IATSE moved one step closer to a strike against the film and TV industry Monday, telling its members that it will now ask them for strike authorization.
“Today, the AMPTP informed the IATSE that they do not intend to respond to our comprehensive package proposal presented to them over a week ago,” the union leaders said in a message to members. “This failure to continue negotiating can only be interpreted one way. They simply will not address the core issues we have repeatedly advocated for from the beginning. As a result, we will now proceed with a nationwide strike authorization vote to demonstrate our commitment to achieving the change that is long overdue in this industry.”
A strike-authorization vote does not necessarily mean that there will be a strike – only that the members give their leaders the authorization to call for a walkout if they are unable to reach an eleventh-hour agreement.
The union’s current contract had been set to expire July 31 but was extended through September 10, the union says, “in an effort to exhaust every opportunity to make a deal.”
Last Wednesday, IATSE president Matthew Loeb said that negotiations had “reached a critical juncture,” noting that “we are united in demanding more humane working conditions across the industry, including reasonable rest during and between workdays and on the weekend, equitable pay on streaming productions, and a livable wage floor.”
The next day, he told members that the union was awaiting a response from the AMPTP to the union’s latest package of contract proposals as it continues its “mobilization” for a possible strike.
Over the weekend, two of the union’s largest locals – the International Cinematographers Guild Local 600 and the Editors Guild Local 700 – held informational meetings to update their members on the status of the negotiations. By all accounts, the members are ready to strike if they have to to get a fair contract.
An industrywide strike against film and TV production, if it comes to that, will be the first in the union’s history.
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