Industries

60,000 technicians ready to strike in Hollywood for better working conditions – Les Inrocks

More than 98% of the members of 36 unions have agreed to cease work if the studios refuse to resume discussions.

Better working conditions and fairer wages, that’s what the Hollywood techs are asking for. On Monday, October 4, the International Alliance of Stage, Theater and Film Employees (IATSE) announced that a national strike was authorized for 98.68%, for a participation of 90%.

Thus, 60,000 employees have given their consent to block the filming of movies and series if necessary.

“Basic human needs”

Since May, the technicians union has tried to have its demands heard by the Alliance of Film and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents large studios such as Warner Bros., Disney or Sony. “Our employees have basic human needs such as meal breaks, enough sleep and a weekend,” insists Matthew Loeb, president of IATSE. “The studios need us … We must be treated as a valuable asset: partners, not cogs,” adds Salvador Pérez, director of the Guild of Costume Designers, interviewed by Variety.

This vote follows negotiations between IATSE and AMPTP that have stalled since September 12, as Deadline reminds us. “I hope the studios see and understand the determination of our members,” adds Matthew Loeb. The Ball Is in his field. If they want to avoid a strike, they will come back to the negotiating table and make us a reasonable offer ”.

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Towards a resumption of the discussions?

Faced with the threat of a work stoppage that could paralyze television and film productions, AMPTP’s reaction was immediate. Through a statement quoted by NPR, he responded: “We value the IATSE members of our teams and are dedicated to working with them to avoid having to shut down the industry at such a critical time, especially as the industry is still reeling from the economic situation consequences of the pandemic caused by Covid-19 ”. Which gives hope that the discussions between the two parties will resume.

On the sidelines of the protest movement, an Instagram account, ATSE Stories, has emerged. Numerous anonymous testimonials are published recounting appalling working conditions, constant pressure, and lack of backstage rest in Hollywood. Specifically, we find the story of a technician whose boss imposed “fourteen-hour workdays and seven-day weeks.” She believes that the studios “are trying to pressure them to work as much as possible before the strike.”

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