Last week, the vast majority of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees’ members voted in favour of authorizing a nationwide strike — a move that would immediately ground to a halt the productions of films and series across the country. Now, the trade union is making clear that it intends to follow through on its word.
This morning, IATSE president Matthew D. Loeb took to his Twitter account to announce that 60,000 members of the trade union will begin striking on Monday should talks continue to stall with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
We will continue bargaining with the producers this week in the hopes of reaching an agreement that addresses core issues, such as reasonable rest periods, meal breaks, and a living wage for those on the bottom of the wage scale. #IASolidarity
— Matthew D. Loeb (@matthewloeb) October 13, 2021
In an official press release from the IATSE echoing Loeb’s tweets, he expressed that while he and his colleagues are more than committed to continuing negotiations with the AMPTP, they felt it was necessary to give their potential strike a concrete date, given how the months of ongoing talks up to this point have still not led to any substantive agreements.
“However, the pace of bargaining doesn’t reflect any sense of urgency,” Loeb said. “Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now.”
The IATSE’s demands of the AMPTP largely focus on higher minimum wage for workers across the board and well as a more generous allotment of downtime in between the start and stop times of production days. Additionally, the IATSE’s members have been pushing for a more egalitarian classification for streaming productions, whose employees have typically been paid less than their counterparts working on traditional television productions. While it’s currently unclear how the AMPTP might respond to the IATSE’s escalation, the next steps seem quite simple to understand at this point.