With a strike looming at 12:01 a.m. Monday, it seems the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are making “very good progress” on a new labor agreement, which would avoid one of the biggest strikes in Hollywood history.
Variety first reported, and then TheWrap on Saturday that the two sides, after meeting virtually through the night, are close to an agreement. Carol Lombardini, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers bargaining organization for the major studios, is said to have addressed IATSE leaders about the details of deals on the issues such as reasonable rest periods, meal breaks, and a living wage for those on the bottom of the wage scale.
According to Variety, Disney’s Peter Rice and power lawyer Ken Ziffren have been instrumental in bridging the gap between the two sides.
IATSE represents over 150,000 technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live theatre, motion picture and television production, broadcast, and trade shows in the United States and Canada.
The union had set a deadline of Monday, Oct. 18, at 12:01 a.m. PT to reach a deal. If that doesn’t happen, union members will begin a nationwide strike that would set in motion the biggest work stoppage over a labor dispute since the 2007-08 strike by the Writers Guild of America. It would be the first strike for IATSE in its 145-year history.
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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
According to TheWrap AMPTP has said it addressed the union’s demands with a proposal that included increases of 10-19% in minimum wages for Local 871 members, an average of 18% increase in minimums for certain new media productions, and covering the $400 million deficit in the IATSE Health Plan without raising premiums and other healthcare costs like deductibles and co-pays for dependents.
A potential strike would be disruptive, and potentially devastating, to an industry that is still recovering from a COVID shutdown and quarantine. However, the WGA, SAG-AFTRA and DGA have all expressed support for the union.