Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Public Theater Workers Vote to Join IATSE

Public Theater workers

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our Service & Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Crew members at off-Broadway’s Public Theater have officially voted to join the Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), becoming the fifth off-Broadway group to do so since IATSE launched its organizing efforts earlier this year.

This overwhelming election victory at one of New York’s most prominent not-for-profit theaters follows similar recent wins, including at Atlantic Theater Company and the off-Broadway musical “Titanique,” earlier this year. Unlike their Broadway counterparts, off-Broadway backstage workers are currently largely nonunion. In March, Public Theater management declined to voluntarily recognize the production workers’ union, but members weren’t deterred. Now having secured representation, they’ll soon be bargaining over improvements to working conditions, wages, health benefits and more.

“I’m really excited that my fellow production workers and I will be able to have a say in what our jobs look like,” said props worker Milo Robinson. “We’re hoping that negotiations will bring benefits we all need, including a living wage and access to healthcare. Having a union at the Public feels like a big step in making off-Broadway a more sustainable career.”