IATSE Members Vote To Authorize A Strike With Over 98 Percent Support

A union that represents about 60,000 behind the scenes workers in film and television reached a tentative deal with producers on Saturday, averting mass-walkouts that could have brought the film industry to a standstill. 

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) said negotiators agreed to a new three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) before the union's 12.01 am Monday deadline.

IATSE represents Hollywood workers including camera operators, make-up artists, sound technicians and others, while AMPTP represents the producers.

 Among issued addressed in the contract are mandatory 54-hour weekends off, at least ten hours between each work day, meal breaks, and improved wages and conditions for streaming service workers.  

Now, workers in the union will get a mandatory holiday on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and retroactive wage increases of three percent annually. IATSE said in a press release that 'diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives' will be adopted and living wage will be guaranteed for the lowest earners in the union.    

'This is a Hollywood ending,' Matthew Loeb, president of the union, said in a statement. 'Our members stood firm. They're tough and united.'

'We went toe to toe with some of the richest and most powerful entertainment and tech companies in the world, and we have now reached an agreement with the AMPTP that meets our members’ needs.'

 On October 4, the IATSE said that 90 percent of 60,000 eligible voters cast ballots, with more than 98 percent in support of strike authorization. 

Now that the tentative agreement has been reached, the union said that a ratification vote will be held among its members in the same fashion before it is approved - if it isn't, however, the Monday strike could still be on. 

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), which includes camera operators, make-up artists, sound technicians and others, said negotiators agreed to a new three-year contract before the union's 12.01 am Monday deadline

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), which includes camera operators, make-up artists, sound technicians and others, said negotiators agreed to a new three-year contract before the union's 12.01 am Monday deadline

Shutdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic had caused a production backlog that led to crews working up to 14 hours a day to feed programming to streaming services - A total of 9,791 shoot days were recorded across all categories in the second quarter of 2021, increasing a whopping 40 percent since March

Shutdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic had caused a production backlog that led to crews working up to 14 hours a day to feed programming to streaming services - A total of 9,791 shoot days were recorded across all categories in the second quarter of 2021, increasing a whopping 40 percent since March

'This is a Hollywood ending,' Matthew Loeb, president of the union (pictured), said in an emailed statement. 'Our members stood firm. They're tough and united'

'This is a Hollywood ending,' Matthew Loeb, president of the union (pictured), said in an emailed statement. 'Our members stood firm. They're tough and united'

'We went toe to toe with some of the richest and most powerful entertainment and tech companies in the world, and we have now reached an agreement with the AMPTP that meets our members’ needs,' IATSE wrote in a press release concerning the agreement

'We went toe to toe with some of the richest and most powerful entertainment and tech companies in the world, and we have now reached an agreement with the AMPTP that meets our members’ needs,' IATSE wrote in a press release concerning the agreement

The reception of the potential deal has been mixed on social media, foreshadowing a potential split between union members on whether to accept the producers' offer. 

'Breadcrumbs,' @ndrewrodden wrote. 'Nothing has changed with the contract! From strike, to same old bullsh**.'

However, most posts appeared to celebrate the potential deal: 

'This is really good news,' wrote @Racquel_Morgan. 'If only all professions in all states could have unions that looked after the non-celebrity working people!' 

Shutdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic had caused a production backlog that led to crews working up to 14 hours a day to feed programming to streaming services - a total of 9,791 shoot days were recorded across all categories in the second quarter of 2021, increasing a whopping 40 percent since March.

On Wednesday, the union threatened to strike starting Monday if it was unable to reach an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). 

A strike would have shut down film and television production around the United States in the biggest stoppage since the 2007-2008 strike by Hollywood screenwriters - including Netflix Inc, Walt Disney Co., Comcast Corp, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, Paramount and Warner Brothers.

It would have impacted the production of TV shows such as Succession, Search Party and Billions, along with the feature film sequel to Black Panther, all of which are currently filming in New York and Georgia

On Wednesday, the union threatened to strike starting Monday if it was unable to reach an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP)

On Wednesday, the union threatened to strike starting Monday if it was unable to reach an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP)

Now that the tentative agreement has been reached, the union said that a ratification vote will be held among its members in the same fashion before it is approved - if it isn't, however, the Monday strike could still be on

'Solidarity is more than a word,' Loeb added. 'It’s the way to get things done'

'Solidarity is more than a word,' Loeb added. 'It’s the way to get things done'

A text circulating among IATSE members last week, and published by industry blog Deadline, read: 'Leadership advised me to tell members to get your kits tidy this week. Be prepared to work on Monday but also be prepared to picket/walk off.' 

IATSE was seeking to reduce working hours and raise the pay of members who work on shows for streaming platforms, where lower rates were set 10 years ago when online video was in its infancy.

IATSE, in its statement, said the proposed contract addresses those issues, including rest periods, meal breaks, a living wage for those on the bottom of the pay scale, and significant increases in compensation to be paid by new-media companies. 

A slurry of celebrities and public figures came out to endorse the thousands of backstage workers. 

On Friday,  Juliette Lewis of The Yellowjackets took to social media to support the union: 'Producers are still asking human beings to work tirelessly and work miracles constantly to "save them money" rather than create schedules that are doable without their constant pressure.'

Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10100081/Hollywood-film-crew-union-reaches-tentative-deal-averting-strike.html

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