Charging hundreds of dollars per seat, Former First Lady Michelle Obama ignores protesters from the stagehand’s union who were outside protesting for a contract.
TACOMA, WA—Former First Lady Michelle Obama was in Tacoma on Sunday doing a book signing for her book Becoming.
Outside the event were union members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (or IATSE) who were protesting event to draw attention to the lack of progress in negotiations with their employer Rhino Staging Northwest, which was hired to staff Obama’s Tacoma event.
Local reporter Ryan Harris attended Obama’s event and interviewed the IATSE protesters before going into the show.
Similar to attending a concert, the Tacoma Dome event sold nearly 19,000 tickets. Ticket prices to attend one of Obama’s book tour events range from $325 to nearly $35,000.
“I think the most important thing is for Michelle Obama to look backstage at the workers on her event and make sure that they’re also receiving healthcare,” Bess Sullivan, vice president for IATSE #15, told King 5 News last week.
In January, IATSE’s international president sent a letter (below) to Michelle Obama and asked her to sign a nationwide agreement with IATSE.
Clearly, Obama has not responded to IATSE’s request.
IATSE Letter to Michelle Obama on Scribd