IATSE Endorses Joe Biden for President

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The union cited his "extensive record and history of fighting for workers' rights and working families."

IATSE has endorsed Joe Biden for president of the United States.

The union, which represents 140,000 entertainment workers including cinematographers, editors and production designers, said Tuesday that its general executive board voted unanimously to endorse the former vice president for his "extensive record and history of fighting for workers' rights and working families, but he is also genuinely concerned on a human level about the welfare of behind-the-scenes entertainment workers."

Recently, the Biden campaign hosted an unemployment town hall on how COVID-19 is specifically impacting entertainment workers, with members of Local 764 and Local One invited to participate. IATSE previously reported that an estimated 120,000 of its members are out of work due to the impact of the pandemic and has been taking steps to provide relief for members.

The union related that Biden has "consistently lifted up and prioritized issues affecting IATSE members and their families — from protecting workers' rights to organize a union and bargain for higher wages and better benefits, to defending our earned pension checks and health care." It also noted that Biden involved IATSE in developing the Biden Plan for Strengthening Worker Organizing, Collective Bargaining and Unions, saying he is "the only remaining candidate to reach out on such an effort."

The union said in its announcement that, if elected, Biden pledged to sign the Protecting the Right to Organize Act into law, as well as "champion legislation banning so-called 'right to work' laws, appoint members to the National Labor Relations Board who will protect workers, increase workplace safety and health, and ensure freelance entertainment workers receive legal benefits and protections they deserve by making it harder for employers to misclassify workers as independent contractors."

"Labor unions are under assault, with policies under the current administration and across the country undermining workers’ collective bargaining rights and stripping union workers of the wages, benefits and retirement security they deserve," the union asserted, adding that Biden represents a "stark and undeniable contrast" to the current administration with "regard to leadership and support for working people."