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Mike Sullivan, Local 84

Mike Sullivan has had a long history with the IATSE. He estimates he spent 20 years on the road, and another 20 years as the Business Agent of Local 84 (Stagecraft, Hartford, CT). In 1988 Mike was elected as an International Trustee and some years later was elected as an International Vice President. His work for the International took him to the General Office in New York where, in 1998, he was appointed to also serve as the first Director of the IATSE Stagecraft Department.  

Mike retired in 2004 but has remained active in the IATSE and now assists the IATSE-PAC Committee in its outreach to retirees of the IATSE. He recalls that “Not long ago during the IATSE-PAC report at a General Executive Board meeting, President Loeb spoke at length about the PAC and the importance of getting involved with politics,” said Mr. Sullivan. “After the meeting I asked President Loeb, ‘What about the retirees?’”

Mike attends the Connecticut AFL-CIO’s COPE (Committee on Political Education) meetings, where they focus on educating and mobilizing union members around electoral politics. He reaches out to retired IA members and urges them to contribute to the IATSE-PAC, reminding them that a $20 monthly charge on a credit card bill is easy and something is barely noticeable.

Mike says that his family has been in the IATSE for more than 100 years, and that he remembers a time when union meetings were all about members arguing with the Local leadership about benefits. “When I first became a roadie and got my first Pink contract in 1957, there were zero benefits,” said Mike. “Now we have insurance, pensions, and benefits – but all you have to do is read the newspaper to know that there are people out there trying to take them all away.”

Mike says that his own political action is important to him and he is hopeful that by being politically aware and active will help to secure the future for younger people and our members’ children including his own, so they may maintain the benefits that so many before them fought so hard to attain. 

“I’m glad that the IA is focusing on politics,” said Mike. “It’s not the most popular topic, but if we just stand by and take things for granted and don’t get involved, those benefits will go away.”