TV & Film Stage Workers’ Union Overwhelmingly Authorizes Historic Strike

TV & Film Stage Workers’ Union International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) authorizes historic strike with 98 percent approval.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees’ (IATSE) members have voted with 98.6% yes votes to proceed with a strike if a new bargaining agreement isn’t made with studios. IATSE is a labor union representing 150,000 people across the entertainment industry. These workers are commonly referred to as “below-the-line” workers and includes everyone from electricians to costumers to makeup artists to VFX to script supervisors and beyond. Negotiations had been underway with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), who are responsible for negotiating “all industry-wide guild and union contracts, but have seemingly ground to halt, causing the historic vote.

The strike authorization vote was called for by IATSE on September 21st, which could potentially affect film and TV productions nationwide. Negotiations broke down last week between IATSE and AMPTP, with no changes being made to their core issues, which were outlined as “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, Workers on certain “new media” streaming projects get paid less, even on productions with budgets that rival or exceed those of traditionally released blockbusters.” IATSE sent a letter to California and New York legislators, letting them know that if the strike is approved, it could effectively shut down all film and television production in those regions.

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