About Local 479

We Are IATSE

We are the people behind the scenes; the ones who make the magic. We illuminate the night and shape the shadows. We create hurricanes and snowfall, zombies and superheroes. We are the men and women of IATSE Local 479 and we work hard every day to make our jurisdiction the world’s premiere destination for motion picture, television, and commercial production.

Our Mission

IATSE Local 479 is dedicated to the principles of trade unionism and the representation of every worker employed in our crafts, based on the IATSE’s long history of pursuing fair wages and working conditions for its members.  As an organization that is run by its membership, we are responsive to the needs of our industry and our region, and are committed to building a robust, sustainable, and safe environment in the states of Georgia and Alabama for the production of motion pictures for years to come.  We will forever be committed to the protection of the negotiated rights of our members and the advancement of the best working conditions possible, and as citizens of Georgia and Alabama we will actively work with state and local legislators to lead our industry in innovative solutions for growing our business and providing for our members.

Benefits of Membership

One of the most important benefits people look for from an employer is a good healthcare and retirement plan – things that are frequently out of the reach of freelancers. For every union-negotiated project that you work on as a member of Local 479 the employer makes a contribution into funds for your healthcare and retirement. As employer contributions, these are personal benefits for which you will not be taxed.

The IATSE uses a company called the National Benefit Funds (NBF). The NBF is a non-profit company that administers the funds contributed by the employers on our behalf. A board of trustees that includes the IATSE and contributing employers, govern the NBF. It is a separate company than the IATSE union; our union has no affiliation with the NBF. Their website at www.iatsenbf.org is a very helpful resource for finding information about the benefits IATSE provides. All questions or problems concerning these benefits should be directed to the NBF by calling them at 1-800-456-FUND (3863).

Presently the NBF uses:

  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield to administer our health insurance plan
  • Wells Fargo to administer our retirement funds
  • Davis Vision to administer our vision plan
  • Delta Dental for our dental plan
  • CVS Caremark for our prescription plan

Other Benefits of Local 479 Membership

An added benefit that is available only to members of Local 479 is a short-term / long-term disability program, administered through MetLife. Local 479 pays for all of our members in good standing to receive this benefit at zero cost to the member. Along with this benefit comes Short Term Disability (STD), Long Term Disability (LTD), and Basic Life Insurance coverage.

Beneficiaries

It’s important to nominate beneficiaries for the funds you accrue and provided in the section named Crew Central are forms that members should send in to the NBF and to the local to designate the recipients of these funds upon your death.

Becoming A Member

Any Georgia or Alabama resident may petition to join our local as a new member or by transfer from from a different IA local.  Employment in the industry is reliant upon your individual skills, the effort you put into building personal business relationships, the strength (and accuracy) of your resume, and your overall reputation within the local community.  It is for this reason that Local 479 strongly recommends that people who are considering submitting an application for membership have an existing relationship with a party that has indicated that they will be able to hire the new member for union work.

Membership Application Packet
The membership application packet is to be completed in its entirety, meeting all requirements. Do not print your packet double-sided. There is a check list in every application – please use it to make sure that you have provided all information that is needed to complete this process. Incomplete applications will NOT be accepted. A printed membership application packet may be obtained from stewards on active productions or from the Local 479 office between 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday. The address of the office is  4220 International Parkway, Atlanta, GA. 30354. You may also download a complete application, below (again, do not print it double-sided).

Requirements

  • $100 Application Fee (Non-Refundable)
  • $1400 Initiation Fee
  • All remaining Quarterly Dues for the current year.
  • If you are applying during the 4th Quarter of the year, you will also be asked to pay the Quarterly Dues for the upcoming year.
  • Any outstanding balances
  • If you DO NOT submit all fees with your application it will be considered incomplete. If you have any questions about how much is due with your application please call the office.

