As the members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) spend the weekend voting on a strike authorization in the union’s negotiations with the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers), a few updates were released late Friday and Saturday.
First of all, IATSE International President Matthew Loeb released another statement to members on Oct. 1, the first day of that important vote, in an attempt to get every possible member to respond to the ballot that was Emailed to them, stressing, “The importance of these negotiations cannot be understated.”
You can view his full message below:
In turn, New York State Senator Jessic Ramos, Chair of the NY Senate Labor Committee (which represents Queens neighborhoods), voiced her support for IATSE workers in a letter to AMPTP President Carol Lombardi, stressing the part that the New York State Film and Television industry has contributed in bringing the state to a “second Golden Age of film and television production,” saying,
“On behalf of our constituents who rely on and benefit from the film and television industry, we are urging AMPTP to return to a good faith negotiation of fair successor contracts with IATSE. We have heard appalling stories from our constituents who work in the industry, detailing a standard practice of working extensive consecutive days with little to no breaks, resulting in severe impacts on the mental and physical health of these workers. New York State and the Film and Television industry’s public/private partnership is directly responsible for bringing New York to its second golden age of film and television production, but this revival is nothing to be celebrated if it comes at the expense of working people.”
That letter was co-signed by 32 other New York State Senators: Krueger, Salazar, Reichlin-Melnick, Hoylman, Kennedy, Gaughran, Sanders, Kaplan, Serrano, Liu, Brouk, Hinchey, Cooney, Boyle, Thomas, Brisport, Skoufis, Mayer, Jackson, Biaggi, Gounardes, Savino, Harckham, Mannion, Kavanaugh, May, Rivera, Comrie, Stavisky, Persaud, Myrie, and Bailey.
You can read that letter in full at the IATSE site, as well.
Chaim Kantor, Associate National Executive Director of the International Cinematographers Guilds, IATSE Local 600 responded: “On behalf of the members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and IATSE Local 600, we express our deep appreciation to Senator Ramos and the 33 other members of the New York State Senate who signed this letter of support to the AMPTP. Over many years, these Senators have supported our industry and efforts to promote production in New York. Their support has given us tens of thousands of jobs and brought billions of dollars into our State’s economy. We thank them for that and for the recognition that our members deserve a safe, healthy and fair workplace.”
A couple California legislators have recorded video statements of support for IATSE that you can view here.
On Monday, October 4, the results of the vote for strike authorization will be revealed.
Remember that the best way to keep up to date with any updates re: the vote for a strike authorization or any actions is by going to the Basic Agreement site that IATSE has set up here. It also includes an important Film and TV Strike Authorization Voter FAQ for anyone still unsure about what is going on.
New Mexico’s Local 480 has also set-up a “strike hub” where you can keep up with things affecting that specific area of production. Of course, Below the Line will be covering this important news with regular updates as well.