Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes workers have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a nationwide strike if they cannot reach an agreement with producers on a new contract, their union announced Monday.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), which represents about 60,000 off-screen workers, said 90 percent of its members cast ballots and more than 98 percent were in favor of authorizing the strike back.
The vote strengthened the hand of IATSE leaders in stalled contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
The alliance said it is the first time in the 128-year history of IATSE that union members have authorized a nationwide strike, and it comes amid disputes with studio producers over working conditions, pay and schedules.
Many members say working conditions are poor, the workday is long with few breaks, and hourly rates are less than $18.
BREAKING: IATSE members in TV and film production voted to authorize the first nationwide industry strike in our 128-year history.
— IATSE // #VOTAYS (@IATSE) 4 October 2021
“The members have spoken loudly and clearly,” Coalition chairman Matthew Loeb said in a statement. “Our people have basic human needs such as time for meals, adequate sleep and weekends. For those at the bottom of the pay scale, they deserve nothing less than a living wage. “
“I hope the studio will see and understand our members’ resolve,” Loeb said. “If they want to avoid the strike, they will return to the bargaining table and give us a fair offer.”
AMPTP said in a statement that it is “committed to reaching an agreement that will keep the industry working” but added that both sides are “willing to compromise and explore new solutions”, citing the economic impact of the CCP (Chinese). “Will need to be shown. Communist Party) virus epidemic.
Earlier, the AMPTP had said that it had heard the demands of the alliance and proposed “substantial reforms for the rest period, increase in wages and benefits, increase in minimum rates for specific job categories” and more.
Actor and producer Octavia Spencer on Monday voiced support for the union members’ demands.
“I hope #AMPTP does the right thing and sits down again,” Spencer wrote on twitter. “They’re not asking for anything inappropriate.”
Others who have shown support include actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Mindy Kaling, and Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth Carter.
“These issues are real for workers in our industry, and change is long overdue. However, the explosion of streaming combined with the pandemic has exacerbated and exacerbated working conditions, the 60,000 covered by these contracts. behind-the-scenes has brought workers to a breaking point,” IATSE said in a statement, adding that it cannot and will not accept a deal that leaves members with “durable consequences”.
Reuters contributed to this report.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times