The result of the vote by members of the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) on whether to approve a strike authorization in their negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are in. It may be little surprise that the action received 98 percent support from roughly 90 percent of the 60,000 IATSE members.
This vote gives IATSE International President Matthew Loeb the power to shut down film and television production across the country if AMPTP, representing the studios, doesn’t resume negotiations amicably. If a strike happens, it will be the first strike that’s been called by IATSE in the group’s 128-year history.
Loeb released a statement saying, “The members have spoken loud and clear. This vote is about the quality of life as well as the health and safety of those who work in the film and television industry. Our people have basic human needs like time for meal breaks, adequate sleep, and a weekend. For those at the bottom of the pay scale, they deserve nothing less than a living wage.”
The vote took place between Oct 1 and Oct 3 at 11:59 EST with online voting conducted by Honest Ballot, an election management services company.
“I hope that the studios will see and understand the resolve of our members,” Loeb added. “The ball is in their court. If they want to avoid a strike, they will return to the bargaining table and make us a reasonable offer. “
Loeb informed the AMPTP of the election results Monday morning, saying he “emphasized the need for the studios to adequately address the union’s core issues.”
Loeb also did an interview with the Los Angeles Times last Thursday discussing what was required or IATSE to reach a settlement.
AMPTP responded to the strike authorization vote with a statement saying that it “remains committed to reaching an agreement that will keep the industry working. We deeply value our IATSE crew members and are committed to working with them to avoid shutting down the industry at such a pivotal time, particularly since the industry is still recovering from the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. A deal can be made at the bargaining table, but it will require both parties working together in good faith with a willingness to compromise and to explore new solutions to resolve the open issues.”
UPDATE: The results of the vote has led to AMPTP and IATSE going back to the negotiation table for the next few weeks, starting on Tuesday, October 5.