Theatrical Wardrobe Union Local 764, I.A.T.S.E.
The Theatrical Wardrobe Attendants in New York City first organized in
1919 as a federal union affiliated with the American Federation of
Labor. In 1942, this union was granted a charter to become part of
the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture
Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, its
Territories and Canada. In 1982 the word "attendants" was dropped
from the name and the Local was issued a new charter as "Theatrical
Wardrobe Union, Local 764 of the I.A.T.S.E." The Local currently has
over 1,200 members working in all aspects of costume and wardrobe work in
the New York City area in virtually every major live entertainment venue
in the city, as well as on television shows and motion pictures shooting
within a 50-mile radius of Columbus Circle.
A union is a group of workers who have come together to promote
their common interests. Many people in many ways have expressed
this basic understanding over the years. Chief Justice Charles
Evans Hughes put it this way in a 1937 Supreme Court Decision:
"Long ago we stated the reason for labor
organizations. We said they were organized out of the necessities
of the situation; that a single employee was helpless in dealing with the employer...that the union was essential to give laborers the opportunity to deal on an equal [basis] with their employer."
The employees' role in an unionized workplace is unique.
With a union, those who work for a particular employer are no longer just a group of individuals; they are a collective unit, as well. The union has the right-and the legal duty-to speak with one voice on behalf of all the
employees' in what is called
the "collective bargaining unit"; thus, the employer loses the advantage of dealing with each employee individually. In a non-union setting, workers count on only their own
strength; in a union setting, workers still have their own strength,
plus the strength of the group.
The heart and soul of this union is our members. Local 764 encourages our members to be involved in Union matters in as many ways as they can. Attend
the membership meetings; serve on contract committees, read the newsletter and other communiqués from the Union to keep yourself informed. Other ways to keep involved are to participate in the annual Toy Drive, Quilt Raffle, and summer member party. Keep in touch with the Business Representatives and union officers, and call them when you have questions on the job.
Read your contract.