LOS ANGELES, Ca. – As Actor Equity enter into a critical phase of intensive organizing, Joe Barns is appointed as National Director of Organizing.
The members of Actors Equity have been pushing for increased enrollment and expasion and the leadership responded. The 51,000 professional theatre Actors and Stage Managers had sent a clear message by agreeing to a dues increase to pay for expanding the organizing department. Joe Barnes will help deliver on a promise made to the membership to build a modern and strategic organizing program that will help create more paid work opportunities for Equity members. Working out of the Los Angeles office, Barnes will lead the union’s organizing operations targeting an expanding entertainment industry on cable, the internet and through networks.
Equity had begun an agressive campain just before Barnes was hired. It reached a deal with Norwegian Cruise Line, gained a contract with the producers of Rocktopia, and announced a new three-year agreement with BroadwayCon that doubled the weekly salaries for stage managers and created a 95 percent increase in the weekly minimum for actors. Prior to joining Equity, Barnes served for three years as national Representative for SAG-AFTRA.