Negotiations between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) made “good progress” after the labor union set a Monday deadline for a strike that would shut down TV and film productions in the U.S.
“We worked into [Wednesday] night and made some good progress,” Variety quotes a rep for a North Hollywood-based sound union as saying. “We are not where we need to be and will continue bargaining today while simultaneously continuing the strike preparation.”
On Wednesday, IATSE set a deadline of 12:01 am PT Monday, Oct. 18 for a walkout, if an agreement isn’t reached on a new three-year film and TV contract. Some 60,000 IATSE members would engage in the strike action.
Seeking “change that is long overdue in this industry,” IATSE is looking to address “the most grievous problems” in workplaces, including excessively unsafe and harmful working hours; unlivable wages for the lowest paid crafts; consistent failure to provide reasonable rest during meal breaks, between workdays, and on weekends; and the fact that workers on certain “new media” (streaming) projects get paid less, even on productions with budgets that rival or exceed those of traditional “blockbusters.”
“The explosion of streaming combined with the pandemic has elevated and aggravated working conditions, bringing 60,000 behind-the-scenes workers covered by these contracts to a breaking point,” IATSE said in a statement, as the vote to strike if needed loomed. “We risked our health and safety all year, working through the pandemic to ensure that our business emerged intact. Now, we cannot and will not accept a deal that leaves us with an unsustainable outcome.”