IATSE Sets Oct. 18 strike date if Contract Talks Aren't Successfully Solved
60,000 IATSE film and television workers will begin strikes on Monday, Oct. 18 at 12:01 a.m. if no agreement is reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers in the coming days. PDT is the time to prepare for PST.
Matthew D. Loeb, the IATSE international president, said on Wednesday that the union will continue to negotiate with the producers this week in the hopes of reaching an agreement that addresses key issues such as rest periods, meal breaks, and minimum wages. Loeb cautioned that the pace of bargaining does not imply any urgency. Without a end date, we could go on talking for ever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now. The IATSE Twitter account stated that a settlement must be reached by the end of this weekend to prevent stagfrench rivalries.
The AMPTP said on Wednesday that there are five days left to reach a deal, and the studios will continue to negotiate in good faith in an effort to come to an agreement for renegotiating if the industry stays active.
A strike by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has the potential to shut down motion picture and TV productions nationwide that are produced under the union and AMPTPs Basic Agreement, Area Standards Agreement and Videotape Agreements, which have all expired.
The move follows months of failed negotiations with the AMPTP, which negotiates for the studios, to develop a tentative new Basic Agreement for 13 Locals and other contracts covering approximately 60,000 entertainment workers.
Loeb set the strike date with the overwhelming support of the unions members. On Oct. 4, IATSE announced that more than 98 percent of eligible union members voted to authorize a strike if it were the best course of action in the face of negotiations in limbo.
IATSE and AMPTP returned to the bargaining table on Oct. 5 and continued to negotiate throughout the week and into the following week. Carol Lombardini, AMPTP president, is the lead negotiator for the ATPTP. In an email to Local 700 members on Tuesday night, national executive director Cathy Repola stated that the pace of negotiations does not reflect the urgency of the situation. Another union source who asked to remain anonymous told THR that IATSE has a legal obligation to continue engaging in good faith and faces additional challenges if the employer continues to inch forward and inch ahead, even if they arent taking things seriously.
The union has told members that sticking points in negotiations included establishing adequate rest and meal times, higher minimum wages for certain crafts, more compensation from streaming and new media projects, and more money for its pension and health plan.
Thirteen locals work under the Basic Agreement, including the largest, Local 600 (International Cinematographers Guild), which represents 9,000 members. It was reported on Monday that 92 percent of eligible members participated in the strike authorization vote, with 99 percent voting yes. Local 700 (Motion Picture Editors Guild), with 8,500 members, garnered 92 percent of eligible voters, with 98 percent voting yes.
Local 800 (art directors), Local 44 (affiliated property craftspersons),, Local 80 (studio grips, crafts service, set medics and marine department and warehouse workers), and Local 695 (production sound technicians, television engineers, video assist technicians and studio projectionists)), Lo 705 (motion picture costumers", Local 706 (makeup artists and hairstylists); Local 828 ( studio electrical lighting technicians); Lo 829 (set painters and signwriters; Local 84 (studium teachers
A strike would likely not affect productions covered by the unions Commercials, Low Budget, and Pay TV agreements, so union members working under those agreements may continue to work.
During the negotiations period, organizations such as the American Society of Cinematographers and American Cinema Editors, as well as major entertainment unions said they supported IATSE. On Monday, the DGA released a statement of solidarity, which was signed by Daga president Lesli Linka Glatter and board members Ron Howard, Ava DuVernay, Christopher Nolan, and Steven Spielberg.