United States on Labor Day, IATSE union stagehands are holding a “Push for $600” on Monday, September 7, 11 a.m. near the Gerald R. Ford Museum. Currently there are 29 million workers receiving some form of unemployment across the U.S.
Lansing, MI – 120 union members and supporters marched through downtown Lansing, July 15, chanting, “They say cut back! We say fight back!” The march stopped at a union worker statue where Nick Eaton of IATSE Local 247 spoke, “This statue represents the workers who built the new buildings you see in front of you. It also reflects the history of factory workers before deindustrialization left ugly scenes and empty lots, like many cities in the Midwest.”
Grand Rapids, MI – After a lively rally on June 24 with nearly 100 workers, the stagehands union IATSE is calling a new rally on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol for July 15. The stagehands and other gig workers are demanding the passage of the HEROES (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions) Act by the U.S. Senate. July 25 is looming as the $600 per week unemployment boost that keeps people paying their bills is set to run out. Tensions are rising not just in Michigan, but also for stagehands from New York City to Hollywood, across the whole country.