Will IATSE workers go on strike?

IATSE workers have chosen a date for their potential strike, should they not reach an agreement with AMPTP.

The strike would put a halt to production for film and TV workers.

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IATSE stands for The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage EmployeesCredit: AP:Associated Press

What is IATSE and AMPTP?

The IATSE, or International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, is a labor union representing over 150,000 employees in the entertainment industry across the United States and Canada.

Founded in 1893, IATSE pledges to support fair wages and working conditions for their members.

IATSE encompasses live theatre, motion picture and television production, trade shows and exhibitions, television broadcasting, concerts, and equipment and construction shops within the entertainment industry.

Made up of over 366 unions, the IATSE website states locals negotiate labor contracts regarding wages, work rules, and grievance procedures.

IATSE is led by Matthew Loeb, the international president. James Wood is the general secretary and treasurer.

The AMPTP, or Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, represents major film and television production companies, negotiating their contracts.

Carol Lombardini has been president of the AMPTP since 2009.

Will IATSE workers go on strike?

On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, IATSE president Matthew Loeb officially gave a date to the potential union strike.

If producers don’t come to an agreement this week, the strike will begin Monday, October 18, at 12:01 PDT.

“Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. Our members deserve to have their basic needs addressed now,” said Loeb.

The strike will address basic core issues in production, such as reasonable rest periods, meal breaks, and a living wage.

AMPTP issued a statement on Wednesday in response, stating:

“There are five whole days left to reach a deal, and the studios will continue to negotiate in good faith in an effort to reach an agreement for a new contract that will keep the industry working.”

Members of the union voted on October 5, 2021, 98.6 percent in favor of Loeb calling for the strike date.

IATSE set a strike date for Monday, October 18, 2021

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IATSE set a strike date for Monday, October 18, 2021Credit: AP:Associated Press

IATSE has been bargaining with AMPTP for safer worker conditions for over five months, with little to no renegotiation.

“Our goal was always to negotiate a fair deal, but we all understood that a strike was a possibility.

“A strike is now a reality, unless the employers use the limited time remaining to make proposals that recognize the worth of the human beings that power this industry with their bodies and hearts,” said IATSE Local 600 president, John Lindley.

The unions demand a 10-hour turnaround between shifts for all workers, a 54-hour turnaround on weekends, increased meal penalties to force productions to stop for lunch, and an end to discounted rates for streaming services.

What does it mean to go on strike?

To go on strike is to refuse to partake in work duties until certain demands are met, typically organized by a labor union.

A labor union is an organized group of workers formed to protect their rights.

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