While I was hoping we might have a break from news about the potential for an IATSE strike until the Oct. 1 vote for a strike authorization, there were a few tidbits of news released on Friday that are probably worth mentioning and sharing.
First of all, and this might not be a surprise, IATSE’s decision to go to its thousands of members to vote on a strike authorization has received support from four other primary entertainment guilds and unions. The DGA (the Directors Guild), SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild), WGA (Writers Guild), and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have all come forward to release statements in support of IATSE and its members, to share that they “stand in solidarity.”
The leaders of the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, the WGA East and Teamsters signed a statement saying,
“On behalf of our hundreds of thousands of members working across film and television, we stand in solidarity with our IATSE brothers, sisters and kin,” the unions said. “The basic quality of life and living wage rights they’re fighting for in their negotiations are the issues that impact all of us who work on sets and productions. We stand with the IATSE.”
It was signed by new DGA President Lesli Linka Glatter, and its National Executive Director Russell Hollander; SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher and National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland; WGA East President Michael Winship and its Executive Director Lowell Peterson, and Teamsters President James P. Hoffa.
The WGA West‘s newly elected officers released their own statement via Twitter, saying, “We stand with our sisters and brothers of IATSE in their worthy fight for safe working conditions and a fair contract.” And it was Signed “in solidarity” by President Meredith Stiehm, Vice President Michele Mulroney, and Secretary-treasurer Betsy Thomas.
Statement from the officers of WGAW:
We stand with our sisters and brothers of #IATSE in their worthy fight for safe working conditions and a fair contract.
Meredith Stiehm, President
Michele Mulroney, Vice President
Betsy Thomas, Secretary-Treasurer
— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) September 23, 2021
IATSE also posted two letters on its Basic Agreement update site, one addressed to the California legislature directly from the California IATSE Council and another to the New York legislature jointly signed by IATSE President Matthew Loeb and Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO, and co-signed by reps from many of the guilds and unions “in solidarity.”
Another bit of information that came out on Friday via Deadline is that a strike would not necessarily affect commercials or productions from HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, BET, and “another company that has a contract still in effect” who still will have a contract in effect until December 31, 2022. These particular IATSE members were told in a statement from IATSE, “You must keep working. You will not be a scab!”
Many network shows and Netflix are under the Basic Agreement that expired on July 31 but then was extended through Sept. 10, and if a strike is called, they will go dark, even though the agreements for “pay TV, music video, one-off single production, low-budget theatrical and AICP commercials” will remain in place. The pay TV contract and agreement with the Association of Independent Commercial Producers expires on September 30, 2022, as does the deal for “low-budget theatrical.”
The statement by IATSE was released to deal with some of the confusion and concerns that have surrounded recent announcements for those that work on premium cable and commercials, stating,“The HBU (Hollywood Bargaining Unit) is aware that this might cause confusion and unwarranted stress. We are working on strategies to address this very situation.”
That last bit might be important to some of the thousands of IATSE members who are still under contract but may choose to strike to show their solidarity for the rest of the union.
Lastly, the ICG600’s (International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600) video message to members from National President John Lindley and National Executive Director Rebecca Rhine was made public, so in case you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, you can do so below: