Hollywood Union Sets Strike Deadline
If a deal is not reached by Monday, 60,000 IATSE members will strike
After months of negotiations IATSE, the union that represents behind-the-scenes workers in TV and movies has set a strike deadline.
In a release sent on Wednesday morning, the union said that “Unless an agreement is reached, union members will begin a nationwide strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on Monday, October 18 at 12:01 a.m., PDT.” They continued on to say that they will continue to negotiate over the next few days but bargaining has not moved fast enough for the unions liking. “However, the pace of bargaining doesn’t reflect any sense of urgency,” Loeb said. “Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now.”
Last week the 60,000 members of the union voted to authorize a strike if a deal was not reached. The decision to authorize a strike was approved by 98.6% of the people who voted, which included about 90% of the eligible membership. This is an extraordinarily high number of members voting on a strike vote. IATSE also posted over the weekend a picture of their Los Angeles locals preparing signs for the strike, showing that the union is serious about walking out on Monday if an agreement is not reached.
In an interview with C David Cottrill, a business agent, and Political/Legislative Coordinator for IATSE Local 488, he said that members are fighting for more sane working conditions including more reasonable working hours that end filming that stretches into the weekend and an end to the low pay that some on set receive.
You can watch the full interview below:
An IATSE strike would effectively shut down production on episodic TV and movies, that are not on HBO which is under a different contract, for the foreseeable future. IATSE represents everyone from camera operators to makeup artists and costume designers. Without them it would be impossible to film anything and there simply aren’t enough non-union workers to scab and fill these positions. This would be the first IATSE strike against the AMPTP in the union’s history.