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International Cinematographers Guild Offers Financial Relief to Members Affected by WGA Strike


ICG LogoThe International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600) announced a comprehensive series of financial relief policies for members affected by the 2023 Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, including the creation of a Work Slowdown Hardship Fund.

“The guild’s board has the honor and responsibility to lead our members through this work slowdown, as we did during the pandemic,” says Baird B. Steptoe, National President of the International Cinematographers Guild (ICG). “During a crisis, none of our members stand alone.”

During the guild’s National Executive Board (NEB) meeting in Manhattan Beach last weekend, the board also approved two additional motions designed to provide economic relief to members affected by entertainment industry labor disputes, including a dues opt-out option for the fourth quarter of 2023 and deferring the collection of initiation, delinquency and any other installment plans through September 2023.

“Local 600 believes that all workers deserve a fair contract,” says Alex Tonisson, newly-appointed National Executive Director of ICG. “Providing financial relief during this strike is one way to help our members while supporting solidarity in our industry.”

The 2023 Work Slowdown Hardship Fund allocates $250,000 – with an option to increase to $500,000 – to provide grants of up to $1,000 to individual Local 600 members in good standing who are in financial need due to work lost or delayed by any entertainment industry labor actions in 2023, including the ongoing WGA strike.

This fund is to be administered through the Entertainment Community Fund, and criteria for eligibility will be determined by the National Executive Officers in coordination with the Entertainment Community Fund.

“Allocating our funds to provide relief in times of economic hardship is at the core of what this guild was founded for,” says Stephen Wong, National Secretary-Treasurer of ICG.

ICG previously offered similar financial support to its membership at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The International Cinematographers Guild represents over 10,000 members who work in film, television, streaming and commercials as directors of photography, camera operators, digital imaging technicians, visual effects supervisors, still photographers, camera assistants, film loaders, broadcasters and all members of camera crews and publicists. The first cinematographers union was established in New York in 1926, followed by unions in Los Angeles and Chicago, but it wasn’t until 1996 that Local 600 was formed as a national guild. In addition to its work organizing, bargaining and enforcing contracts, advocating for legislation that serves working families, training and mentorship, ICG’s ongoing events include the Emerging Cinematographer Awards and the ICG Publicists Awards Luncheon. The Guild also publishes the award-winning ICG Magazine.

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