Business

A Hollywood union president said its 60,000 workers will strike on Monday without a deal for improved working conditions

iatse strike rally
Mike Miller, vice president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) speaks to members at a rally on on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021.

  • IATSE said more than 60,000 entertainment workers will strike next week if negotiations aren’t final.
  • Negotiations between crew members and studios have been at an impasse for several months.
  • A strike could halt a range of TV and film projects – disrupting an industry already impacted by COVID.

The ongoing battle between Hollywood workers and the major studios is at a boiling point, and it may be about to spill over on the entire entertainment industry next week.

More than 60,000 film and television workers in the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), a crew members’ union in Hollywood, are on the brink of an industrywide strike. IATSE President Matthew Loeb tweeted on Wednesday that he intends to formally initiate a strike on Monday unless an agreement is reached between IATSE and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

“We will continue bargaining with the producers this week in the hopes of reaching an agreement that addresses core issues, such as reasonable rest periods, meal breaks, and a living wage for those on the bottom of the wage scale,” Loeb said in the tweet.

“However, the current pace of bargaining doesn’t reflect any sense of urgency. Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. IATSE film and TV workers deserve to have their basic needs addressed NOW,” Loeb continued.

Union members have pushed for improved working conditions, like longer rest breaks and wage increases for lower-paid crafts. Many personal accounts from union members’ difficult working experiences have been pouring out on social media, reining in support from other major entertainment unions including SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild of America, and the Writers Guild of America, as well as notable figures in the industry.

Earlier this month, IATSE members voted to authorize a strike, with over 98% of members voting in favor for a strike. The union and producers resumed bargaining negotiations on Wednesday, according to Deadline, marking eight days since the strike authorization. The unions have been locked in multiple negotiations since July, but parties have repeatedly failed to reach a consensus on a deal.

“Despite our best efforts at the table, the pace of negotiations does not reflect the urgency of the situation,” Cathy Repola, national executive director of the Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700, said in a message to her members on Tuesday. “In the wake of the overwhelming strike authorization vote, the employers repeatedly refuse to do what it will take to achieve a fair deal. Either they don’t recognize what has changed in our industry and among our members or they don’t care. Or both.”

The strike is expected to have major implications on the entertainment industry, creating a labor shortage that could affect everything from live television shows to streaming hits to feature films. Studios are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to disrupt production schedules and theatrical releases.

If the action goes forward on Monday, it will be only the second crew member strike in Hollywood history.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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