We Are IATSE 489
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.
IATSE EQUITY STATEMENT
An 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.
We recognize that, while equality aims to treat everyone equally, it does not consider the various impediments faced by some of our members resulting in unequal outcomes.
In response, our organization has instituted an equity statement which acknowledges our differences to ensure that everyone has an equitable chance at success
In July 2021, our General Executive Board unanimously adopted the following equity statement which acknowledges our differences to ensure that everyone has an equitable chance at success:
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, its Territories and Canada (IATSE) acknowledges that while we all face barriers to our success, there are those among us who face barriers that are more substantial and entrenched than others. We call upon all to identify, minimize, or erase obstacles that are within our control to make a more equitable pathway to unionism, leadership, and equality.
A diverse organization cannot be established unless current systems of access are enhanced. We must build structures to create equitable access for all, and to truly celebrate diversity. This growth will ensure a stronger union, and together, we will rise!