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IATSE STATEMENT AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSEMNT IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

A MESSAGE FROM MATTHEW D. LOEB - INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT, IATSE

Sisters and Brothers —IA NY LOGO

As you may recall, on October 20, 2017, following allegations of sexual harassment and assault involving a growing list of global media companies, celebrities, and other prominent media figures, the International Alliance issued a strongly worded statement condemning sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. In addition, the IATSE recently reissued its anti-harassment policy, and Delegates to the IATSE’s 68th Quadrennial Convention in July unanimously passed a resolution rebuking harassment and bullying in the workplace. The Statement and Resolution are available here.

The importance of this topic compels me to address this issue with you directly.

We have all heard the recent stories of alleged misconduct committed against workers by powerful people. Such conduct is reprehensible, and must not be tolerated. Because of the unfair balance of power between rank-and-file workers and authority figures in the entertainment industry, workers often remain silent in the face of such behavior, fearing that, if they were to speak out, they would be subject to repercussions, reprisals, or other pressures. However, we are hopeful that the deluge of recent media reports will embolden workers to speak out about, and fight back against, this horrible conduct. We hear you, and I want you to know that the IATSE is here to help, in whatever way it can.

Over the past few weeks we have seen an increase in reports of inappropriate workplace conduct to the IATSE Safety Hotline and to our International Representatives. In addition, media reports detailing alleged sexual harassment have often quoted individuals working under IATSE collective bargaining agreements.  In response, the International and its affiliated local unions are reminding employers that employers are responsible for providing a safe, respectful work environment, free from any discrimination, including sexual harassment.

We will continue to remind employers of their responsibilities in this regard, because we know that all workers suffer when their workplace is unsafe. The worker who experiences the harassment is humiliated. And the workers who must witness the harassment are demeaned.

I encourage all members of the IATSE to again review the IATSE’s October 20, 2017 statement condemning sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.  I also encourage all members to widely publicize the IATSE Safety Hotline (844 IA AWARE / 844-422-9273). You may immediately contact the Safety Hotline, or your local union, concerning workplace hazards and threats.

Please also remember that workplace harassment and unwanted conduct is a sensitive, difficult, and deeply personal topic. I ask that you acknowledge, as I do, the difficulties faced by fellow workers when they disclose this unacceptable treatment.

Workplace discrimination, including sexual harassment, is insidious and we must all do our part to eradicate this scourge on our industry. The IATSE and its affiliated local unions are here to support you. Together, we can work toward a brighter future, where no worker is subjected to this deplorable conduct.

In solidarity,

Matthew D. Loeb
International President, IATSE.

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