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We Are IATSE 489 

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Pittsburgh has been the home to over 300 film and television shows dating all the way back to The Perils of Pauline (1914). From beloved classics like Night of the Living Dead and Mr Rogers' Neighborhood, to award-winning films like Silence of the Lambs and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, our Pittsburgh crew has been there behind the camera making it happen.

Pittsburgh’s chapter (Local 489) of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) was chartered in 1991 during the filming of Lorenzo’s Oil. These early members fought to obtain guaranteed minimum working conditions, obtain health insurance, and rise above neglectful employers among many other labor issues and rights. However, this work is never done, and our membership maintains these core values under the IATSE alliance with more than 168,000 workers across the US, its territories, and Canada. Since 1991 the membership has grown to 600 members. 

In 489, the jobs you earn will reflect your own working abilities and networking skills. These jobs are not allocated through seniority. The local actively continues to negotiate for its members and also provides opportunities for training in this highly skilled and competitive industry. 

Local 489 has jurisdiction within a 50 mile radius of Pittsburgh (from City Hall) with a boundary to the west at the state line. 

489 Covered Crafts 

The scope of crafts 489 covers has grown with the industry. Currently these departmental crafts include Construction, Paint, Greens, Grip, Electric, Set Dressing, Props, Art Department Coordinator, Set Dressing Coordinator, Special Effects, Sound, Video, Wardrobe, Crafty, Medic, Studio Teachers, and HVAC. If you are seeking representation please contact our Business Agent to begin the conversation. 

There are many different job titles/classifications in each department. If you are interested in learning more about what each department is responsible for and the different jobs members hold, please visit our Covered Crafts.

The Benefits of IATSE Membership 

Without union representation, each and every time you get called for a job, you negotiate  your wages and working conditions. On a non-union job, the employer promises you certain  specifics, but you are on your own if they do not keep those commitments. For example, no matter how often you may freelance for a non-union employer, they are not required to contribute to your health insurance or retirement plans. If you feel a task is unsafe, you may have no choice other than to do it or quit. Local 489 offers solutions to these problems through negotiated group contracts with production companies and related services. 

Under an IATSE contract, you will receive safety guidelines, guaranteed minimum union wages, guaranteed overtime pay, health insurance, rest period turnarounds, and retirement  benefits. As a member of 489, you have direct access to your local elected officers and representatives to assist you in various ways. 

Although collective bargaining and labor laws can be confusing, there are several credible sources available to help you understand the broad strokes and finite details about union representation.  

For a great introductory tutorial please review “Unions 101” authored by the Jobs with Justice Educational Fund.

For a deeper dive, please review the AFL-CIO’s “Your Rights at Work” document as well as the US Department of Labor.


The following Equality Statement was unanimously approved at the 2015 Winter General Executive Board Meeting in Hollywood, Florida, and updated at the 2018 Mid-Summer General Executive Board Meeting in New York City. It outlines the IATSE’s commitment to creating an inclusive working environment where differences are valued and equality is celebrated.  

Equal rights are the cornerstone of the labor movement. Unions were founded on the principle that all people are equal and all people are deserving of respect and fair treatment. Equality issues run through all areas of trade union activities – from health and safety to wage negotiations.  

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) is committed to equality of opportunity and to eliminating all forms of discrimination. We are opposed to unlawful and unfair discrimination and oppression on the grounds of sex, gender identity and expression, relationship or marital status, race or ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age, language, background, political or religious beliefs, physical appearance, pregnancy or responsibility for dependents. 

We believe that equality for all is a basic human right and we actively oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination. IATSE leaders and members must be vigilant in working, both with each other and with our employers, to promote an equal and welcoming environment for all people, through our actions, attitudes, and language. The IATSE celebrates the diversity of society and is striving to promote and reflect that diversity within this organization.

Page Last Updated: Oct 09, 2023 (16:20:18)
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IATSE Local 489
PO Box 100056
Pittsburgh, PA 15233-0056
  (412) 926-6490
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