An overwhelming majority of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees voted last week to authorize a nationwide strike—an action that would halt film and television productions across the country. Now, the union that represents roughly 60,000 Hollywood crew members is letting major studios know that they mean business.
IATSE president Matthew Loeb tweeted on Wednesday that the union will go on strike on Monday if they can’t reach an agreement on a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
“Without an end date, we could keep talking forever,” Loeb said in a statement. “Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now.”
I am announcing that unless an agreement is reached, 60,000 @IATSE film and tv workers 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. #IASolidarity
— Matthew D. Loeb (@matthewloeb) October 13, 2021
The union has started a countdown or a strike clock on its website.
IATSE’s contract with the AMPTP expired on July 31 and was extended until September 10, the Los Angeles Times reports. Jarryd Gonzales, a spokesman for the trade association, said on Wednesday, “There are five whole days left to reach a deal, and the studios will continue to negotiate in good faith in an effort to reach an agreement for a new contract that will keep the industry working.”
IATSE members have been asking for higher pay, a larger cut of the profits from streaming productions, larger contributions to health and pension plans, and improved rest periods and meal breaks. Negotiations will continue this week, the union said.
Last week, more than 98 percent of IATSE members who cast ballots voted to authorize a walkout if contract negotiations didn’t result in a new agreement. The groundbreaking vote marks the first approval of a nationwide strike in the union’s 128-year history.
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