Help the workers behind your favorite artforms.
Make-up Artists & Hair Stylists Local 798, IATSE is a labor union with over 1900 members working throughout a jurisdiction of 21 states plus Washington D.C., stretching from Maine to Florida. Our members, who are diversely talented, work in film, theatre, ballet, opera, television, commercials and new media.
The workers voted UNANIMOUSLY for a contract but The Atlanta Opera announced at the vote tally that they would continue to block their workers' rights.
Tell them that the workers at The Atlanta Opera deserve better!
WE'RE IN THE NEWS!
(Click the logo to read)
The Atlanta Opera has agreed to meet us at the bargaining table to finally discuss a contract that would grant their workers access to healthcare and other benefits!
THANK YOU to each of you who shared our stories, signed the petition, and stood beside us outside of The Atlanta Opera performances in solidarity. We thank the audience members who came to share their support and make phone calls to TAO board in support of the workers.
It’s been a long two years but it will be oh, so worth it if The Atlanta Opera’s workers get a collectively bargained contract.
Wish us luck!
We will update yu when we can.
From The Atlanta Opera’s Annual Report:
“Our assets now total more than $30M, and fundraising has tripled. As our financials in this report show, we are emerging from this pandemic season stronger than ever.”
- Tomer Zvulun
Since Spring 2021, The Atlanta Opera (TAO) has fought tooth and nail against their Hair and Makeup (HMU) workers’ right to collectively bargain a contract.
The Hair and Makeup Crew organized, came together and asked to be represented by IATSE Local 798 through an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
But The Atlanta Opera has proven time and time again to be anti-worker, and is using donor money to fight against their own workers on the Hair and Makeup Crew.
The Atlanta Opera tried to obstruct their HMU workers’ rights by arguing to the NLRB that the HMU workers are only independent contractors (rather than employees) and don’t have the right to organize and bargain in order to seek to better their terms of employment.
However, The Atlanta Opera LOST that argument and the NLRB granted the HMU workers an election.
The hope of the HMU workers was that once a majority voted to be represented by a Union IATSE Local 798, they would finally gain health insurance and retirement benefits—similar to what the Orchestra, Stagehands, and Costume/Wardrobe workers who work for TAO already have under their union contracts.
The workers voted via secret ballot, but those ballots have been impounded and have not yet been counted because, in a callous act of Union Busting, TAO has appealed the NLRB Regional Office’s decision to the NLRB in Washington, D.C.
To make matters worse, TAO has reduced pay and working conditions of the Hair and Makeup Artists even further, all during a global pandemic, despite receiving over
$1.6 MILLION dollars in federal PPP financing.
The HMU workers who voted for union representation are now awaiting the NLRB’s decision on TAO's appeal, which could be an historic win for Workers' Rights across the Nation.
The question is, however, whether The Opera will continue to spend your donor money on lawyers, or FINALLY allow their HMU workers access to a contract they voted for.
In the meantime, please support the Hair and Makeup workers’ struggle by making some calls on their behalf:
Board of Trustees Chair, Rhys T. Wilson (404) 881-8801
Tomer Zvulun, Artistic Director (404) 881-2258
Managing Director Micah Fortson (404) 881-2259
Tell TAO that you support Local 798 and the Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists working for The Atlanta Opera in their struggle to have defined working rules and benefits such as health insurance and annuity (retirement).