Leisure Trade’s Unionized Staff Might Play Decisive Function In Election – .
As movie and television jobs have migrated from Hollywood to production centers across the country, the industry’s dependable democratic-voting union members could play a key role in the outcome of the Joe Biden-Donald Trump presidential contest. With razor-thin borders in the battlefield states of Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Arizona, the thousands of industrial workers who live and vote there could make all the difference.
In Georgia, which has seen an unprecedented boom in film and television production and jobs over the past decade, Trump currently only leads with around 9,500 votes. IATSE, which Biden endorsed, has 5,079 members living and working in Atlanta – five times more than ten years ago. This is evident from the latest data reported to the Ministry of Labor.
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SAG-AFTRA has an additional 2,184 members living and working in Atlanta, according to the latest figures from the Atlanta Local union, while the American Federation of Musicians, which also supported Biden, has an additional 682 members living there.
According to the latest data from the Motion Picture Association, the film and television industry is “directly responsible” for more than 17,000 production-related jobs in Georgia and nearly 27,000 jobs related to the distribution of films, television and other video content to consumers. And in June, as production prepared for the state resumption, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s office stated that “the major film, television and streaming companies plan to bring back and hire an estimated 40,000 production workers.”
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Not all of these workers will vote in Georgia – some are still living and voting in California and elsewhere – and not all will vote democratically, but when Georgia turns blue for the first time since 1992, the influx of jobs and workers is due to the generous tax incentive program of the State could prove to be a major factor.
Nevada, where Biden had only 11,438 votes as of this writing, is home to nearly 3,500 members of SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, and the American Federation of Musicians, including 1,031 members of SAG-AFTRA. 1,738 members of IATSE Local 720 in Las Vegas; 109 members of IATSE Local 363 in Reno; 491 members of AFM Local 369 in Las Vegas and 88 members of AFM Local 368 in Reno.
There are nearly 5,000 unionized industrial workers in Pennsylvania, including 2,596 SAG-AFTRA members. Almost 1,300 AFM members and almost 1,000 IATSE members. Trump’s lead there has decreased to about 78,300 votes on this letter. In Arizona, where an estimated 500 SAG-AFTRA members and another 300 IATSE members live, Biden had a lead of 68,000 votes.
These numbers exclude writers, directors, and stage performers for whom state-by-state data is not available. SAG-AFTRA has around 160,000 members nationwide; IATSE has about 150,000; the AFM has more than 73,000; Actors Equity has more than 51,000; The Directors Guild has more than 18,000; WGA West more than 25,000 and WGA East about 6,000. The majority, however, live in California and New York, where Biden won handily.