To our wonderful Local 764 family,
Yesterday was a dark day for unions in America, courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court—first with the Janus decision, which will lead to the defunding and weakening of public sector unions, and then with the news that Justice Kennedy will retire, leaving room for the appointment of another conservative judge to our highest court. In times like these, despair can seem like the rational response.
But despair is a luxury we, as working people, cannot afford. I ask you all to engage. Speak out on the things you care about— attend rallies, march, protest, contact your political representatives in the city, the state, the country. Register to vote, and then do it. Volunteer your time and money to pro-worker candidates. Give to the IATSE PAC to fund the battle in states where things are far worse than they are in New York right now.
But most of all, in these anti-union times, be pro-union yourself. Be proud that we can make a good living and have a good life because we are part of Local 764 and the IATSE, and recognize that all workers have a right to do the same. Be positive and tell people that your secure retirement, your paycheck, your health insurance, and your working conditions are better because you have joined in union with others. Welcome new members. Call in your jobs. Help each other. Volunteer to help fix anything you see as a flaw, or work to keep our contracts and good programs strong. Wardrobe workers fought and worked for everything we now enjoy. Stand up to keep it, to improve it, to be sure that we can share it with others.
Next year, Local 764 will celebrate our 100th birthday as the Theatrical Wardrobe Union. In the words of IATSE International President Matt Loeb, “We didn’t need permission to fight back against the robber barons of the Gilded Age, and we do not need it to fight back against the robber barons of today.”
Stand up. Fight back. #764Strong