National Sawdust Ushers Unionize With IATSE Local 306

The vote demonstrated strong support for the union, with over 90% of the ballots cast in favor of joining IATSE.

By: Jun. 11, 2024
National Sawdust Ushers Unionize With IATSE Local 306
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17 ushers at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust venue will join the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 306 after voting to unionize in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election last week. The vote demonstrated strong support for the union, with over 90% of the ballots cast in favor of joining IATSE.

National Sawdust is a Williamsburg, Brooklyn based non-profit cultural institution that commissions, produces, and presents programming from multidisciplinary artists. Founded in 2015, National Sawdust operates out of a century-old sawdust factory equipped with a state-of-the-art spatial sound system. The New York Times has described National Sawdust as “the city’s most vital new-music hall”.

The group’s unionization campaign started in October of 2023 when workers contacted IATSE via the union’s organizing form. A request for voluntary recognition was filed in late April 2024 followed by a petition for an election with the NLRB.

The National Sawdust crew will be the latest addition to IATSE Local 306’s 1,700+ strong membership that already includes front-of-house workers at Radio City Music Hall, Richard Rogers Theatre, and Madison Square Garden, among several others. “Local 306 is proud to represent the front-of-house workers at National Sawdust,” said Local 306 Business Representative Michael Fewx. “We recognize the responsibility we take on as we begin the collective bargaining process. This is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with National Sawdust staff to help the them come to an agreement that everyone can prosper under.”

“I love working at National Sawdust; With the knowledge and support of a Union, I feel optimistic that we can work towards implementing positive changes that will enhance our roles and in turn quality of life,” said usher Marika Wolf. “Not only for the benefit of the longstanding Front-of-house workers who have contributed to National Sawdust’s success as it has grown but also for any future members who will join the team.”

Live event workers nationwide are coming together to win essential access to healthcare, training, robust safety measures, mental health resources, and avenues for professional growth. If you are interested in joining the movement, head to iatse.net/join to contact a live events organizer.

Yesterday, BroadwayWorld reported on Public Theater crewmembers who have voted to join The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, becoming the fifth off-Broadway group to unionize since IATSE launched its organizing efforts earlier this year.




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