After IATSE union members voting in overwhelming favor of a strike back on October 4, union officials have officially set the date for the proposed industry shut down: October 18. According to The Hollywood Reporter, unless an agreement is reached between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (or IASTE, to keep things significantly more brief) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMTPT) by the end of the weekend, 60,000 film and television crew members will go on strike starting on Monday, October 18 at 12:01 a.m. PDT in what is sure to be a massive blow to both the film and television industry.

IATSE international president Matthew D. Loeb said the union will continue trying to bargain with the AMPTP in hopes of reaching an agreement “that addresses core issues, such as rest periods, meal breaks, and minimum wages” and avoiding the looming strike. However, Loeb also said the AMPTP is not making it easy on them:

“The pace of bargaining doesn’t reflect any sense of urgency,” Loeb warned. “Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now.”

Following the IATSE’s announcement, the AMPTP released a statement of their own, seemingly reassuring workers they are willing to compromise and have faith an agreement will be reached. According to the AMPTP, “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.” However, after months of failed negotiations, how this situation actually plays out is entirely up in the air.

Among the items the IATSE are bargaining to find resolutions for are: excessively unsafe and harmful working hours, unlivable wages for the lowest-paid crafts, consistent failure to provide reasonable rest during meal breaks, between workdays, and on weekends, and workers on certain “new media” streaming projects get paid less, even on productions with budgets that rival or exceed those of traditionally released blockbusters. Since the demands were made, countless Hollywood actors have voiced their support for crew members receiving better treatment by production companies, with Katherine Heigl going so far as to call crew member working conditions “cruel.”

According to a post made on the official IATSE Twitter account, the AMPTP has until the end of the weekend to reach an agreement with the union. If the two organizations fail to reach an agreement, the IATSE says that its “strung-along” union members “will have no choice but to go on strike” Monday, October 18.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *