“Why Unions Still Matter”
and Politics That Make a Difference
by Laurence B. Abrams
Education and activism were at the center of Local 695’s 1st Quarter 2018 General Membership Meeting held January 20 at the Local 80 Sound Stage in Burbank. Jennifer Halpern, Education Outreach Coordinator for the IATSE in New York, was on hand to introduce two special guests ... Diane Thomas-Halladay, Director of the Labor Education Program at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, and Erika Dinkle-Smith, who works in Washington, DC, as the IATSE’s Assistant Political and Legislative Director.
But political changes that followed in the 1970s, led to the cynical “trickle down” promises of the Reagan era, when Americans were asked to believe the absurd notion that shifting the wealth of the middle class to those already wealthy would somehow benefit working women and men. Charts and numbers drove the point home, showing in no uncertain terms how continued attacks on unions, stagnation of wages, laissez-faire deregulation for businesses and ever-lowered tax rates for the rich do nothing but harm workers and the middle class.
But Diane didn’t leave without planting a positive outlook to the future. While many unions across the country are seen in decline, the IATSE is clearly not one of them, posting steady membership gains each and every year for decades, very much in keeping with President Loeb’s theme and goal for the IA … Growth = Strength. Make no mistake … unions across the country are getting louder, stronger and even more determined.