It’s official: IATSE has chartered a new national Local, The Production Workers Guild Local 111, created to represent freelance production department workers. The Local, which is launching following a successful union card count earlier in the year, will start with an estimated 5,000 TV commercial production workers who work for companies represented by the Association of Independent Commercial Producers.
This includes production assistants, production supervisors, assistant production supervisors, line producers and bidding producers on commercial projects.
In making the announcement, IATSE suggested that this new local “opens the door for future organizing initiatives within production departments, not just in the realm of TV commercials but also throughout the broader entertainment industry.”
“We are 170,000 strong and growing, welcoming crafts that historically have not been represented in this critical moment,” said IATSE international president Matthew D. Loeb in a released statement, describing the new local as “a testament to our union’s unwavering commitment to ensuring every worker in entertainment is represented, protected, and heard. And mark my words, this is just the beginning.”
It is expected that the Local will now begin negotiations with AICP.
The Production Workers Guild Local 111 began as a grassroots group called Stand With Production that hosted town halls focused on working conditions for TV commercial production workers starting in the fall of 2021. IATSE eventually convinced the Stand With Production organizers to launch an organizing drive with the crew union, which went public in the summer of 2022. A neutrality agreement with the AICP followed, and about a year later, a majority of an estimated 5,000-strong bargaining unit voted in support of unionization.
IATSE’s efforts with TV commercial production workers arrive at a time of increased organizing momentum for the union in new sectors. In August the union announced its first-ever video game company organizing campaign at Workinman Interactive. It is also attempting to make inroads in the visual effects community, with ongoing campaigns at Marvel and Walt Disney Pictures VFX.