Workers at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s Flagship Branch Unionize
Delivering list of suggested workplace improvements, movie theater staff ask management to recognize union
AUSTIN, TX — The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is excited to announce that workers of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s flagship location have recently organized with majority support as Drafthouse United (DU). As of February 14, DU has submitted a request for voluntary recognition to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema management, along with a list of workplace improvements they wish to see implemented.
DU is excited to begin good faith negotiations with Drafthouse management to address workers’ concerns. Their key requests include increases in wages and benefits, paid sick leave, transparency regarding Covid-19 practices and policies, and a resolution to long-standing building maintenance requests.
Unions play a pivotal role in maintaining the safety and quality of film production across the industry’s supply chain, stopping short of the neighborhood movie theater. The time to extend basic union protections and fair compensation to workers at the front lines of the industry is now.
“Alamo locations in other states are mandated to pay their employees higher wages, but we are consistently one of the most profitable Drafthouses in the company... we pay for the company to open new locations, while ours is falling apart.” - Zach ‘Corpse’ Corpstein, Server, 4 years
“Unfortunately we saw a massive shift in company values over the course of the pandemic. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema management have chosen to not acknowledge the fact that these changes are massively affecting the staff for the worse.” - S., Former Server, 10 years
“We know we have a good thing going, but we feel that communication with upper management could be better. Since the beginning of the pandemic the power dynamic in our relationship with management and corporate has shifted, and we feel as if we have less of a say over our circumstances.” - Christiana, Bartender, 2 years
“For years, my fellow staff members and I have felt that corporate put our needs at very low priority, despite our presence and hard work being very high priority to the success of the Alamo Drafthouse. Our concerns regarding things like livable wages, better corporate communication, and safe/effective working conditions have, more often than not, been downplayed or outright dismissed by those with the power to make those changes. At this point, it seems that direct action is the best way to get ourselves heard and ensure positive change going forward for the Alamo Drafthouse and the people who make it what it is.” - J, Runner, 6 years
“...it’s hard to find an employee at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at South Lamar that isn’t burned out and suffering. And corporate is unwilling to do anything to help, besides send out messages posturing as if business dying down (because it always does at this time of year) is them giving us time to rest. Meanwhile we’re begging corporate to reinstate buffer seating, as Austin is in Stage 5 Covid risk, but they won’t.” - Dunc, Supervisor, 5 years
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is a labor union representing nearly 9,000 workers across North America. Established in 1905, the IWW is known for its high standards of democracy, transparency, multinationalism, and active use of the right to strike.