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IATSE, One of Hollywood’s Biggest Union, Approves Strike Authorization

The International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has agreed to approve a strike authorization in an overwhelming vote.

IATSE announced that nearly 90% of its 60,000 union members voted in favor of a strike authorization in a vote that passed with 98.7% approval. While this doesn’t initiate a strike, the union is now able to call one if negotiations for a new contract continue to stall.

The union continues to meet with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers representing major film studios and streaming companies on a new three-year contract.

BREAKING: IATSE Members in TV and Film Production Voted to Authorize the first nationwide industry strike in our 128-year history.

98.68% voted yes, and voter turnout among eligible members was nearly 90% #IASolidarity #IATSEVoted pic.twitter.com/F4wx8cPubi

— IATSE // #VoteYES (@IATSE) October 4, 2021

According to the IATSE website, the union is bargaining for better working hours, rest and break periods for meals and weekends, livable wages for locals and better wages for union members working on “new media” streaming projects who the union say are being paid less despite production budgets that rival traditional blockbusters.

Deadline reports that IATSE locals are asking for a “real and meaningful rest period” as 14-hour days is widely seen as an “industry-standard.”

The LA Times meanwhile reports that the AMPTP has so far been unresponsive to these demands and has argued that it has raised minimum pay for these new media productions and covered the union’s $400-million pension and health plan deficit.

The two sides will continue to negotiate on a new contract for both the union’s west coast members and national members, but with the strike authorization, the union president can call for one if a deal fails to materialize.

A strike would be a rarity considering the IATSE hasn’t staged a strike since 1945, a date known as Hollywood’s Bloody Friday according to the LA Times. But it threatens to leave massive disruptions across Hollywood projects currently in development.

Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd.

Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

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