Strike averted as IATSE reaches agreement with Alliance of Film and Television Producers
An 11-hour deal was reached on Saturday, averting a strike by film and television crews that would have seen some 60,000 behind-the-scenes workers quit their jobs and froze productions in Hollywood and across the United States.
After days of marathon negotiations, representatives of the International Alliance of Theater Workers and the studios and entertainment companies that employ them reached a three-year contract deal ahead of a Monday strike deadline, avoiding a serious setback for an industry that had just returned. work after long pandemic shutdowns.
“It’s a Hollywood ending,” said union president Matthew Loeb. “Our members have held on.”
Workers have yet to vote to approve it, but the strike was called off with the provisional deal.
Many in Hollywood celebrated the news.
“It’s good for @IATSE to have stood our ground. And don’t forget we’re backing you whenever you need us,” comedian, actor and writer Patton Oswalt said on Twitter.
Another actor, comedian and writer, Yvette Nicole Brown, tweeted “#UnionStrong!” as well as a link to a story about the agreement.
Congratulations IATSE brothers and sisters! ”Jennifer Garner said on Instagram.
The effects of the strike were reportedly immediate, with crews not only on long-term productions, but also daily series, including network talk shows, leaving their jobs. Programs with short lead times such as soap operas would also have felt immediate effects.
The union represents filmmakers, cameramen, scenographers, carpenters, hairdressers and makeup artists and many others.
Union members said previous contracts allowed their employers to force them to work excessive hours and deny them reasonable rest through meal breaks and enough free time between shifts. Executives said the lowest-paid trades were receiving unliveable wages, and streaming outlets including Netflix, Apple and Amazon were allowed to work them even harder for less money.
According to the IATSE statement on Saturday, the deal “answers fundamental questions, including reasonable rest periods, meal breaks, living wages for those at the bottom of the pay scale and significant increases of the remuneration to be paid by new media companies “.
The union reported on October 4 that its members voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, sparking fears across the industry, but talks immediately resumed between IATSE and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents studios and other entertainment companies in negotiations.
“We have gone up against some of the richest and most powerful entertainment and tech companies in the world, and now we have a deal with AMPTP that meets the needs of our members,” said Loeb.
AMPTP spokesman Jarryd Gonzales confirmed the deal had been made.
A Monday strike deadline was set on Wednesday when talks stalled, but the union said subsequent negotiations had been productive.
It would have been the first national strike in the 128-year history of the IATSE and would have affected not only the Los Angeles and New York area, but also growing production centers like Georgia, New Mexico and the United States. Colorado.
During the negotiations, many big names in entertainment came out in support of the union’s demands, including Octavia Spencer, Mindy Kaling and Jane Fonda. The Directors Guild of America also issued a declaration of solidarity, signed by Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Barry Jenkins, Ron Howard and Ava DuVernay.
Associated Press film writer Lindsey Bahr contributed to this Pittsburgh story.