IATSE Chief Matthew Loeb Warns of ‘Severe Consequences’ of Donald Trump’s Election

Dave McNary
Variety

Matthew Loeb, international president of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, has warned of “severe consequences” due to Donald Trump’s election as president.

“The middle class and working people are in jeopardy of experiencing severe consequences based on the positions and proposed policies espoused by President-elect Trump,” Loeb said in a statement. “Moreover, his anti-union statements virtually guarantee a rough road ahead for Unions and the members they represent.”

He urged IATSE members to stay strong: “The tendency to be discouraged and lie injured licking our wounds must be resisted. Now is not the time to let defeat discourage us from facing head-on the tremendous challenges ahead. We must pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and stand strong.”

The below-the-line union, which has about 125,000 members, had endorsed Hillary Clinton in January and cited “her long record of fighting for workers’ rights and working families.”

IATSE and the AFL-CIO both backed Clinton in 2016 after having endorsed President Barack Obama in 2008 and in 2012.

Here’s Loeb’s entire statement.

The election for President of the United States is over. While we did not achieve the result we desired, I am extremely proud of the work of our Political Department, Local Union officers, International Officers and Representatives, and members for the significant efforts made to protect the interests of IATSE members and workers in general. Now we must move on. While I am skeptical for obvious reasons, it is my sincere hope that there can be some healing in our starkly divided nation. And while hope may seem an optimistic wish, it is clear that the country is unsatisfied with status quo in our political system. Unfortunately, that widespread feeling has manifested itself in a result that will likely compound the problem. The middle class and working people are in jeopardy of experiencing severe consequences based on the positions and proposed policies espoused by President-elect Trump. Moreover, his anti-union statements virtually guarantee a rough road ahead for Unions and the members they represent.

The tendency to be discouraged and lie injured licking our wounds must be resisted. Now is not the time to let defeat discourage us from facing head-on the tremendous challenges ahead. We must pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and stand strong. We must demonstrate solidarity in an unprecedented way by locking arms as Brothers and Sisters for the betterment of all IATSE members. We must continue to strengthen our bonds with other unions and the AFL-CIO to consolidate our voice and power. And we must identify and align with people and organizations that are likeminded in sharing our values.

We have survived as a union since 1893 and we will survive this too. Know that your Union will remain active and vigilant in doing whatever can be done to protect your interests and further the causes that give security and prosperity to our members. As Benjamin Franklin wisely said, “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” This statement may never be more true than it is now.

In Solidarity,

Matthew D. Loeb

IATSE International President

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