Although most Americans may not be too familiar with IATSE (the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada), the works its members do, from lighting in motion pictures to broadcasting sports events, is central to American culture. IATSE is a labor union consisting of multiple locals and divisions, representing tens of thousands of workers. The COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down nearly every Hollywood production, proved the necessity of worker negotiations and rights. Many craftspeople lost their jobs or were put in unsafe conditions. Now, as more and more members return to work, they’re fighting for better set environments than pre-pandemic.
As the United States attempts to build back the economy in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, debate over raising the federal minimum wage rages in Congress. What will this measure cost us? How much will it help? We explore this and more in the following article as we make the case for why we need a $15 federal minimum wage.