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The Hollywood Shut Down Has Been Avoided

After much back and forth, the IATSE and the AMPTP have come to an agreement.
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Updated on October 18, 2021

Strike adverted… for now. 

After much back and forth, the IATSE and the AMPTP have come to an agreement, narrowly avoiding a strike that could’ve shut down much of Hollywood.

This new contract, which will last three years, was agreed upon just hours before the deadline put in place by IATSE president Matthew Loeb.

IATSE Members Will Have to Vote on Deal

“This is a Hollywood ending. Our members stood firm. They’re tough and united,” Loeb said in a statement, according to Deadline.

“We went toe to toe with some of the richest and most powerful entertainment and tech companies in the world, and we have now reached an agreement with the AMPTP that meets our members’ needs.”

But, while the IATSE and AMPTP leadership came to an agreement, the new contract must be voted on by members of the union. 

And, though the specific details of the deal have not been publicized, it’s believed it will improve wages, working conditions, shift times, as well as offer more holidays, increase health care plans, and focus on improving diversity on set. 

IATSE Sets Date For Strike

Updated on October 13, 2021

Unless a deal is reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) in just a few short days, Hollywood will officially be shutting down.

According to IATSE president Matthew Loeb, over 60,000 film and TV workers will go on strike on Monday, October 18, if an agreement is not reached with the studios. 

Bargaining Will Continue, But Days Are Limited

Though the IATSE has set a date, they are continuing to bargain with the AMPTP in hopes of coming to some sort of compromise. However, Loeb and the thousands of IATSE workers are insistent about addressing major issues within Hollywood, such as fair wages, sufficient time off, and reasonable work hours, and won’t accept any deal that isn’t equitable.

“We have waited long enough. We will not be strung along in forever-talks while our members have urgent issues that must be addressed NOW,” the IATSE tweeted on Wednesday, October 13.

“If a deal with the studios is not made before the end of the weekend, we will have no choice but to go on strike.”

Because the IATSE represents tens of thousands of employees, this strike could shut down countless TV and film productions across the country for the foreseeable future. 

Strike Heading For Hollywood

Original story (October 6, 2021)

A major strike could be heading for Hollywood in just a matter of days.

The IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) just voted to authorize a strike, which gives the union president the power to shut down TV and film productions across the country. 

The vote passed with 98.7% support, an incredible outcome that speaks volumes about the major issues facing Hollywood and those who work in the industry.

IASTE Hopes to Address Major Issues Within Hollywood

The IASTE has been in talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers since May, but negotiations have stalled in recent months.

TV set with cameras

However, thanks to this new vote, president Matthew Loeb now has the power to call for a strike if he and the AMPTP president, Carol Lombardini, can’t come to an agreement. This would be the biggest strike in Hollywood since the 2007 writer’s strike.

IATSE members are fighting for basic worker rights, such as reasonable work hours, meal breaks, health benefits, raises, and a secure pension. They are also wanting a bigger share of the revenue from streaming shows. The last time that the union negotiated for residuals was in 2009, and the streaming landscape has changed dramatically since then.

Will They Come to an Agreement Before a Strike Happens?

“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,” Loeb said in a statement.

“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.”

Hollywood Walk of Fame

He continued, “I hope that the studios will see and understand the resolve of our members. 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.“

While the IASTE has full authority to go ahead with a strike, they are hoping to avoid shutting down productions through negotiations with the AMPTP, which began on Tuesday, October 5. 

IATSE Members Are Sharing Stories

These issues within Hollywood are no secret, but it’s taken this long for things to finally be addressed.

In fact, countless IATSE members have shared their horror stories with the Instagram page @ia_stories, which currently has over 147,000 followers.

The stories range from missing important doctor’s appointments due to a demanding work schedule to being forced to work 15 hour days. However, things might already be changing for the better. One IATSE member noticed a difference in their work schedule after the vote was passed on Monday, October 4.

man operating camera

“I’m home. It’s 6 P.M. and I’m already home. We did a ten-hour day today. I’m a PA, so I was in early. I did a 12.5 [hour shift]. But 12.5 is much more reasonable than 15 or 16 or 17. I get to eat dinner with my roommate. I get to read a book, and call my mom before she’s half-asleep,” they wrote.

“I’m SURE that today’s vote had an impact on how long our day was. I can see a future in this industry if things continue along the right path. I really want to be able to do what I love without losing everything else I love.”

Simply Put, Things Need to Change

Hollywood may seem like a glamorous place–and it often is for A-list actors–but it’s also a brutal industry that does not take care of everyone.

Too many behind-the-scenes workers — from key grips to production assistants to prop masters — are forced to work long hours with little rest and very minimal compensation.

And, because it’s “Hollywood,” everyone is made to believe they should feel lucky to be there. According to their stories, the PAs, drivers, set decorators, and other “below-the-line” workers are frequently told that they shouldn’t mind working 16-hour days because they get to be on the set of a hit TV show or blockbuster movie.

While that mindset may work for some, every person deserves to work in a healthy environment that looks out for employees’ physical and mental wellbeing. Hopefully, the IATSE and the AMPTP can come to an agreement that fairly addresses these serious issues.