A strike would stop to filming for a wide range of television and film productions. It could also affect productions in Georgia and New Mexico, as well as other North American shoots.
Matthew Loeb, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees International President, stated Wednesday that the strike will begin Monday at 12:01 AM unless an agreement on rest and meals periods and pay for its lowest paid workers is reached.
Loeb mentioned a lack in urgency for setting a strike day.
Loeb stated in a statement that "without an end date we could continue talking forever." "Our members should have their basic needs met now," Loeb stated.
An industry that has recently returned to work following long pandemic shutdowns or recurring aftershocks due to new outbreaks would suffer a severe setback if there is a strike.
Jarryd Gonzales (publicist representing the studios) stated that there are still five days to reach a deal. "Studios will continue negotiations in good faith to reach a new agreement that will keep this industry going."
Many people behind the scenes began to reevaluate their lives and their jobs during the pandemic, just as in other industries. Union leaders claim that the "catch up" has led to worse working conditions now that production is increasing again.
Jonas Loeb (director of communication at IATSE), said last week that workers have complained about working conditions deteriorating or being exacerbated. "And these 60,000 workers behind-the scenes who are covered by these contracts are at breaking point."
This would be the first strike nationwide in IATSE's 128-year history. IATSE members include cinematographers as well as set designers, carpenters and hair and makeup artists.
Union members claim they are often forced to work long hours, and that they don't get enough rest through meal breaks or time off between shifts. Leaders claim that the lowest-paid craftsmen earn unlivable wages. Streamers such as Amazon, Netflix, Apple, and Amazon can pay less under agreements that gave them more flexibility in the past.
"We have continued to impress upon employers the importance of our priorities, the fact that it is about human beings and the working conditions at work are about dignity, health, and safety at the workplace," stated Rebecca Rhine (national executive director, Cinematographers Guild, IATSE, Local 600). "The unsafe hours, health and safety concerns, not eating at all, were the exceptions for many years in this industry which is very competitive." They're now the norm.
On Oct. 4, the union reported that its members had votedoverwhelmingly to allow its president authorize a strike. However, negotiations were resumed following the vote.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers represents studios and other entertainment companies and is committed to avoiding a closure in an industry still recovering.
Strikes are always hard for everyone. Everyone suffers. It's difficult. But I believe our members have the will to make their voices heard and have their voices recognized and implemented in the industry. Rhine agreed. "What we learned is that employers can make changes to their business practices if they choose."