Saturday, October 23, 2010

L.A. Union StageHand At Obama Rally Fired For Wearing USS George H. W. Bush T-Shirt and Hat In Honor Of His Navy Son

AS a union actress I don't consider myself anti-Union. At least not anti-actors' unions. SAG, AEA and AFTRA, for the most, have created working and safety standards that were and are very necessary. However, I have never appreciated the fact that unions often get involved in politics where they have no place, but they often do, and unfortunately some of my union dues goes to issues that I am opposed to.

That said, the stage workers' union, IATSE, just fired an L.A. stage hand, Duane Hammond, because he happened to be wearing a USS George H. W. Bush T-Shirt, which he refused to turn inside out, and a cap that he refused to remove. The union took offense, apparently, to the fact that he was wearing wardrobe that mentioned the "Bush" name at a location that was setting up for an Obama rally, in spite of the fact that it wasn't a pro-Bush logo, but simply the logo of the ship his son happens to be serving on in the U.S. navy. All this poor man wanted to do was honor his son's service for the past 3 years on the ship that was named after Bush senior. Even though he tried to explain the reasons for wearing the shirt to his union bosses he was unceremoniously sacked.

According to an update, and obviously after much unwanted publicity, the union apologized to Hammond and apparently are "bending over backwards" to make up for their reprehensible actions. This should never have happened, even if Hammond had been wearing a pro-Bush T-shirt. This is a free country, at least I thought it was.

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