An Open Letter to Donald Trump: You Lost My Vote When You Crossed My Picket Line

Sep 15, 2016 · 3 min read

Dear Mr. Trump:

My name is Dan Mahoney. I was born and raised in New York. I am a proud member and employee of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the union that represents backstage crew and technicians in entertainment.

Donald Trump crosses the IATSE picket line of “The Apprentice in New York City. — December 16, 2004

Working in motion pictures and television, I have worked alongside many celebrities, politicians, actors, and other personalities. Imagine my surprise when I watched as you crossed our IATSE picket line in 2004.

Twelve years ago, you crossed the IATSE picket line of “The Apprentice,” where crew members of your reality TV show were speaking up together to get paid fairly for the work they did on your show. You crossed the picket line right past me and the many hardworking men and women of “The Apprentice” crew without looking any of us in the eye.

I have worked in the industry (as a member of crews and as a union representative) since 1974. From my experience as a grip, and from my many crew friends — the entertainment industry is hard work. The men and women who worked on your show are talented professionals who do everything from building the sets, lighting the sets, editing each episode, and doing wardrobe, hair, and makeup for you.

I’m happy to say that in 2016 that for the first time in 12 years, “The Apprentice” is now under a union contract filming in Los Angeles. However, for all the previous seasons, you made millions from that show while denying your employees job protections, health and retirement benefits, and a union contract. Those men and women are now receiving the fair pay you denied them for so long.

Mr. Trump, when I saw you running for President, I recognized you as the man you who mistreated the crew of “The Apprentice” and the man who crossed an IATSE picket line. The day you crossed our picket line was the day you showed me you how little you care about American workers.

You lost my vote the day you refused to stand with working people.

Dan Mahoney

IATSE Assistant Department Director, Motion Picture and Television Production
Member, IATSE Locals 52 and B-751

Pictures from the 2004 picket line of “The Apprentice” in front of Alice Tully Hall in New York City.
Thousands of flyers were handed out to the public to inform them of our efforts.


Written by


The union behind entertainment.

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