Matthew D. Loeb has served as International President since July 31, 2008, when he was unanimously elected by the IATSE General Executive Board. President Loeb was re-elected at the 66th Quadrennial Convention in Orlando in July 2009 and was again re-elected to his second full term at the IATSE’s 67th Quadrennial Convention held in Boston the week of July 22-26, 2013.
President Loeb has been a member of the United Scenic Artists Local 829 since 1989, a member of Local 52 since 1996 and is a Charter Member of Local 491 (established in 1994). He became an International Representative in June of 1994. Mr. Loeb was also the IATSE’s first Director of Motion Picture and Television Production, appointed to that position upon the restructuring of the Alliance and the establishment of departments. He was elected by the General Executive Board to the position of International Vice President in February of 2002 and at the 65th Convention in 2005. In addition, he served as Chairman of the East Coast Council for better than 14 years. President Loeb holds a Bachelor of Science degree with concentration in labor studies achieved from the State University of New York's Empire State College in February 2008.
Mr. Loeb is credited with devising and implementing an aggressive organizing and bargaining strategy in the area of motion picture and television production. The policies laid the foundation for obtaining more than a thousand term agreements, the chartering of numerous new locals and the addition of thousands of new members, providing them with contract protections and health and retirement benefits for the first time.
President Loeb serves as the Co-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the IATSE National Benefit Funds (comprised of pension, health, annuity, 401k and vacation plans) and is a Director on the Board of the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans. Mr. Loeb also serves and supports a number of industry entities that benefit IATSE members and their families, and the communities in which they live and work. He is Chairman of the Richard F. Walsh / Alfred W. DiTolla / Harold P. Spivak Foundation which sponsors academic scholarships for the children of IATSE members, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Actor's Fund, an Advisory Board member of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and sits on the Members-at-Large Executive Committee, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Motion Picture and Television Fund.
In addition to the day-to-day imperatives of organizing, bargaining and servicing the membership, President Loeb believes that activism and involvement in the political arena is an essential component in the overall plan to best represent IATSE members. He believes that supporting legislation and the politicians who make workers’ rights a priority and, specifically, the interests of workers in entertainment and related industries, is paramount in providing security to IATSE families. Mr. Loeb holds the position of IATSE Political Action Committee Chairman.
On August 5, 2008, President Loeb was elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council and was reelected at the 2009 and 2013 AFL-CIO Conventions. In November of 2010, Loeb was appointed to serve on the AFL-CIO’s Special Executive Council Committee on Union Repositioning, a committee that was established to oversee a major new initiative to build a new understanding of unions among the public.
On the International front, Loeb serves on the World Executive Board of UNI Global Union and as 1st Vice President of UNI’s Media and Entertainment Industry (MEI) sector. He also holds a seat on UNI MEI’s World Executive Committee and on December 9, 2010 he was elected as a Vice President of PANARTES, the sector’s regional branch for the Americas.
Because of his belief in providing educational opportunities for the leadership of the IATSE and its local unions, in 2009 President Loeb established the IATSE’s Education Department and established programs such as LEAP, the Officer's Institute, and established the first Training Trust for members of the union.
Through the IATSE’s Political Action Committee, President Loeb launched the PAC’s “Stand Up, Fight Back” campaign which is focused on increasing financial contributions to the IATSE-PAC which will allow for greater participation by the IATSE in the political arena, an area that Loeb believes the Union must continue to grow to further protect the best interests of the membership.
On January 15, 2013, President Loeb was unanimously elected to serve on the board of trustees of Museum of the Moving Image. Based in Astoria, NY, the Museum of the Moving Image “advances the public understanding and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media.”
President Loeb is dedicated to continuing to grow and strengthen the IATSE by staying abreast of technological changes, shifts in the labor market and industry trends. It is his belief that the IATSE must remain aggressive and evolve with industrial changes, stressing inclusive organizing policies, skilled and effective leadership and membership participation. He leads from the position that organizing is the lifeblood of the Union. Maintaining the IATSE’s position as the preeminent labor organization in its traditional crafts is contingent upon representing workers throughout the industry, with a unified and potent voice.