LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — In a nearly unanimous vote on Monday, the membership of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, or IATSE, voted to authorize a nationwide strike for film and television production as the union conducts 11th hour negotiations on a new deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
The vote, which showed that 98% of the union’s members were in support of collective action, showing a strong mandate for IATSE president Matthew Loeb in the ongoing negotiations.
This is the first time in IATSE’s 128-year history that members of the union have authorized a nationwide strike, the trade union said.
“The members have spoken loud and clear,” said Loeb. “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 IATSE is seeking a better deal with AMPTP on a number of areas, including long working hours, which the union characterizes as ‘harmful’ and ‘unsafe’ and an increased in wages for the lowest paid crafts.
The union is also seeking rest during meal breaks and time off between workdays and on weekends. The union also raised the issue of craft workers on streaming projects being paid less, even for major direct to DSP releass with budgets that rival major theatrical releases.
The AMPTP did not respond to a request for comment.