Hollywood has inched closer to a far-reaching strike that could halt US productions, after the union representing thousands of TV and film workers said action could start as early as next week.
Members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), which represents 60,000 film and TV workers, overwhelmingly supported striking in a vote earlier this month as they battle for improved conditions.
Discussions with major Hollywood producers – represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) – have been ongoing but an agreement has still not been agreed, leading IATSE president Matthew Loeb to yesterday confirm that a strike could now start at 00:01 on Monday.
Loeb said the “pace of bargaining” with producers had not reflected a “sense of urgency”, adding that the union’s members “deserve to have their basic needs addressed now.”
Negotiations are entered on what Loeb described as “core issues”, including better wages, improved rest periods and meal breaks. Any potential action would affect production across the US, with LA’s production business likely to grind to a halt.
The AMPTP responded to the deadline of Monday by saying: “There are five 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.”
The IATSE represents an array of off-screen workers, ranging from editors and set creators to make-up artists and grips, many of whom have been working longer hours to keep up with the demands of content-hungry streamers.
A three-year deal is being sought at present to replace the previous agreement that started in 2018 and ran out in September.