Is IATSE Gearing Up for a Strike?

Credit: IATSE
Hollywood needs to make crews work more reasonable hours. With better pay. 

Today, Deadline reported that IATSE had a possible strike happening within the film and television industry.

For those who don't know, IATSE is the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada. The union covers people in entertainment including wardrobe, hair and makeup artists, motion picture and television production technicians, broadcast technicians, scenic artists, designers, animators, and more. A strike could affect the entire film and TV industry.

A main point of contention is the long hours spent on set, even during a pandemic.

This would be the first actual industry-wide strike in the union’s history.

No one wants a strike, but the current deal expires Friday. 

The union and management’s AMPTP will return to the bargaining table on Thursday to see if they can find common ground. 

“Our goal is to reach every single one of our members and make sure they know what is going on in negotiations; where to go get more information; and, when the moment comes, how to make their voices heard by voting,” IATSE said in a message to members. “We don’t know what the vote will be—contract ratification or strike authorization—but we know it is coming, and we need local members to speak out in large numbers.”

The ramifications of this could be an industry-wide walk-out, halting production on every union project. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees includes the Cinematographers Guild Local 600, Art Directors Guild Local 800 and Editors Guild Local 700. It counts a total of 366 locals in the U.S. and Canada, organized by geographic region and craft jurisdictions. That's 150,000 workers who won't show up until an agreement is met.

We'll keep an eye on this as it develops.      

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1 Comment

This would go beyond the film industry, this would impact the creative labor force for Theatre, Events, Immersives, IATSE covers all the entertainment workforce. I worked in events for Fashion and Commercial clients for a decade in NYC, I know how much money was flying around the room when I was the lowest paid person and I was making 3 times the minimum wage at the time. NY got more expensive, my work became vital to my survival when it was meant to foster a more creative one so I could give myself the time to be creative. Instead, I spent 10 years in a churn, constantly hustling, making other people richer while I got by, on good pay yes, in an expensive city where freelancing allowed no normal schedule, I never had dinner with my wife, and I spent 12-16 hours instead on my feet, fighting for OT so I could hopefully spend anytime with my family. It is not selfish to ask for what you deserve, work life balance, money to feed and take care of your life and the respect of fair pay for the hard work you do to make others richer when you deserve it more than they do from a labor perspective. STRIKE. Make'em pay.

September 12, 2021 at 8:32AM

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Sketkh Williams
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