Guilds Quiet Post Election, IATSE and AFL-CIO Voice Deep Concern

Meriah Doty
The Wrap
Guilds Quiet Post Election, IATSE and AFL-CIO Voice Deep Concern

Many of the guilds and unions in Hollywood are staying mum today on President-elect Donald Trump’s win, but, the hotelier-turned-world leader will undoubtedly have an impact on the entertainment industry’s working class.

PAs, freelancers and independent writer-producers that depend on Obamacare for healthcare may be left seeking an alternative if Trump dismantles President Obama’s hard fought plan as he promised during his campaign.

One of the few unions with ties to Hollywood to voice deep concern on Wednesday was the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts, or IATSA.

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“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,” Matthew D. Loeb, IATSE international president, said in a statement.

“His anti-union statements virtually guarantee a rough road ahead for Unions and the members they represent,” Loeb added of the president-elect.

TheWrap reached out to the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America and also the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) but none are prepared to talk about Trump — at least not today.

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SAG-AFTRA considers itself a largely a-political organization and isn’t in the business of endorsing candidates. (In comparison, the WGA West, while not a political organization, makes contributions to, an endorsements of, candidates who agree on matters deemed important to the organization, like net neutrality and media conglomeratization. The WGAW PAC supported many candidates this election cycle, including Secretary Clinton.)

But the AFL-CIO, of which SAG-AFTRA is a member, has been voicing opposition to Trump for a while, calling Trump “anti-union,” as late as September.

On Wednesday, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka remained tough on Trump, saying in a statement, “We can never back down from our values. The presence of racism, misogyny and anti-immigrant appeals caused damage in this campaign and we must all try to repair it with inclusion, decency and honesty.”

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But Trumka said the labor federation will also appeal to Trump and his administration on labor issues: “The President-elect made promises in this campaign — on trade, on restoring manufacturing, on reviving our communities. We will work to make many of those promises a reality. If he is willing to work with us, consistent with our values, we are ready to work with him.”

Perhaps a grand piece of irony: Trump himself is a union member, collecting a reported $110,228 annual pension from SAG-AFTRA, according his financial disclosure (via Politico).

Added IATSA’s Loeb on Wednesday: “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.”

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