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I thought all of you might enjoy this.. OUR President WALKING THE WALK!

From the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees:

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Late last week our Business Agent filled a call for 65 stagehands at Nationwide Arena.

As we are all aware, clients rarely choose to use IATSE 12 in Nationwide. However, this client was Youngtown based Forty-Two Inc., the AV vendor for President Barack Obama in Ohio, and his campaign had chosen downtown Columbus as the location for his last campaign stop before election day.

Our business agent Richard Shack filled the call with excitement.

Excitement quickly turned to frustration when the building management stated to the Obama campaign that Nationwide was a "non-union" venue and that IATSE Local 12 stagehands would not be welcome to work there.

Richard Shack and our President Doug Boggs immediately began to contact local politicians including Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown, Mayor Mike Coleman, former Strickland administration official Patrick Harris, and others with whom we have developed relationships over the years.

In addition, the leadership of I.A.T.S.E. in DC and NYC was contacted, and President Loeb became involved.

Then something special happened: the politicians we elect to represent our interests went to work!

Marilyn Brown had multiple conversations with Nationwide Arena management on our behalf.

Senator Sherrod Brown became involved.

Finally, we actually reached the Obama campaign, who informed the building that they would rather cancel the event altogether than do this event without a full crew of Union stagehands.

The President of the United States stood up for IATSE Local 12.

On Sunday morning 65 stagehands showed up, led by Richard Steele as union steward, and loaded in the show like the professionals they are.

Riggers from I.A.T.S.E. locals in Cleveland, Detroit, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown helped Columbus area riggers hang over 60 points and a giant 60' wide American flag.

The rally on Monday afternoon used a deck crew of union stage hands that helped Bruce Springsteen, Jay- Z, and finally Barack Obama entertain an arena full of "fired up and ready to go" Obama supporters.

It was a great event.

As stagehands returned to the Arena for the load out, we waited for an unusually long time and were searched by secret service personnel.

President Obama had stayed over an hour after the event was over to personally thank each member of the crew!

Many members of Local 12 were able to meet the President in person.

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