Proof of Residency Requirements
A valid copy of one the items from the following MUST be provided:

  • Valid Georgia or Alabama Drivers License with issue date of 18 months or longer, or
  • A valid State of Georgia or Alabama ID accompanied by a (MVR) motor vehicle report showing 18 months of residency, or
  • Valid Georgia or Alabama Drivers License accompanied by one of the following showing 18 months of residency:
    • Federal Tax Return
    • Vehicle Registration
    • Voter Registration
    • (MVR) motor vehicle report

After Submitting An Application
The current list of potential new members are submitted to our current membership for a vote in the next general membership meeting.

  • Applications turned in at least 15 days before the next General Membership Meeting shall go before the attending members for a vote.
  • General Membership meetings take place in: February, April, June, August, October and December.
  • Each pending member will be notified within five (5) days of the results of the vote.
  • Applicants who are not voted into membership will be notified in writing and a refund will be issued (with the exception of the non-refundable $100 application fee).
  • Refunded fees are processed within five (5) business days of the vote.
  • The Member Obligation (swear-in) shall be administered within ninety (90) days from the date of notice of acceptance into Local 479.
  • The pending member’s application may be declared null and void, with forfeiture of all monies paid, if the Member Obligation is not administered in time.
  • NO APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER 4:00PM

The members of Local 479 thank you for considering joining our Local. Should you have questions that have not been addressed on this page, feel free to call Lajuana Scott with Member Services at (404) 361-5676 Ext. 101, or contact her via email at lscott@iatse479.org, or meet with her in person during regular business hours of 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday – Friday (be sure to call ahead first to make sure that someone will be available to meet with you).

Executive Board

IATSE Local 479 is administered by an executive board elected by a vote of the membership, per the most recent ratified revision of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Studio Mechanics Local 479.

Ray Brown

President

President Brown is a 30+ year veteran of the motion picture industry and has been a member of Local 80 Hollywood Grips, Local 487 Mid Atlantic Studio Mechanics and Local 479 Georgia/Alabama Studio Mechanics. As a member of Local 487 he served as Southern Region Vice President and Co-chaired the Virginia Motion Picture Incentive Committee. Since joining Local 479 he served as a Delegate and on the Board of Trustees. Ray continues to work diligently with the International Officers and the Executive Board of the Local to provide our Sisters and Brothers with the very best in IATSE training and member services.

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Sara Riney

Vice President

Sara joined the local in 2010, working as a Set Decoration Buyer. She was sworn in as Vice President in 2022.

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Abby Hilton

General Secretary-Treasurer

Abby joined the local in 2015, working as a Set Teacher. She was sworn in as General Secretary-Treasurer in 2022.

Michael Akins

Business Agent

Mike Akins has been a member of Local 479 Georgia/Alabama Studio Mechanics since 1991. He was first elected Business Agent on January 1, 1998.

Kevin Amick

Director of Membership

Kevin joined the local in April of 2009. Kevin became the Director of Membership in 2018 and has served as Local 479’s Director of Education since 2014.

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Myra Foy

Labor Delegate

Myra joined the local in October of 2002 and serves as the Labor Delegate to the Atlanta-North Georgia Council. She also serves as the Chair of the Women’s Committee.

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Paige Jarvis

Labor Delegate to the AFL-CIO

Paige has been a member of the local for more than 15 years, working as a Grip. She was sworn in as Labor Delegate to the AFL-CIO in 2022.

Kathleen Tonkin

Sergeant-at-Arms

Kathy serves as Sergeant-at-Arms. She works in the special effects department and served as Chair of the Women's Committee from 2016 until 2019.

Pride Committee

On March 20, 2019, President Matthew D. Loeb established the IATSE Pride Committee, dedicated to providing networking and mentorship opportunities, as well as to be a meaningful resource for educational tools, social media campaigns, and community outreach and activism for LGBTQ+ members of the IATSE. That same year President Ray Brown established IATSE Local 479’s Pride Committee.

The current chair of the committee is Paige Jarvis.

