The IATSE has negotiated a significant agreement to benefit the backstage workers traveling with touring productions produced by NETworks, LLC. The five shows currently touring, formerly non-union, will now be covered under a collective bargaining agreement that provides for good wages, working conditions, and health and retirement benefits for stagehands, wardrobe, and hair and makeup workers traveling throughout the United States and Canada.

The agreement extends to the current NETworks productions of Sweeney Todd, The Drowsy Chaperone, Hairspray, The Wizard of Oz, and Annie, and into the 2009-2010 season. Additionally, there are currently seven productions planned that will be covered the following season.

IATSE International president Matthew Loeb states, “This agreement will provide meaningful benefits to NETworks’ crews. It also secures this work under IATSE jurisdiction and expands our presence in the one-night and split-week touring markets and, as such, was a major organizing priority for us.” NETworks was previously the most active non-union company for touring legitimate theater productions.

NETworks co-founder, producer Kenneth Gentry adds, “I applaud president Loeb and his team for understanding and recognizing the current economics of touring in the one-night and split-week markets. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”