What is a PAC?
A Political Action Committee is a federally-regulated account created for the purposes of raising and spending money to help elect or defeat candidates or oppose legislation seeking to undermine labor rights and interests. In 1943 Congress passed the Smith Connally Act as an effort to deny a union’s ability to financially support political candidates at the federal level. In 1944 the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) bypassed that legislation by establishing the first known PAC designed to raise volunteer contributions, thereby indirectly giving Unions a voice in important policies concerning labor. Since unions were forbidden to contribute directly to political candidates through union dues, PAC’s were created as an effective means of allowing individual members to contribute per- sonal funds to help represent their own interests.
What differentiates our IATSE PAC from others?
All politically influential labor organizations have established their own PAC’s. The IATSE PAC strategically focuses their efforts to work exclusively on behalf of IATSE members who make their living in television, film and theatrical related careers. Your PAC is beholden only to you; its member, not to any political party. The IATSE PAC supports politicians who are only pro-union and pro-IATSE, despite their party affiliation. Any anti-union legislation or politician that aims to undermine the interests of members working under the IATSE jurisdiction is of paramount interest and concern to the PAC.
What does my IATSE PAC do for me?
Since its inception in 1999, our members have been the beneficiaries of significant gains such those from the fight against digital theft and piracy. The PAC has stood against candidates aiming to destroy multi-employer pension plans which, left unchecked, would have permanently damaged IATSE members retirement funds. The PAC has worked to support Medicare and fights to strengthen our union’s collective bargaining rights. Last year, under political threats to eviscerate funding for the National Endowment of the Arts, the PAC helped to take decisive counter action which resulted in full funding for the NEA. This year, we will be back in the trenches defending the arts and this critical institution once again. During each election cycle, the PAC stands shoulder-to-shoulder in support of politicians who are pro-union and helps to defeat candidates who are anti-labor. The IATSE has identified harmful language embedded within the new NAFTA agreement, intent on undermining your pensions and benefits so we’re working to ensure your interests are protected on that important front too.
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which Congress passed, has and will continue to have a net negative impact on working-class households. Because of its passage, families earning less than $155,000.00 are on track to receive zero tax cuts by 2027. More than half of all households will pay more in taxes than under the pre-TCJA, mostly because the new law permanently changes the withholdings tables to benefit the 1 percent while eliminating line item deductions which many working Americans have come to depend upon.
These are among some of the many important issues that your IATSE PAC is taking a stand against and fighting for in legislative arenas, not just to mitigate but also to reverse the damages that negatively impact you. When there are specific issues, legislation, or politicians that seek to undermine our securities and interests, your IATSE PAC will be there on the front lines working to protect what’s important to you and your family.
For decades, labor unions have been under siege. Throughout the past several years these unfair, relentless assaults have escalated into all-out assaults on workers and workers’ rights. Their goal is to reduce your wages, your benefits and strip you of your rights. In many states, American workers have been blamed for the financial crises and have been the chief target of many state budget cuts despite corporations reporting record profits.
Since Union organizations are prohibited from contributing union dues to candidates running for federal offices, PACs are entirely dependent upon the voluntary investment of their members to support these important legislative efforts. It’s only through your contributions that your PAC can effectively stand up against the policies aimed at restricting that which you’ve worked so hard for. One hundred percent of your contribution to the PAC will help ensure the security that’s important to you and your family. Please consider giving.
Local 839’s membership stands at around 4200 – 4300 strong, including active and newly joining members. We have a current goal of signing up 10 percent of our members to become monthly contributors to our PAC. Even the smallest contributions, as low as only $5 to $10 per month, will have a cumulative effect which, in turn, will significantly benefit you, your family and your family’s future.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me—firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert St. Pierre
Sergeant At Arms
Chair of the Local 839 Political Action League (PAL)