Non-Union Worker Info

Are You Working for a Non-union Employer?

  • Is your pay where you think it should be?
  • Do you get paid overtime for more than 8 hours work in a day?
  • Are you promised raises that never quite materialize?
  • Are you offered training and leadership opportunities?
  • Are the scattered work hours you are offered enough to support your family’s basic needs?
  • Are you starting to think about benefits such as health care, vacation and retirement accounts?

Local No.15 works with over 60 different regional employers. (Click here to see a partial list of Local No.15 employers and venues.)

Our Union employers pay well, provide benefits and treat their employees fairly. When you sign on to work through Local No.15, you will increase your work opportunities and every hour you work in the industry will build your long term security in the regional industry.

If you would like your employer to be a union employer, we will help you!


How Do I Form a Union Where I Work?

We will be happy to talk with you about the specific problems that you want to correct. These conversations are strictly confidential and you are under no obligation of any kind to our union. Because every organizing drive is unique, there is not a standard procedure that is used in each campaign. If a group of workers decides to organize and become part of the union, we will develop a program that is especially tailored to fit the needs of those particular workers.
In order for workers to gain union representation, a majority must authorize the union to represent them. This is accomplished by signing cards or a petition that clearly states that purpose. The petition or authorization cards are kept confidential.

To get started, send an e-mail to our Business Representative for Organizing at stagerep(at)


Your Rights as an Employee –

The Federal Government has determined that workers have the right to organize and to bargain collectively and has protected these rights through the Taft-Hartley Act and the National Labor Relations Act.

Workers have the right to elect a union or organize their own union to represent them, and employers cannot legally dismiss a worker for looking into joining a union, for promoting union membership or for belonging to a union.


Am I Protected By Law?

The Federal Government guarantees you the right to organize a union. To put it simply, the United States Government itself guarantees you the right to help organize, join and support a union of your choice. This includes such activities as signing union cards, encouraging others to sign union cards and attending union meetings. It also includes such activities as wearing union buttons, passing out union literature, and talking to other workers as long as it doesn’t interfere with work.

Employers are breaking the law if they question workers:

  • to try and find out how the workers feel;
  • to identify who has signed cards or who are union supporters; or
  • to discover which employees are attending meetings.

Employers are breaking the law if they penalize you in any way for wanting a union.

They cannot:

  • cut your overtime;
  • assign you less desirable work;
  • suspend you or not offer you work you would normally expect to get; or
  • promise raises, promotions or other benefits in an attempt to influence you and your co-workers.

You cannot be penalized in any way because of your union activity or support!


If My Company goes Union, will Union Stagehands Take my Job?

No. This will not happen. Our goal at Local No.15 is to help you protect and improve your job. You and your fellow employees will be your own bargaining unit.

Local No.15 does not want your job, Local No.15 wants you!


How Does the Union Work?

Local No.15 is a very democratic, member run organization. The basic idea of a union is that by joining with fellow employees to form a union, workers have a greater ability to improve conditions at the worksite. In other words, “In unity, there is strength.”

The union is not an “outsider.” The union is you! You and your co-workers will elect your negotiating committee and prepare your own list of improvements for a union contract. You and your co-workers will become voting members of Local No.15.

How Much Are the Dues & Will I Have to Pay an Initiation Fee?

The dues rates are established by the members. However, no membership dues are paid until the majority of workers vote to accept a contract they helped to negotiate. All initiation fees are waived for members of newly organized facilities.

Where Do Union Dues Go?

Membership dues are divided between the International Union and the workers’ own local union, which has its own treasury. Dues are used to run the union and keep it strong. Dues pay for contract negotiations, grievance arbitration and organizing.

Working dues also pay for the operation of the Local No.15 hiring hall. This hiring hall dispatches stage employees to job sites all over Western Washington on the basis of the number of hours and years you have worked in the regional entertainment industry. Credit for such work is given for work performed with both unrepresented and represented employers.

Not only do workers who are part of an organizing campaign get their Union initiation fees waived, they can also apply to have previous work hours in the industry credited to their dispatch priority.

Will the Union Make Us Go on Strike?

No one can force you to go out on strike. In fact, strikes are actually very rare. In reality, over 97% of all union contracts are negotiated without a strike. Local No.15 has engaged in informational picketing but has not actually gone on strike in living memory.

Can I work with Local No.15 and my other non-union employers at the same time?

Yes. The workers of Local No.15 understand the event production industry. We understand that getting started in the industry often means taking whatever work presents itself.

If you would like to get onto Local No. 15’s dispatch list, take our “F List” test. Click here for more details.

What can Local No.15 do for you?

  • We negotiate and enforce the labor contract that YOU want
  • We represent you in the workplace
  • We organize
  • We keep you informed.
  • We support fair labor legislation
  • We act in your interest with the community
  • We provide professional training opportunities
  • We provide for your long term job security in the regional industry
  • We give you an opportunity to join a democratic, member-run organization

Did you know that American union workers earn roughly 30% more than their non-union counterparts? IATSE Local No.15 helps employers create a more stable, productive workforce – one where workers have a say in job conditions. Working together, Local No.15 and its employers offer a better quality of life for you and your family.

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