IATSE Crew Members Authorize Strike in a Landslide Vote
Historic pressure mounts on negotiations between AMPTP and IATSE to keep production crews working. IATSE membership, representing over 150,000 film and television crew members, voted to pass a historic strike authorization today. With 89.66% of membership turning out, and 98.68% voting "yes."
The “yes” vote does not necessitate a strike. The authorization gives IATSE president Matthew Loeb an additional bargaining chip at the negotiating table with AMPTP and the right to call a strike if talks breakdown.
Production companies, studios and producers that AMPTP represent could also impose a lockout. A lockout is AMPTP’s high stakes bargaining chip, vesting them with the right to block union members on production crews from working until a deal is complete.
AMPTP and IATSE agreed to extend the expiration of their agreement from July 31 to September 10. The extension was made to exhaust negotiations before any other measures were put into place. Now that the extended deadline has elapsed, both AMPTP and IATSE have the right to impose a lockout or strike, respectively, if negotiations don’t see progress.
Either option, should one occur, would temporarily put union crew members out of work and stall production across the industry.
IATSE’s main requests pertain to what some crew members see as unsafe working conditions due to a lack of certain breaks during the workday and working hours which shorten weekend rest periods. Another point of contention for IATSE is discounted rates for New Media, especially streaming, which IATSE leadership has expressed is no longer an experiment.
Talks broke down on September 21 when IATSE claimed AMPTP wouldn't be returning a counter-offer to their requests surrounding these concerns.
The strike authorization effects only those crew members working under the Basic Agreement and Area Standards Agreement. Members working under other agreements have been advised that they should continue to work under their valid contracts.
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