Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Theatre Row Workers Unanimously Demand Voluntary Recognition of their New Union: Theatre Shop Union

Workers at Theatre Row in New York submitted a unanimous card campaign to the board of their parent organization, Building for the Arts, demanding voluntary recognition of their new union.

Left Voice

December 13, 2022
Facebook Twitter Share

On Tuesday, December 13, workers at Theatre Row — a multi-venue theatre in New York City — submitted a unanimous card campaign to the board of their parent organization, Building for the Arts, demanding voluntary recognition of their new union. This union — Theatre Shop Union (TSU) — is an independent union and the first of its kind in the theatre industry.

In a press release, TSU wrote:

We, the workers of Theatre Row, are proud to announce our intent to organize a new, independent union: Theatre Shop Union (TSU). 

With one hundred percent support from workers eligible, the twenty-five members of TSU went to the Building for the Arts board on December 13th to demand voluntary recognition of our union. Regardless of the board’s decision, we are eager to meet them at the bargaining table to negotiate a contract that meets our demands. 

Theatre is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, yet the vast majority of us struggle to pay rent, afford healthcare, and enjoy the value of our labor. We have the right to democratic power in our workplaces. Theatre Row, like many other successful Off-Broadway Theatres, should recognize and compensate their workers for making the theatre industry the success it is today. 

While we stand in solidarity with IATSE and AEA, theatre workers also deserve a union that provides organizing power to entire workforces collectively. Through TSU, we can build vital solidarity between workers in different departments (box office, house management, production, stage door, general management, and more) to ensure a greater level of equity in compensation and working conditions. Under Theatre Shop Union, each shop floor will serve as its own bargaining unit, providing democratic worker control in each individual theatre. 

As TSU grows, we will build solidarity and collective power among theatre workers across the country – reaching from Off-Broadway, to regional houses, to small blackbox theatres. TSU fights for the end of economic exploitation and social oppression within our community; we have created the wealth of the theatre and we demand that we get to share in that wealth. 

We also recognize that once we enter the shop floor, we do not stop being people with complex and intersecting identities. Given this, TSU stands in unflinching solidarity with workers who are fighting, not only against exploitation of the bosses, but societal oppression as well. We fight, not only for better wages and working conditions, but also for disability justice, queer and Black liberation, and against all other forms of oppression. 

We call on theatre workers across the country to join our fight and unionize their workplaces. We are the ones who make this industry run, so we should be the ones who run the industry.

The union is calling for supporters to sign a petition in solidarity and other theatre workers to sign their no scab petition promising to not cross the picket line in the case of a potential strike. 

Facebook Twitter Share

Left Voice

Militant journalism, revolutionary politics.

Labor Movement

CUNY workers at a demonstration hold a banner that reads "STRIKE TO SAVE CUNY."

CUNY Workers Launch New Strike Campaign

As Governor Hochul proposes another $528 million in cuts, workers at the City University of New York are fighting back.

Olivia Wood

February 12, 2024
With the U.S Capitol in the background, demonstrators rally during the March on Washington for Gaza at Freedom Plaza in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024.

AFL-CIO’s Ceasefire Call Shows Power of the Movement for Palestine

The AFL-CIO has called for a ceasefire in Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza. The labor movement must go further for Palestinian liberation and break with the bipartisan regime.

Otto Fors

February 11, 2024

After Historic Strike, UAW Bureaucrats Sit By as Stellantis Lays Off Hundreds of Workers

Only a few months after a historic contract struggle and strike, Stellantis announced job cuts in early December that have begun and will continue to take effect this month. A reminder that under capitalism the only way for workers to get what they need is self-organization, independent of the union bureaucracy, Democrats and Republicans.

Emma Boyhtari

February 2, 2024
Joe Biden and Shawn Fain, UAW president, standing on a stage together. UAW has endorsed Biden for president.

The UAW’s Endorsement of “Genocide Joe” Is a Betrayal of Palestinians and Workers

The UAW has endorsed “Genocide Joe” for president, betraying Palestinians and workers. It’s time for labor to break with the Democrats.

Otto Fors

January 29, 2024


All That's Left, the podcast from Left Voice.

#AllThatsLeftPod: Two Years of War in Ukraine

On this episode of the podcast, we discuss the war in Ukraine after two years, and the continued need for an independent, working-class solution.

Left Voice

February 24, 2024

The Organic Crisis in 2024: This Year’s Election Is a Battle for the Hearts and Minds of U.S. Workers

The battle between Trump and Biden is being shaped by a crisis of the political regime, requiring the intervention of both the judiciary and the union bureaucracy. The battle for the presidency is a battle for the working class and a battle over which approach to imperialism is best for competing with China and reestablishing US hegemony. As usual, the Democrats are taking up the cudgel of democratic rights in order to rally disaffected voters.

Sybil Davis

February 23, 2024

The Tide Is Turning: New Yorkers Are Speaking Out for Palestinian Liberation

Zionists have long wielded their influence and power in New York City, but the anti-zionist movement is finally taking an unapologetic stand against them.

Ana Orozco

February 23, 2024

The United States Is Trapped in the Middle East

As a result of Israel’s offensive on Gaza, the United States is again becoming deeply entrenched in the Middle East. This is a humiliating blow to President Biden, who promised to reassert U.S. imperialism by moving away from direct involvement in the region.

Samuel Karlin

February 22, 2024