Friday, November 22, 2013

Pearl Jam's LA Shows To Be Picketed By IATSE Local 33

It seems that Pearl Jam, a band that has always been an outspoken advocate for the underprivileged, is being put in the awkward position of having to ask fans to cross a picket line in order to see their shows this weekend, and for that matter, to cross the line themselves.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) will be outside the Los Angeles Sports Arena this Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 7:30pm protesting USC's decision to hire non-union works to staff Pearl Jam's two LA shows this weekend.
“Unfortunately, the crew members that should be inside making sure this concert is safe are going to be out front on the picket line,” IATSE Local 33 Business Manager Mark Madrigal said in the statement. “We’re not asking for additional wages or benefits. All we are asking is that USC honor the contract that has been in place for decades. Instead USC is ignoring our members and its obligation to its neighbors and to our communities and hire cheaper workers to make more money.”

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz added, “These facilities are owned by the public, and we have a right to expect that our taxpayer dollars will go to support the Los Angeles economy and good jobs, not line the pockets of USC at the expense of our citizens. USC should stand up and be good corporate citizens in this matter and continue the policy that has worked for decades for all parties.”
The band hasn't issued a statement or responded to requests for comments, but surely this development won't sit well with the band who wrote Green Disease and Unemployable.  What do you think?  Should Pearl Jam take action?  Issue a statement?  Should fans feel bad for crossing the line?  Let us know on our forum.


  1. I love Pearl Jam...They are my favorite band... But you never cross a picket line... if their was not a union under contract in the first place... I'd say go see the show, or get the opportunity to work a venue.. but fact of the matter is... these unions have been in place for many years... our country is in fact a union... maybe not in the same sense of the word.. but a union just the same... I'd have to boycott the show...

  2. Lose-lose situation for the band unfortunately. If they boycott the show, they screw 15 thousand or so Fans that paid to see them that have nothing to do with what USC did to the union workers. If they play, they will have appeared to have been self serving and will appeared to have sent an F you to the cause and will only further support what USC did. In my opinion, neither PJ nor their fans were a part of this, and for that I say that they should play. However, there should be full support of the union workers at this show and a promise never to play there again. Perhaps PJ could donate a portion of the proceeds for their cause.

  3. Union stagehands are never drug tested. So when the union says they make sure they make a concert safe? I been a stagehand and seen accidents galore, and the union covers for them. I know that the union is good at finding work for people and whatnot, but they are totally not all there for you and will turn a blind eye and I have seen it countless times in the union stagehand work. Try driving a forklift stoned. Real frightening to operate heavy machinery. Why does the union even have a rules of conduct that states no harassment or drug use, when they do it anyhow and nothing is ever done about it from city to city.

  4. Everyones is talking around the problem and the problem is admitted in the unions statement. They have been doing it for years (meaning for years they have had a monopoly on these venues) I've seen how that union treats its stagehands and to call itself a union should be a crime, most of these people only work a few shows at best in a year and most are part time with few full time employees earning 40 hours. Worse is their disregard for safety for the public attending these events and that they do not drug screen. They are no more than a temp agency under the guise of being union they care only for their click and count on liberal suckers to come to their aid just because they call themselves a union. Pearl Jam rocks regardless!

    1. Elvis are 110% correct......It is very much like a temp agency. You should have seen it when the wife and I worked the DNC in Charlotte. Lots and lots of felonious druggy types setting this up. Real scary since the secret service was there screening in people. I seen guys walk in with drugs and hunting knives and all that when they were not supposed to. It is comparable to seeing prison bus on the side of the highway with men in orange jumpsuits cleaning the high way. I have been a stagehand IATSE for almost 16 years. It is an at-risk environment.

      Pros – Great opportunity to work with celebrities and people in show business.
      Cons – No one ever screens for drugs, or no one ever does background checks at all, which puts good people at risk with known felons and whatever else is out there, especially around hiring halls in certain unions across the United States.
      Advice to Senior Management – Be more stern about doing back ground checks and drug testing and follow up with what the Hiring Hall Rules Of Conduct stands for as stated in certain Hiring Halls. No Stagehand may use, sell, purchase, transfer or possess any illegal or controlled drugs (unless prescribed by the Stagehand’s physician) while on a call referred by the Hiring Hall. Any Stagehand found on a work site to be under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance, as determined by a Steward (or a Department Head in the absence of a Steward) or Union Officer, will be immediately dismissed from work.
      No, I would not recommend this company to a friend