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IATSE Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president of the United States.

The below-the-line union, which has about 125,000 members, cited “her long record of fighting for workers’ rights and working families.”

IATSE’s general executive board voted unanimously to endorse the former U.S. Secretary of State on Monday.

Hillary Clinton is the only candidate that reached out to discuss issues affecting members of the IATSE,” said IATSE International President Matthew Loeb. “She spent her valuable time discussing our unique issues and challenges with me, demonstrating not just her support of workers in general, but also that she is concerned with the well-being of members of the IATSE.”

IATSE said it looks forward to working with Clinton on digital piracy, workers’ rights, misclassification of workers and other issues affecting behind-the-scenes entertainment workers. The union noted in the announcement that it had released a statement in July that praised Clinton for “calling out companies that misclassified workers as independent contractors.”

IATSE and the AFL-CIO both backed President Barack Obama in 2008 and in 2012. The American Federation of Musicians and the Writers Guild of America West’s political action committee also endorsed Obama’s re-election bid in 2012.

A new Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday showed that Clinton was narrowly trailing in the Iowa Democratic Caucus to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had  49% support compared to Clinton’s 44%. The caucus takes place on Feb. 1.

UPDATE — Clinton released a statement in reaction to the endorsement:

“For decades, members of IATSE have entertained and delighted Americans, but that’s not all. IATSE has fought for good pay and safe working conditions and the chance for everyone who works hard to get ahead. As President, I will stand with IATSE and with hard-working Americans across our country.

“We’ll fight back against corporate efforts to misclassify workers as independent contractors in an attempt to shirk paying fair wages and earned benefits. And we’ll stand up for the right to organize and bargain collectively. I’m proud to have the Theatrical Stage Employees standing with me and I’ll always stand with them. Together we’ll protect the hard-won progress we’ve made, not let a Republican President rip it all away —because when workers are strong, families are strong, and when families are strong, America is strong.”

 

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