The IATSE Pride Committee works to enhance LBGTQ+ members’ inclusion, visibility, and potential for success within the union, the workplace, and the community, across our various crafts and geographic locations. IATSE Local 479 is committed to the principle that all people are equal, and therefore deserve respect and fair treatment, regardless of sex, gender identity/expression, or sexual orientation.

Send an email to pride@iatse479.org for more information on the Pride Committee.

Women’s Committee

Following the lead of IA President Matthew Loeb, Local 479 President Ray Brown formed a chapter of the Women’s Committee here in Atlanta.  This committee was announced at our General Membership meeting in February 2016, at which time President Brown appointed Kathy Tonkin as chair, Myra Foy as co-chair, and Melva Akens as recording secretary.

During their first official meeting in April, the Women’s Committee established their mission statement, which is:

The IATSE Women’s Committee works to promote networking and mentorship opportunities and create visibility of IATSE women in community and union activities.

The first event that the WC organized after their formation was a Women’s Wellness Day, inviting sisters of other IA locals in Georgia to participate.  IA 12th International Vice President Faye Harper gave a speech, along with other prominent women in our industry.  Local vendors were available to speak to the attendees about their health benefits and offer services and free testing.

The Women’s Committee looks forward to hosting future events that benefit all members of our local, with special focus on the ladies that work so hard in a male-dominated industry.

Send an email to 479women@iatse479.org for more information on Local 479 Women’s Committee.

Young Workers Committee

International President Matt Loeb created a Young Worker’s Committee as a way to encourage the participation and leadership of our members ages 18-35. Local 479 President Ray Brown decided to encourage our young members to do the same.

In June 2015, Ray appointed Kevin Cheatham as chair of the Local 479 Young Worker’s Committee, Hilary Smiley as Co-Chair, and Brian Carroll as Recording Secretary.  The young workers then voted to add a treasurer to the list of officers, and elected Glenn Peison for that office.

Our YWC has become very involved in the business of the local, and has created and hosted multiple events geared towards both the young members of the local and the Atlanta film community as a whole.  Their most successful event is a charity kickball tournament, the initial tournament in September of 2015 being such a success that it has quickly become an annual recurrence.

To get involved with the Local 479 Young Worker’s Committee, simply attend the open meetings that occur after each general membership meeting, or email the officers at YoungWorkers@iatse479.org for more information.  You can follow the YWC on Instagram @IATSE479YWC to see photo proof of the fun and fellowship they seek to provide.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

When should I join the union? How do I join?

The most important point that we stress to our applicants is the importance of having a network of colleagues working in the industry that can help you secure work. We encourage our applicants to wait to join the local until you have met and networked with multiple Local 479 members who have the ability to hire you. Once you feel confident that you will be able to secure work, then you should submit your application to join. For information on the application process, click here.

 

Georgia is a right-to-work state. Why should I join?

For all of the reasons found on this website, you should join the IATSE if you intend to work in the entertainment industry. The benefits Local 479 provides it’s members are extensive and exceptional. However, as residents of a “right to work” state, the option of whether or not to join a union is entirely yours. Regardless of being a member or not, working in a “right to work” state means that you are handled by your employer just like a union member, subject to treatment under the collective bargaining agreement that the union has negotiated with the employer. So if you are going to be treated under the terms set forth by the collective bargaining agreement, shouldn’t you have a say as to what that agreement says? Unless you are a union member, you do not get to influence what goes into that agreement. Joining IATSE Local 479 gives you a voice, allows you to be a part of the negotiating process, and provides you the opportunity to contribute to what goes into the contracts that your employers sign and the IATSE enforces on your behalf.

 

How do I login to see my account information?

Click on the Member Login button at the top of any page. Your username is the email address that Local 479 has on file for you (this is probably the same email address where you receive Breaking News alerts). You should use the password that you set up when you first logged into your account. If you have never logged in before, please send an email to webmaster@iatse479.org to get a temporary password emailed to you. You will be prompted to create your own password once you’ve successfully logged in. If you have forgotten your password, you should click the Forgot Password link to reset it.

 

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