The temperatures in the low 60s, the skies cloudy, and a threat of rain hung in the air, but still they came to a union office in Burbank this morning. Shortly before the interviews began at IATSE Local 33, 1720 West Magnolia Boulevard, the line of job seekers stretched around the block. By 9 a.m., more than 160 applications had been handed out to folks hoping to get on the union’s referral list for skilled technicians to work stage and television production jobs.
The first person in line, Joey Barreto, of Glendale arrived yesterday at 5 p.m.! Others like 24-year-old, Jonathan Diaz, joined the line before sunrise. Neither seemed bothered by the early call. “Employment is hard. You gotta do what you gotta do,”said Barreto.
This local of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, puts out a call for new hires three times a year, according to its website. IATSE Local 33 refers workers for all sorts of Southland production for theater, television, video, arena shows, digital media, conventions, outdoor events — even the major awards programs like the Oscars and the Grammys.
These are union jobs with benefits and good wages. Job hopeful, Michael Seleridad, told me the stagehand and technician positions he is applying for paid “…$34-$58 an hour.” Clearly, for a chance at that kind of job — many were willing to spend hours waiting outside in the cold.