Chicago Sun-Times : 2020-09-07

NEWS : 9 : Z9


9 | The Hardest-Working Paper in America | Monday, September 7, 2020 | HAPPY LABOR DAY! ON THIS LABOR DAY we’re mindful of those that struggled before us to make our life better. They instilled in us that there is dignity in hard work, that hard work brings honor and commands respect. That hard work should be acknowledg­ed by all, and rewarded with safe working conditions, fair wages and meaningful benefits for all workers, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual identity. One standard of excellence in our craft is when the audience enjoys a spectacula­r performanc­e and does not know what we do, or that we are even there. Sadly, that standard now hurts us, as few are aware of the millions of workers in our industry that, since March, have been 100% unemployed due to COVID-19. We’re not celebritie­s or rock stars, many are parents raising families and all are dedicated to our craft, extraordin­arily involved in the cultural fabric of our city. We create innovative and engaging events for the world to enjoy and that helps establish Chicago as a world class center for theatre, arts, concerts, dance, opera, festivals, TV production and more. Our employers, large and small, from cultural insitution­s to upstarts, from corporate production­s to festivals, from Broadway Musicals to concerts, from episodic TV to feature film, arenas, theatres, convention centers, stadiums, music halls, and more, all partner with us to create a $877B economic engine that makes our industry the third largest contributo­r to the United States GDP. All of the above are at risk of not recovering as this pandemic continues. Our workers, our industry and our unions are challenged as never before to get through this epic crisis. IATSE Stagehands Local 2; IATSE Ticket Sellers and Treasurers Local 750 IATSE Wardrobe Local 769; IATSE Studio Mechanics Local 476; and IATSE Projection­ist Local 110 adno=STM0001112­97105 The IATSE represents over 150,000 technician­s, artisans and craftperso­ns in the entertainm­ent industry, including live theater, motion picture and television production, and trade shows in the United States and Canada.

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