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Public Theater Backstage Staff Votes to Join IATSE

In the latest chapter in the ongoing unionization of Off Broadway, production staff at the Public Theater have voted to join IATSE. The vote was reported by several outlets and confirmed by the Instagram page of the group Unionize the Public.

Momentum has built for unionization Off Broadway in the last several months, with the staff of Atlantic Theater Company voting to join IATSE along with workers on the commercial productions Titanique and Little Shop of Horrors. But the vote at the Public Theater -- one of the largest and most storied not-for-profit theatres in New York, with an avowed social justice agenda -- is an enormous get for the union.

It has been a rocky road to this moment: In March, the Public declined to voluntarily recognize the union before backing down and coming to an agreement on voting with the workers. According to Unionize the Public's most recent Instagram post, the vote was decisive: "The votes are in, and we won! The final tally was 178-11. Seventy percent of eligible voters participated with an overwhelming 94% majority of them voting Yes to unionization! The fundamentally democratic spirit of the Public Theater is alive and well. So many thanks to everyone that supported us and helped us make it this far. Now, onto bargaining!"

(10 June 2024)

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