One of Hollywood’s most powerful unions representing crews has voted to allow a strike if they are unable to reach an agreement with producers.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (Iatse) said 90 percent of its voters – 60,000 workers from across the country whose contracts are negotiated by studios – cast a ballot and 98 percent voted for a strike.
“The members spoke loud and clear,” Iatse president Matthew Loeb said in a statement. ‘This vote is about the quality of life as well as the health and safety of those working in the film and television industry.
The first nationwide strike in the union’s 128-year history gives it more power as it returns to the negotiating table with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (Amptp), representing studio and production companies, in search of better working hours, improved pay , meals and other demands.
Iatse also wants to improve crew wages on streaming platforms, which they say are ‘paid less’, even on productions with budgets that run counter to blockbusters.
Amptp said it was ‘committed to reaching an agreement that will keep the industry afloat’, but ‘it will require both parties to work together in good faith’.
Negotiations between Iatse and Amptp came to a halt in September. If there was a strike, it would be bigger than the previous one in 2007-08, when 12,000 film and television screenwriters picked up for 14 weeks.