IATSE members express discontent with new deal – may not ratify

(Into the Wild)

A nationwide strike that would have started Monday was averted today when the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) reached a tentative three-year agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) for The Basic and Videotape Agreements which affects 40,000 film and television workers represented by 13 West Coast IATSE local unions. 

The proposed contract addresses core issues, including reasonable rest periods; meal breaks; a living wage for those on the bottom of the pay scale; and significant increases in compensation to be paid by new-media companies.

“This is a Hollywood ending,” IATSE International President Matthew Loeb said Saturday night. “Our members stood firm. We are tough and united.”

IATSE union members were prepared to withhold their labor and go on strike until issues related to the quality of their lives were addressed, he said. 

“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.”


A look at social media chatter gives the distinct impression that IATSE members are skeptical of the new three-year deal, maintaining that they don’t believe the deal addresses their core concerns and that some of their most important points were ignored. 

In addition to seeking a hard limit on shooting hours to avoid 14-hour shoot days that can lead to exhaustion, IATSE wants an end to:

  • Excessively unsafe and harmful working hours.
  • Unlivable wages for the lowest paid crafts.
  • Consistent failure to provide reasonable rest during meal breaks, between workdays, and on weekends.
  • Workers on certain “new media” streaming projects get paid less, even on productions with budgets that rival or exceed those of traditionally released blockbusters

“Basically nothing has changed,” Los Angeles-based director of photography Ernesto Lomeli told Variety. “I have not heard a single person saying they will vote yes.” Costume Designer Mandi Line also told the outlet, “People do not seem to be happy with the outcome.” She added, “For me, I’m happy about the ability to keep working, but if my teams aren’t happy with these ‘failed negotiations’ as they are calling it, all I can do as a boss is be the best example of the support they were needing to feel.”

REELated: More on IATSE

Take a look at some social media reactions below:

Over 98% of IATSE crew members voted to authorize a strike if not agreement could be reached. This agreement will take a few weeks to ratify. One skeptical IATSE member told Reel 360, “I don’t know a single Cameraman, DP or gaffer who will vote for this deal.”

This morning Marvel Studios pushed back several of its films. One has to wonder if it’s in anticipation of the agreement not being ratified. Shows and movees that could be affected include The Mandalorian Season 3, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, The Last of Us, Secret Invasion and Ms. Marvel.