After more than a week of failed negotiations, the union representing Hollywood crews announced on Wednesday that its members will go on strike Monday if they cannot agree on a new contract.
“The pace of negotiations does not reflect any sense of urgency,” Matthew Loeb, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, said in a statement Wednesday. “Without an end date, we could talk forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs met now.”
IATSE has been negotiating with manufacturers for months and advocates better working hours, safer working conditions and better working conditions. After talks stalled over the summer, IATSE membership voted to approve a strike if a deal couldn’t be reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents major film and television production companies. The union said 90% of eligible voters cast their votes, and more than 98% supported the strike authorization.
“There are still five full days left to reach a deal, and the studios will continue to negotiate in good faith in an effort to reach an agreement on a new contract that will keep the industry working,” said Jarryd Gonzales, a spokesperson. from AMPTP.
IATSE represents a wide range of industry workers, from studio fitters to wardrobe and makeup artists. In total, it acts on behalf of 150,000 crew members in the US and Canada. About 60,000 of those are under current TV and movie contracts under renegotiation.
The contract with AMPTP, which came into effect in 2018, ended on July 31 and was extended until September 10. IATSE is calling for a new three-year deal that would give behind-the-scenes workers higher pay, meal breaks and improved contributions to health and retirement plans and a bigger cut in streaming production profits.
An industry-wide strike would essentially shut down Hollywood production, similar to what the writers’ strike did 14 years ago. That strike, between 2007 and 2008, led many shows to shorten or postpone new seasons and led to the cancellation of others.